Tuesday, 7 July 2015

A Family Break in France

I wrote an Ordinary Moments blog post recently about how we had gone on a little break to France to spend some quality time with family and to get a few rays of sunshine. It turned out to be so much more than that though. It was a week full of little adventures, lots of BBQs and treats, spontaneous trips to find new places and a week of lots of laughs with family. We couldn't have asked for better weather and I know that Little One especially had a lovely week away. It wasn't a 'holiday' in the conventional sense. We weren't in a hotel, tent, villa or caravan, we were staying with my mum in her house there and we weren't near a beach, so inevitably after a few days we were all just craving to dive into a pool of cool water as it was that hot. 

There's something about being 'away from it all' in the French countryside. Being away from the hustle and bustle of our everyday routine and being away from commercial town centres did us all the world of good and I can't wait to go back. The area where we stayed is a really small village about 40 minutes from Limoges, in the Haut-Vienne region in the centre of France. I can really recommend here as a place to go for a relaxing break, as there are lots of campsites, gites and holiday homes here. You would need a car to drive around as everything is quite long distances, but it's so picturesque and perfect for young families. 

So here's a few photos off my big camera of our little family break to rural France...

 My parents are super lucky to live in such a beautiful village. The buildings are all really rustic and all have different coloured wooden shutters. We enjoyed going up to the bakery to collect fresh croissants and pain au chocolat each morning and then going on a little wander around the village square in the sunshine. 

Being in such a quiet spot is great for helping you to switch off from your everyday life, to put your phone down and just enjoy being outside. We went for lovely long walks every day and Little One and his auntie loved picking wild flowers together. It's the simple things like this that we love the most. 

 In the centre of the village is a little park which was full of beautiful old trees and views across the valley. I thought it was going to be hard to keep LO entertained but he was more than happy running around with a ball or tapping twigs on a tree. 

Such a beautiful picturesque place, looking out over the river below. 

 We decided to go on a bit of an adventure on the Friday, so we drove about 45 minutes away to a place called Parc Zoo Reynou. To be honest we weren't really sure what to expect. It was a really hot day and I think we envisaged parts of it being inside where we could get some respite from the sun, but it was in fact a wildlife park, all outside. Luckily there were patches of forest to walk through for shade, and a lovely area of picnic benches guarded by these rather beautiful peacocks. Little One loved seeing all the different animals that he sees in his reading books- including safari animals like lions, zebras and giraffes, all free to roam around huge areas too, so they're not all caged in. 

Little One wasn't sure what to make of the peacocks so he decided to give his auntie a cuddle instead. It's moments like these that make my heart melt, and also make me realise how lucky we were to go on holiday with family. 

 It can be very easy to forget to capture moments with the whole family, so I'm pleased I managed to get this one where everyone (except our dog) was looking at the camera. Look how blue the sky was as well, there was a real heatwave in France while we were there. 

 I particularly loved taking LO on this walk through the trees. I think it's fair to say we had our quota of exercise for the week...

 My little smiley pumpkin, looking so grown up. We started off the week without needing to use the reins but he fell over and grazed his cheek and chin quite badly so we then went on to using reins on our walks. 

 Collecting flowers with his auntie was definitely one of his favourite things to do. On a side note, I have been loving dressing him in bright coloured clothes this summer. He really suits bright yellow and primary colours. He also loves wearing his little red crocs. 

One of our best buys- a plastic lawnmower from a Hypermarche. His favourite thing was to go around Granma's garden 'mowing' the lawn each evening as we waited for the BBQ. 

The heat was over 40 degrees some days, and we all found it quite exhausting, especially the littlest member of the crew. His speech exploded though, probably through seeing so many people all the time, and from having so much sleep in the day. He also became even more affectionate and was always ready for another cuddle. 

 Typically, on our last day, craving somewhere cool to go, we stumbled upon the most gorgeous lake. This is where we took our Me and Mine photos for June, it was just a stunning location. 

 Lover of sand and water, a real little Waterbaby this one. It was lovely to find a beach, even though we were miles away from the coast. 

 The lake is called Lac de St Pardoux and is located in the Haut Vienne region, 25 km north of Limoges. Going here was definitely the highlight of our week. 

 We didn't go prepared so had no swimwear and no swim nappies... normal nappies don't work very well in water, and swell up to the size of a watermelon...

I can't wait to take LO on our next adventure to Porto Santo in September now, knowing how much he enjoyed this beach and the water. 

So we are back now for the rest of summer, with a whole lot of lovely memories, sun kissed noses and a list of places we cannot wait to go back to visit soon. If you're looking for a little break to France, I can really recommend this beautiful region, and Ryanair fly to Limoges for very reasonable prices. 

I will probably do another post all about our French adventure, sharing my iPhone snaps. 



  1. That lake looks absolutely beautiful, as does the whole place. It just looks idyllic, I would like to explore France more, I went a fair bit as a child but Mr E has never been. Stunning summery photos lovely and I love LO's colourful hat. Glad you had a lovely time, it must be so nice to have a home away from home. xx

    1. Thank you Katie- you should definitely do a trip to France- your girls would love it. This lake is just utterly gorgeous and just the ticket on a hot French summer's day! It s really lovely to have somewhere which is a home away from home xx

  2. How beautiful! Such a great way of creating and capturing precious memories. How do you find it travelling with the LO? I'm due with my first boy in September and we're taking him to Spain in December for Christmas, fingers crossed - I'm not sure whether we're going to be biting off more than we can chew!! xx

    1. Aw how exciting! So far we have found travelling with LO absolutely fine! Although we only ever travelled in the UK with him before he was about 1. I think in a way it's almost easier with a younger baby than a toddler as they're quite content sleeping in their pram if you're out for the day, whereas a toddler wants to run around and then gets super tired, so needs to go down for a nap. On the other hand, younger babies need more equipment, especially if they're bottle fed or mum is expressing (which I was, what a pain!) Have a lovely time in spain, it'll be fantastic xx


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