A Summer in France

A Summer in France

After the last Journal post about Brigitte Bardot, Saint-Tropez and some straw accessories inspiration, let’s stay on the Côte D’Azur where the Belle Vie family spent their Summer holidays on the coast and in the Camargue area.


Traditional Fisherman at Le Grau-Du-Roi  

We have been living abroad for quite some time now and seeing the girls spending time with their grand-parents & cousins, discovering places I visited when I was a child, enjoying the incredible light and speaking French was so nice!

For several days, we have lived a simple, family-focused life, with the Mediterranean sea as the epicenter of our days.



We spent time at the beach as much as possible. The girls loved to be able to swim in the sea, warm and mellow, vs the cold & wild Pacific Ocean they are used to on the Oregon Coast. Like any kid, they also loved playing with the sand and build all kinds of castles.

Another favorite activity was to look for tiny crabs and shells. Some of them had a little hole at their top. We will create pretty necklaces back home, little summer treasures to cherish this coming year.


Summer Treasures

At the "Espiguette" Beach

  Like in every French family, the days were punctuated by the meals, enjoyed together outside around the main table. This time -it happens only during the holidays!- I relied completely on my mum who cooked delicious traditional French dishes she knows from her family. We also tasted the local specialties bought at the Grau-Du-Roi farmer’s market.

"Tarte à la Tomate", family recipe from the South of France
(Scroll down to get the recipe!)

We took the time to chat under the sunshades while the sea gulls were calling each other and the kids started their naps.

In the evening, same ritual, with talks going on late under the stars. The kids went to bed far too late but I am happy that they had their first stargazing lesson with Grandpa.

In France, wherever you are, you are never far away from a village, with its church and main square surrounded by cafes and century old sycamores.

I have always loved discovering those places, where centuries of history unfold in front of you.

 Le Grau-Du-Roi

The statue of Saint-Louis at the center of Aigues-Mortes' main square

This Summer, whether in Aigues-Mortes, a medieval village founded in 1240 by Louis IX, King of France (Saint-Louis), or in the Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, the capital of Camargue, the girls started to learn their first “in-situ” history lessons and it was nice to watch.




I love telling them the tales of those ancient times and triggering their curiosity.

Of course, after strolling in the cobblestone streets, there was always at a street corner a beautiful carrousel with its painted horses to entertain them.

The old Carrousel of Aigues-Mortes

Cherry on the cake this Summer, we had the chance to be in Aigues-Mortes during the Saint-Louis medieval festival. The girls enjoyed the parade, seeing the King, Queen, knights, princesses and horses, and listening to medieval music.

At the Saint-Louis Medieval festival 


We are back home full of wonderful memories of another Summer in France.


In Camargue...
Top 5 places to visit 
-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, especially the city center & church
-Espiguette Beach
-Saint-Louis Medieval Festival
Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, the Church
Top 5 Kids-Friendly Activities
-Shells harvest on any beach
-Old villages exploration
-Aigues-Mortes Salt Marches train tour 
-Old Carrousels
-Patisserie "Poitavin", Aigues-Mortes. Try the specialties "Les Merveilles"
-Grau-du-Roi weekly Organic Farmer's market (Friday)
-"Au Bois de Violette" antique store, Aigues-Mortes
"Tarte à la Tomate" (Tomato Tart) recipe
Shortcrust pastry
150 g of flour 
75 g of soft butter
A pinch of salt
50 ml of lukewarm water
Mix the dry ingredients: flour & salt in a salad bowl
Add the soft butter and knead with your fingertips for 3 minutes then rub the mixture between your hands
Stir in the water to bind the dough, mix fairly quickly with the flour and form a ball
Roll out the dough and put it on a sheet of baking paper in the pie plate
Prick it with a fork and bake it for 10 min at
400°F so that the crust gets hard (Pre-heat the oven before)
The tart
Mustard (we do it with Dijon mustard!)
Three medium-size heirloom tomatoes
Comté cheese
Olive Oil
Spread a thin layer of mustard on the crust
Slice the tomatoes and arrange them on top of the mustard
Slice some Comté cheese and arrange it on top of the tomatoes
Add a drizzle of Olive Oil and some pepper
Bake for 30-35 mn at temperature 400 °F until the crust gets golden
Eat with a fresh green salad!
Bon Appétit !