Monday, 1 August 2016

South of France: Part Two

Blog travel diary of the south of franceThe bright and vibrant colours of the French Riviera truly do make a lasting impression, and to the extent of encouraging a three-part South of France travel diary!  So, after yet another couple of days spent flopping around the villa, it was time to rediscover life outside of a bikini.  The beauty of Saint-Raphaël is truly breathtaking and ended up taking a full afternoon and evening to appreciate...
Luxury villa based in saint maxime

White orchid interior design
St Tropez La Tarte Tropezienne dessert
Luxury villa rental in saint maximeBefore going anywhere though, a morning of complete relaxation was on the cards - including a rather indulgent cake-for-breakfast setup!  Although La Tarte Tropézienne is a delicious dessert associated with Saint-Tropez (more of that in Part Three), its popularity sees it stocked at a handful of bakeries in Saint Maxime for approximately 10 euros.  I'm embarrassed to admit the sugared cake was about the size of my face, though at least it fuelled some energetic games of table tennis and pool under the sun!
Photography of blue table tennis table
Fashion blogger in printed blue halterneck maxi dress
Located forty minutes away from Sainte-Maxime, popular Saint-Raphaël sits happily on the map at the eastern end of the Var department.  With 22 miles of Mediterranean coastline, it's not surprising how popular the location has become!  First impressions were good, very good.  Busy beaches and many tourists can be expected during the summertime, though this in no way detracts from the commune's beauty.  The architecture saw me whipping out my camera at every occasion, as did the rows upon rows of boats/yachts lining the Vieux port.
Vieux port at Saint-Raphaël Var
Saint Raphaël ferris wheel
Saint Raphaël church in the sunlight
Saint Raphaël church interior
When the sun began to show signs of setting, dinner called at La Roma, an Italian restaurant located on a corner facing port Vieux.  Arriving at the restaurant's six o'clock opening time worked perfectly as we had our pick of seats - though within just one hour the restaurant was packed full and with a queue of customers lining up outside!  It could have been predicted really as I have absolutely nothing bad to say about La Roma; the staff were really friendly, the decor (including illustrated walls) set a calm and rather romantic scene and the food was ahh-mazing!  And yes, portion sizes were super generous, ahem, as you can tell from my calzone shown below...

La Roma
132 Prom. Commandant Guilbaud
83700 Saint-Raphaël
Sunset photography in Saint-Raphaël
Saint-Raphaël La Roma Italian restaurant
Calzone served at La Roma in Saint-Raphaël
South of France La Roma restaurant in Saint Raphaël
No visit to Saint-Raphaël is complete without having seen the landscape from above.  So before leaving, time was made to hop on the ferris wheel (1 token = 3 spins) to gain an even better perspective on the lively location.  Up, up and up into the sunset.  This is undoubtedly a moment that will stay with me forever; the sight of the sun slowly dropping beneath the horizon far in the distance. Nothing could ever possibly compare to the enormous effect of the sun - and when you really consider that and let it sink in for a moment, it serves as a wonderful reminder of just how small we each are.
Colourful pink building in the south of france
Saint-Raphaël ferris wheel at sunset
Ferris wheel structure by sunset
Saint-Raphaël in summer at sunsetThat day ended on a particularly warm, happy note.  If you ever find yourself in the Côte d'Azur region, be sure to make at least one trip to Saint-Raphaël.  Another element of that day which proved to be a hit was the morning spent playing table tennis and pool - in between snack breaks, of course!  With this at the forefront of our minds, the entire next day was spent doing exactly that - lounging around.

Though just before we hit the point of ultimate relaxation (aka. point of no return and eternal laziness), it was time to dress up once more and head out into Sainte-Maxime.  A walk along the long stretch of golden sand later and a world of restaurants, late-night boutiques and ice cream shops revealed themselves.  I did my utmost not to embellish the blue, floral-printed maxi dress I was wearing with chocolate fondant pudding, before wandering through the boutiques and picking up a few pieces of linen for the remaining summer.  Speaking of which, I adore the thigh-high split on this maxi - it was a fab way of keeping my legs cool underneath the dinner table!

Blue floral printed maxi dress Club L at ASOS
Excuse the last-minute stance - caught emerging up the stairs!
Beautiful red sky over saint maxime south of france
Sainte maxime luxury villa nighttime
South of france saint maxime red sky
Another memorable evening; standing by the pool at around nine/ten o'clock, looking out at the sweeping pink-touched landscape below this impressive sky, surrounded by the smell of burning citronella candles.  Even now, goosebumps creep up my arms at the very memory.  The world truly is a beautiful place.

With love,

Gabrielle x



  1. So beautiful! I definitely need to add this place to my list of must-see places! That ferris wheel is insanely large!

    Renee | Life After Lux

  2. These photos are absolutely stunning. Your time in France looks like an absolute dream!

  3. That cake looks divine. I'd be a happy (and even more plumper) chappy if I got to devour that for breakfast daily hehehehe! This part of the country is every bit as dreamy as expected. I too would be completely enamoured with the architecture. I don't think I could ever leave...


  4. I can definitely see why you would recommend a visit to Saint-Raphaël with it's spectacular views and fun activities. I think the South of France is definitely moving higher up on my travel bucket list after reading this gorgeous post!

  5. This makes me want to go on vacation so badly !! i love this

  6. After seeing part one and part two I know I must go to the south of France, it just looks gorgeous and the food so delicious, I also love your dress!

    My Vogue Style |

  7. Love the beautiful shots of all the places and food. France is one of my favorite countries and I can't wait to go visit again. The maxi dresses you wore here are also equally beautiful. Thanks for such a detailed post on your trip! xoxo, Christine

  8. Thank you so much my dear :)

    OMG, this place look amazing and your photos are incredible. I really want to visit :D

    NEW REVIEW POST | NOVEX: Treatment cream and Ultra deep Growth.
    InstagramFacebook Oficial PageMiguel Gouveia / Blog Pieces Of Me :D

  9. Love your photos and the maxi dress with the front split is gorgeous!!! Love it!


  10. This looks like the ultimate Summer trip, I can't get over it! The photos are dreamy, and maxi dresses certainly suit you! There's nothing like a sunset to give you a bit of perspective, eh?

    Amber | y a c h t s m a a n

  11. This place is seriously breathtaking. I just love every little corner of the South of france and am so excited to see more of St tropez in a couple of weeks. Gorgeous post lovely! Also, that dress is stunning <3


  12. Beautiful clicks <3 The place looks breathtakingly gorgeous <3 Love your outfit, Gabrielle!

  13. Your photos are stunning! We often visit the beautiful French Riviera - usually in Spring. I have to have a La Tarte Tropézienne next time - looks delicious!

  14. Ooh I love a good Tarte Tropezienne - and what a great photo of the Big Wheel

  15. I adore the French Riviera, it's definitely one of my favourite places to visit. I've never been to Saint-Raphael before, though, so I'll have to make sure to head there on my next trip! Your photos are beautiful and you look stunning, as always!

    Alice / Alice Grace Beauty


  16. As always, your pics are stunning, all the food looks absolutely yummy :) And your bracelet on the photo of you in a blue dress is gorgeous :) Great post xx


  17. Yay cake for breakfast sounds like a yummy morning. You are on vacation so go ahead and indulge, but I would probably devour it even if I was not on vacation. I loved both of your dresses. Your halter neck maxi dress had that gorgeous pattern and I'm obsessed with slits so the floral print dress was my fave.

  18. I believe I missed part one of your South of France adventure so just ran back to catch up! I am utterly jealous though, I've wanted to go to the South of France for a long time and your posts and wonderful photos just heighten that! The food looks divine and I am loving your choices of maxi dresses, beautiful!

    Musings & More

  19. Oh my gosh AGAIN such AMAZING pictures babe!!!!!!!! Seriously looks like the most beautiful place! You look so gorgeous, I love your dresses! The food also looks amazing! So jelly! Hope you had the best time! Xx

  20. Very lovely! I like this so much.

    ** Join Love, Beauty Bloggers on facebook. A place for beauty and fashion bloggers from all over the world to promote their latest posts!


  21. Love these pictures! Looks like you loved this place and glad you like it :)

  22. I was looking forward to seeing this part two! South of France is gorgeous is that pink sunset on that last photo!!!!!

    You wear maxi dresses so well. Both of these dresses are absolutely fabulous. You look divine!!!! very pretty and feminine outfits, you show that one can look picture perfect even when one is on vacation.

    Cake that is the size of your what? Trust me, I'm pretty sure that I ate my weight in cakes in the last few months:) I do have a sweet tooth. I avoid sweet drinks and I don't even drink coffee without sugar because I'm afraid of a sugar overdose, ha ha ha....Well, I don't think that eating a cake now and then is unhealthy, it's all about moderation. I would rather eat a slice of cake every day then fast food...and I think that's all for the better.

    Table tennis? that sounds fun...I tried it but I'm afraid I wasn't very good at it. I did an awful lot of swimming on my vacation ( I spent in island Hvar) and as far as I'm concerned, it was the perfect vacation.

    p.s. It's a pleasure to travel virtually with you.

  23. Oh Wow...what an absolutely beautiful place and stunning U...great post dear....xoxo, Neha

  24. Gorgeous photos, I love your maxi dresses Gabrielle.
    Gemma x

  25. Your pictures are so gorgeous, especially that sunset! And you look stunning in that black dress!

  26. the place looks so marvelous! the pictures are so great <3

    Capturing Life Memories |

  27. Beautiful place indeed!! Loving the outfits you are wearing!

  28. BEAUTIFUL photos! Loving your outfits aswell! :) x

    ♡ itsjessiejane ♡

  29. I've never been to the south of France but I am dying to visit. Even more so after seeing all of your beautiful photos and hearing what an amazing time you had! It honestly looks so stunning and your photography is gorgeous. I loved reading and seeing all of your lovely outfits! Katie xx

  30. i love your maxi dress and the pictures are so beautiful

  31. Loving your dresses! Very nice :-) I have never been to the south of france, I really have holiday envy now! And, you are so right, we are tiny compared to the big wide world!

  32. Omg girlllll I need to visit this place. Paris is definitely one of the places to visit on my list. These shots have melted my heart and that maxi dress on you is gorgeous. Love it, beautiful. :)

  33. Beautiful photos! I've been meaning to go to the South of France, but haven't had a big trip there yet. Hopefully soon. :)


  34. Gorgeous photos! What a beautiful place!! Also, Your dresses are beautiful! :)


  35. Wow South of France looks so incredible!!!! I would love to visit some day. Btw, you look stunning in both maxi dresses!


  36. Theses photos are so beautiful ! The sunset is so pretty !
    And you look so great in theses long dresses !

  37. this place is spectacular, I love the summer vibes....
    and you are glowing, my dear
    kisses, happy holiday

  38. This trip sounds like a complete dream and the scenery is just stunning. As a day of work faces me, your post has made me wish I was somewhere like this soaking up the sun and eating all that yummy food :) It looks like you had the most amazing time x

  39. You are just a dream! These photos are beyond lovely. It looks like you had the most divine time, Gabrille! Gorgeous as per usual.


  40. Beautiful! You're killing with la tarte tropezienne! I love this cake it's sooooo good! Love the gorgeous sunset... so romantic :)
    Aurelie |

  41. Oh my, what an adventure you had! The French Riviera looks incredible. It's like a dream you would never want to wake up from. Love the photos, I hope I'm able to go one day <3

    xx   B A S H   |   go say   H E Y   B A S H

  42. How beautiful!!! Would love to visit one day :)
    And you look stunning on that dress!


    Novelstyle Blog

  43. ughhh i'm so jealous!!!!! wish i was there instead of in nyc

  44. Simply gorgeous, gorgeous photos, Gabrielle! You look beautiful as ever in that front slit maxi dress!

    Luci’s Morsels | fashion. food. frivolity.

  45. I am so looking forward to our upcoming vacation in the South of France. Thank you for taking my mind off of unpacking boxes.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  46. Ah what amazing photos! Looks like such a beautiful place. x

    Kate Louise Blogs

  47. Ahh that dress!! You look 10 ft tall and I love it! I always go starry eyed when I look at your amazing vacation photos! I haven't been on a ferris wheel for so long..oh the good ol days!

    Macarons and Mischief

  48. Your dress is amazing! Cote d'Azur is one of my favourite places in the world, I just came back from a holiday there and already missing it!

    Ash | Liakada

  49. Ah how beautiful is this post - loving all your photos hun and this is juts making me want to go away on holiday!!!

    Love this post, absolutely gorgeous and as always, loving your photography!!

    Layla xxx

  50. Yay! I've been really looking forward to this post! Your photos are literally gorgeous I am beyond jealous! I love your dresses too! So so lovely. It looks like you went to the most incredible places, really enjoyed this post x

  51. The South of France is truly one of the most magnificent places for a vacation. I can't get over how gorgeous you look in that blue zig-zag print dress, it's absolute perfection!

    Bella Pummarola

  52. Wow ! Such beautiful clicks. Thanks for sharing this post.
    You are looking cute and beautiful like always.
    Awesome post !

  53. Sounds like the perfect vacation spot. I would love to vacation here. Beautiful pics!

  54. RIGHT, that's it I need to plan a trip to the Côte d'Azur and visit Saint-Raphaël, it looks stunning. Such a gorgeous area! I visited the Côte d'Azur last year and stayed in Nice which was lovely. We took a train ride to Villefranche-sur-Mer which was a highlight of the trip, so pretty and there was an amazing and very popular Vietnamese restaurant called Le Mekong which served outstanding food.

    I would love to visit e St Paul de Vence which I've heard is amazing if I returned again and the places you suggested such as Saint-Raphael.

    Great post and so glad you had a fantastic trip!

    Lovely photographs and glad you have some fond memories to keep!

    You look so gorgeous in your ASOS dress by the way with your 'in my element' happy smile :)

    Laura xo

  55. That cake looks relish, I really don't mind it being huge, I would finish it in minutes ha ha :) What a dreamy evening sky, evenings like this are so relaxing :) Also you look gorgeous in your Asos dress! x

    Ela BellaWorld

  56. this place is truly worth visiting! love the pics u took and all ur outfits!

  57. Your dresses are stunning! I love the casual blue for day and the darker one for night. All these photos are gorgeous and South of France is truly magical. I have been and it makes me want to go back again. These travel posts are very inspiring and a fun read. :) It makes me think of To Catch a Thief with Carry Grant xx

  58. I love the South of France and these photos are gorgeous! Especially of the Ferris Wheel - it's such a pretty picture! x

  59. Another set of gorgeous photos. I love your maxi dresses.

  60. Thank you so much for sharing your vacation with us, Gabrielle. The way your described the places, the food, all the activities that you did and accompanied by the beautiful photography, it felt like we were there with you. Looking forward to part 3!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  61. Great pictures and great destination indeed....such a relaxing vibe :)

  62. Wow! What a magical place, and such gorgeous photos to share it with us. Thank you - I'm so glad you decided to add on more parts. I love both of your maxis! XO, Janea

  63. No wonder you had trouble choosing images, they're all beautiful! France looks amazing I definitely want to do all the things on your itinerary now! I also love both of your dresses, they look lovely on you :) xx

  64. I think this is one trip worth all the lounging around *_^ the nature provides the mood for just that. I am totally in love with you table tennis shot! It has such a summer feel to it ...

    I am surprised that 9 o'clock there still looked relatively bright and you can still catch a glimpse of the sun sets!

    Gorgeous day! And that slit maxi dress! Lovely on you, Gabrielle

    With love,
    Jeann | LUMINNEJ

  65. That tarte looks absolutely delicious! That's one of the things I absolutely love about France too - all those bakeries and treats.
    Christina ♥

  66. wow!!! how gorgeous!! I was recently in South of France also, didn't make it to st raphael, but I managed to go to Nice, St Maxime and Saint Tropez! it was soon beautiful and I can only imagine how beautiful st raphael is ! I definitely want to go back and explore more! those sunsetssss <3 so beautiful! thanks for sharing!

  67. Everything is sooo beautiful! Seaside sunsets are incredible..


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