The last few weeks have felt like a bit of a dream if I’m honest.

A life-affirming, truly uplifting (très corny but true) sunny adventure in one of my favourite parts of the world: the South of France with surprisingly good as gold kids and my unsurprising sweetheart of a husband.

I’ve felt like a lucky, lucky lady after quite the busy year.

Let the good times roll (again)!

South of France

A place that feels like a home from home for me,  I’ve been lucky enough to holiday in Nice, Grasse, St Tropez, Monico and Cannes and the surrounding areas since my brother and I were small and now a chance to take my own babies, it proved the perfect pick for our recent vacay in the sun.

My bae!

Coast in Cannes

The South of France always feels so shiny and inviting (pristine streets with Hermes on every corner will do that to a region)-but most importantly our trip was a window of time where we all got to truly chill out, eat our body weight in carbs and walk more than we have in years!

We totted up 12 miles one day! And in my wedges too! What do I win?!

wedges and small trainers on a pebbly street

Check us out ‘pink wall-posing’ in this insta-ready shot! So many pretty walls, so little time!

holiday vibes as mum and son pose against a pink wall

And hello carbies!

patisserie in the South of France

a selection of pastries in bakery in France bread in a bread shop in Avignon, France

…Together, hand in hand, we explored cobbled back streets and new towns (Arles is a must-see for Roman architecture, the amphitheatre below is a beauty to behold), played in parks enveloped by postcard-pretty palm trees and swam in clear warm waters in the Cote d’Azur.

We couldn’t have asked for more!

Arles Ampitheatre

palm trees in a park in Cannes

kids playing in the park in France

beautiful portrait of a child

So pour yourself a strong espresso or a glass of fizz (my fave) and let me show you what we got up to!

Chanel sunglasses next to a drunk expresso

First off, huge thanks to Eurostar for inviting us to Avignon in the first place- and the Avignon Tourist Board for their generosity.

mum and her sons on the Eurostar

A fun super fast and relaxed journey on the speedy and oh-so comfortable Eurostar meant it felt more like 4 hours than 7 and the time honestly, flashed by.

kids playing computer games on the Eurostar

As kids, my Dad usually would usually drive us to the South of France and the journey was very much part of the actual holiday. We’d stop off and stay in towns on our way and this mode of transport reminded me of those fun times, a chance for quality time as we sat together and took in the pretty countryside as we went.

The boys also got to play on their beloved computer games and watch their favourite shows making it a real pleasure to take the train to the South of France.

playing the computer on the Eurostar

Before we knew it, we’d reached Avignon, an achingly beautiful Medieval city in Provence.

a row of motorbikes in Avignon as the sun streams through the trees

passageway in Avignon

Tranquillity washed over us as we wandered the streets of this historic city for the first time and took in the sights. I joked to my husband I felt I was on a wellness retreat because you can’t help but feel relaxed there. The vacay vibe dial was set to ‘chilled’ and stayed that way throughout our trip.

Me, as chilled as can be!

Honest Mum in Avignon-Louis Vuitton neverfull handbag

…We spent 6 leisurely days in total in the truly picturesque Avignon, 5 by the stunning coast in Cannes and then finished up with 4 days in London town- making it one of our most favourite holidays to date!

lady on the beach in Cannes looking happy

We’d spend our days in Avignon roaming the sun-streamed streets, catching the sweet riverboat over to the banks of the River Rhone so we could picnic under the trees, before eating under the stars and fun at the fair and listening to buskers outside the town hall, by night.

kids catching a river boat, flag waving in the breeze

centre of Avignon-lots of restaurants as people dine al fresco

black lamp against a blue sky

Avignon town hall Avignon by night

He loved it honest (he had 3 goes)!

child looking unsure on a fairground carousel

Magical is most definitely the word.

Look at this babe of a place! Avignon you stole my heart!

Avignon

The gilded Virgin Mary Statue at Avignon Cathedral is spectacular.

the gilded Virgin Mary Statue at Avignon Cathedral

Just look…I would move to this street tomorrow…

beautiful streets in Avignon with vine trees growing around the houses

UNESCO World Heritage Site of Avignon: Palais Des Papes

We adored the heart of Avignon:  the historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site no less, where you’ll find the Palais des Papes (where seven successive popes took residence between 1309 and 1377,  the cathedral, the famous bridge: the Pont d’Avignon and not far off, a ceiling of umbrellas above a street of quaint shops- a blogger’s dream or what?!

Pont d'Avignon

a ceiling of umbrellas in Avignon

Now follow me as I take you round the Palace which moved me to tears.

street leading to the historical centre of AvignonThe Popes Palace in Avignon Palais Des Papes- Avignon Palais Des Papes- Avignon (the tombs) a stained glass window in the Palais Des Papes- Avignon beautiful ceilings in the Palais Des Papes- Avignon steps in the Palais Des Papes- Avignon Palais Des Papes- Avignon Little boys walks down the steps in the Palais Des Papes- Avignon beautiful flooring in the Palais Des Papes- Avignon wall in the Palais Des Papes- Avignon

And just look at the view from the top!

View of Avignon from the top of the Palais Des Papes

We often hung out in the square in Avignon too, for ice cream, a late lunch, to hit the playground in the shade and it doubled up as the perfect backdrop for a fun fashion shoot with the most vibrant of threads thanks to stunning Swedish brand Me&i.

me&i Swedish brand

Xander taking his shoes off! Standard!

Avignon square-boys sit on a bench

These pictures not only capture bold and beautiful clothes and carefree moments but a bond between two brothers that was cemented this summer. Kids who finally got to understand one another and gel. It was pretty special to witness.

two brothers play in the park together

‘Cheese’!

two brothers in hats smiling in the sunshine

My sweet boys!

boy wears me&i striped red and white top with a black anchor little boy with long hair looking pensivehappy boyYoung boy in me&i whale print top

And Mama wasn’t left out either, look at this 70’s style beaut of a dress!

Me&i printed dress

After all that posing, we popped on the train to nearby Arles and grabbed some more shots in a park we picnicked in!

Arles
…Our sons were so well behaved this holiday my husband and I have questioned (several times) if, in fact, these were actually our kids.

Xander with two hats on, as you do!

3 year old wears two hats and stand near a slideChild holds up a twister ice lolly to the camera

There’s so much going on day to day, school and nursery to attend, homework to complete, food to eat, routines to follow, deadlines to meet, that holidays are a complete break from all of that, a chance to be a little freer, to feel that little bit more alive, to eat candy floss before bedtime and sleep in until 12……

mum and son eat candyfloss

And in between doing the tourist thang like hopping on to the bridge for snaps, strolling around the Palais and slurping ice cream in every flavour (dark choc for me), we got to breathe again, to release ourselves of the daily grind, we got to feel the sun on our cheeks and just ‘be’… eat watermelon on demand of course (without the worry of the mess)!

And eat watermelon on demand of course (without the worry of the mess)!

child eating watermelon

It was bliss.

After almost a week of joy in Avi- we took the TGV to Cannes on a 2 hour 20-minute journey that felt like minutes, the perfect place for sand and sea…

TGV

Cannes was all about the relaxation as with Avignon-I was there in the spring for the festival and felt excited to return, this time with babes in tow- and the days saw us divide our time between the pool and sea, mostly dining al fresco, with fair and playground visits too and a chance for the kids to make friends with others whilst lapping up that sweet sea air.

We hit the Old Town too and took shade in picturesque cafes and watched the world go by.

Cannesstreets in the Old Town of Cannesstreets in the Old Town of Cannesa beautiful old door in the Old Town of Cannesmint green shutters against pink walls in the old town of Cannesstreets in the Old Town of Cannesmurial in the Old Town of Cannes-Poterie Ceramique du Colombier

Cooling off, later in the day, we would head back to the Croisette at the bottom of the hill and fill up on our daily dose of vitamin sea!

beach in Cannes sea in Cannes sands in the sea in Cannespalm trees in Cannesflip flops in the sand

Often staying until sunset as the magic hour unfolded.

sunset in Cannes with a lighthouse and helicopter in the background. Pink skiespink sunset over the sea in Cannesa skyline with palm trees as the sun setssunset in the South of France

Lush…Playgrounds at every turn and most, sea-facing too, Cannes couldn’t be more suited to all the family’s needs.

playground overlooking the sea in Cannes

kid running in Spiderman swimsuit sweet childAnd the hotels in Cannes are world-renowned.

Je t’aime the Carlton!

The Carlton Hotel in CannesThe Carlton Hotel

#Cargoals can naturally, be found on every street corner. I can strap the kids to the roof right?!

supercar man looking at a super car on the croisette After all that lusting after supercars we needed to refuel!And boy did we eat, huh boys (!) and here are foodie shots snapped throughout the holiday!

And boy did we eat this holiday, huh boys (!) Here are foodie shots snapped throughout!

boys eating in Cannesfood enjoyed in a bistrochild eats spaghettithe perfect omelettepurple and green basil beautiful basil amazing tomatoessalmon and prawn salad tuna nicoise saladchild holds a huge cookiechild with a smoothie

We just had to pop into Ladurée my favourite patisserie in the world (you can also find them in Covent Garden) for a cake that was (almost) too pretty to eat!

Ladurée bagLaduréeLadurée cake-so prettyAll the yummy feels!

And here’s Cannes by night. It wasn’t dancing until dawn like my usual trips in the city but it was just as fun. Strolls down the Croisette and crepes most nights kept this mama and her brood content!

Miraculously I managed to fit into a UK size 8 skirt from Monoprix, my favourite store in the region I picked up there.  And whilst size does not matter a dot it was a nice surprise as I can be so hard on myself, especially in the summer!

The bag was bought on my last trip to Cannes so had to have an airing!

Honest MumCannes by night

So there you have it, a sweet, sweet holiday in the South of France. We’re so grateful for the memories, the special times we’ll treasure, not forgetting, arranging the troops (!) for pics below (insert crying with laughter emoji)!

Thanks to House of Fraser for my floral frock!

mum blogger trying to sort a photo out with her kids

Et voila!

Honest Mum and her boys

A mummy blogger’s life huh!

What a hol!

I love this Gif from our travels back!

eurstar gif

Have you been to the South of France?

I’d love to read your experiences there in the comments.

 

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65 Responses

  1. Jolene Ejmont

    Ah man! I am in the middle of planning our France trip for September! Your photos have just made my insides burst into an excited flame!! Looks like your kids are having a ball! We are leaving our two eldest daughters behind as it is sooo expensive to fly from Australia! But our little bubba will be coming with! Can’t wait!
    Jolene Ejmont recently posted…Ladakh : Must visit Monasteries in the Land of LamasMy Profile

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  2. Fiona Cambouropoulos

    We stay a little further along from here but visited Avignon for the day last year. It’s a beautiful town so typical of the area. I think I could live in the south of France given half a chance. Love all your photos, a wonderful looking holiday.

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      I feel the same, magical part of the world x
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  3. lynn @ More4mums

    I really love the south of France and your photos show it off in spectacular fashion. Children learn so much from a trip abroad and I can see they loved all the fresh food. A great holiday xx
    lynn @ More4mums recently posted…Trust your Motherly Instincts – CMPAMy Profile

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    • Honest Mum

      They really do, an amazing part of the world x
      Honest Mum recently posted…Fanouropita (Vegan Saint Fanourios Cake for Lost Things)My Profile

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  4. amancay

    Sounds like a great holiday Vi, and the pictures are utterly stunning, the food looks mouth watering as well!. Guess it was great seeing Cannes when there is no festival and you feel no need for work. x

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Aw thank you darling, so true, different vibe completely, so chilled! We have to have a girly holiday there one time or a family one with our babies xx

      Reply
  5. becky

    So so lovely . Not been to the south of france since i was 20. A number of years. I have also never been on the Eurostar!
    becky recently posted…Walnut BreadMy Profile

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  6. Sophie at Franglaise Mummy

    So glad you had such a great time – I tend to take the south of France for granted, having lived there for 12 years and due to the fact we go back there so often to visit my mother-in-law who lives in Avignon and friends in the Nice region. Loved these pics as they took me back to various visits to both places over the years, and to my time being tour guide for friends or family when they came to stay 😉
    Sophie x
    Sophie at Franglaise Mummy recently posted…When you don’t have a job that makes your heart singMy Profile

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    • Honest Mum

      Aw you are so lucky to have lived there and to feel so connected, it feels like a home from home for me too, a place I’ve holidayed in since I was a baby. We really must buy a holiday place out there, always so anxious to return! Lots of love darling x

      Reply
  7. The UnNatural Mother

    You had me at the picture of bread & cakes. What a amazing holiday. I sadly have not been to the South of France but after seeing your pictures it’s on my places to visit list #BrilliantBlogPosts
    The UnNatural Mother recently posted…5 Things I Have Learnt “The Morning After The Night Before”My Profile

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  8. Elizabeth

    I just love France and lived there for a year in college. You pictures are great and they really brought me back to my time there. Vive la France!

    Reply
  9. Ebabee

    Your photos are so incredibly stunning. You’re making me want to jump on the Eurostar now! Roll on half term – very,very tempted to go even though my default is always long-haul. But you’ve sold me. And you all look so relaxed and chilled – just how it should be. xx
    Ebabee recently posted…A summer break + big changes comingMy Profile

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  10. Caitlin smith

    Wow! Stunning photos of a beautiful place and family holiday. It’s so lovely making memories with your children – I will add this to my ever-growing list of places to visit with my little family. I’m glad you had a fab time and I LOVE your dresses! Xxx

    Reply
  11. Topsy Turvy Tribe

    I can’t believe you walked so far in wedoes, go girl! Such beautiful photographs. Looks like you had an amazing time. So wonderful to have quality family time together! #brillblogposts
    Topsy Turvy Tribe recently posted…Fig & Nut Energy BarsMy Profile

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  12. five little doves

    Oh gosh what beautiful photos, I felt as though I was there with you! France is such a beautiful country, I spent most of my childhood holidays in France and we took my eldest to France when he was younger. I have to admit, the recent terrorist issues in France made me very reluctant to take the family over this year as we had discussed, but we are considering it for next year as you really can’t put your lives on hold for a small minority of people. I’m so glad you had an amazing time, thank you for hosting. #brilliantblogpost
    five little doves recently posted…For Eva, on your first day at school.My Profile

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    • Honest Mum

      Thanks lovely, it was a wonderful holiday and whilst that is worrying, it can happen anywhere. We spend a lot of time in London and that’s another target. You are right, you just have to live your life and not put it on hold xx

      Reply
  13. Sarah-Jane

    Wow, Those pictures are amazing! I’ve never been to France but its on my wish list. Looks like you had a wonderful time. Love the pictures of you and your boys … They are so cute 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us #BrilliantBlogPosts

    xxx

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Thanks so much Sarah-Jane, sad we didn’t get a whole family photo but Peter was behind the camera a lot and he hates being in front! xxx

      Reply
  14. Emma Peach

    It looks amazing! Avignon is stunningly beautiful…that umbrella-covered street! I think next time I visit my Dad in Brittany we’ll have to make an extended trip and go to the South of France for a week. Well done on walking 12 miles in wedges – that’s almost a half marathon!

    Emma xxx
    http://www.style-splash.com

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  15. Alana - Burnished Chaos

    Wow, gorgeous pictures! I’ve only been to the south of France once many many years ago, it was pre-kids and hubby and I stayed in a static caravan on the coast just outside Nice. We were there for the Monaco Grand Prix (couldn’t afford to stay in Monaco itself so took the train in each day), and we stayed longer so we could explore Nice and Cannes. It’s such a beautiful place and I would definitely love to go back the one day. Looks like you had an amazing holiday.
    #Brillblogposts
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    • Honest Mum

      Oh wow sounds like so much fun, I’d love to attend the Grand Prix. I adore Monaco but we decided to stay in Cannes as we travelled back to Avignon on our last day. Thanks for your comment x

      Reply
  16. John Adams

    Not been to the South of France in many years, although I had relatives living not too far from the region you were in. It is indeed a wonderful place to visit for a holiday, even in winter. You have certainly made it look very appealing. Monoprix…that brings back some memories! Gotta love the Eurostar too. The only real way to travel deep into France. great post Vicki, you’ve captured the spirit of the region very well.
    John Adams recently posted…The future of energy, as drawn by my daughterMy Profile

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  17. Eb Gargano

    Ooooh so pretty!! (and the South of France ain’t bad either 😉 ) Looks like you guys had an AMAZING holiday. Totally agree with you about Avignon and Arles being awesome places to visit and Cannes is definitely on the wish list!! I was so pleasantly surprised at how much of a child friendly destination the South of France actually is. Or at least my kids really loved it! Would really recommend Aix for another time too, such a gorgeous place – they call it the Paris of the South of France and it so is!! Your comment about walking so much made me laugh – Hubby and I ate and drank loads whilst on holiday, weighed ourselves when we got back and we were actually lighter than when we went and we were like ‘eh?’ and then it dawned on us – all the walking!!! And yes, I would definitely give you a medal for doing 12 miles in wedges!! 🙂 Eb x
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    • Honest Mum

      Yes I am certain I lost weight on holiday too! Your comment made me laugh too! Mwah! Must visit Aix next time, I am missing the SOF already! My feet weren’t even sore after! Amazing huh xx

      Reply
  18. Susan Mann

    wow wow wow this looks amazing. What a stunning place to visit and looks like you all had the most wonderful time. The photos are great and I love the painted building. Glad you had a great time xx
    Susan Mann recently posted…The Funny Things My Kids Say – Dance Songs EditionMy Profile

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  19. Amy (No More Shoulds)

    It’s so important to spend some chill out time, and so special to take your kids back to places that were special to you growing up. I have similar feelings about the South of France and we recently took our daughter back there. It was lovely! Glad you had a lovely break x #brillblogposts

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Oh that’s so wonderful, really makes it extra special when you’ve got so many lovely memories from your own childhood in a place. Feel so much stronger from taking time out too xx

      Reply
  20. DENIZE

    Looks like you had a fabulous holiday and the photos are stunning; We’re looking forward to Cannes in October!

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Thank you lovely, husband took most of these and he’s a wonderful photographer. Cannes in October will be wonderful, still warm too. Have fun x

      Reply
  21. Kate Orson

    Absolutely gorgeous photos. This place looks idyllic. We live just on the border of France so I can’t wait to visit sometime! #brilliantblogposts
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  22. suz

    Fantastic photos. I’ve never been to France but you’ve sold it to me. Really must go.
    #brillblogposts
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  23. Nell (the Pigeon Pair and Me)

    Such beautiful shots. I’d heard about the Eurostar running direct to Avignon. It’s one of the places in France I’ve never visited, so I’ll have to go soon.
    Nell (the Pigeon Pair and Me) recently posted…A sneak peek inside a Siblu three-bedroom Elegance mobile homeMy Profile

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  24. Notmyyearoff

    Oh my goodness it looks flippin fantastic!! I think I could wander the streets of Avignon for an entire week based on your photos. I would never think to go to Cannes on a family holiday but it looks so relaxed and kiddie friendly. And wow, that food! Fabulous holiday that I now want to look into 🙂
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…The beauty of Stirling CastleMy Profile

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  25. Karen - Twicemicrowaved tea

    12 miles in wedges? That’s beyond amazing!

    I’ve never really considered going to the south of France before, but after reading this and seeing your photos, I MUST go. Avignon looks absolutely beautiful. #brillblogposts

    Reply
  26. Charlotte Oates

    It looks like you had such an amazing time (beautiful pictures by the way 🙂 ). I haven’t been to the South of France for years and my holiday was very different with lots of canoeing involved. I’m look though all of your pictures and thinking it’s about time I headed down there for another trip.
    Charlotte Oates recently posted…Building My Blog – August 2016My Profile

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  27. Sunita - Lucky Things blog

    What an amazing way to capture your holiday. It all looks great. No wonder it’s tough getting back into everyday post-holiday life! So many of my favourite things – french beans, doughnuts (ate 6 in a row the night before baby no1 was born), pretty little side streets and kids fooling around!
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  28. the frenchie mummy

    Oh mon dieu! You make me feel like going back to France now! Even if where I am from is not that nice!!!! Your pics are gorgeous, you are always so smiley and your little boys look so Frenchies LOL #brillblogposts

    Reply
  29. Amanda

    What a heady journey you just took us on! I’ve actually never had the urge to go to this region but oh my, now it’s on my must-do list! Looks like you all had an idyllic time and amazing the boys were so fab! Wish I could say the same about mine this summer! Thanks for real holiday envy!!!

    Reply
  30. Lucy At Home

    I think it’s always special taking your children somewhere that was special to you as a child! The photography in this post is truly stunning! I’m rubbish at taking photos. I especially love that first cobbled street one, with the feet just disappearing into the distance. Exciting! #brillblogposts

    P.S. I have a little one who has a thing about taking her shoes off too 😉
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Kidloland: Review and GiveawayMy Profile

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    • Honest Mum

      Aw thanks darling, husband took most although I took a few of the sea and palm tree ones, how funny that our kids like to take their shoes off! x

      Reply
  31. Lisa

    Wow, what a magnificent holiday you and your family had! I’ve been to many of the places you went, and with your luscious photos, I feel like I went again. Thank you so much for sharing all of those, and thank you for hosting!

    PS I adore the candy floss photo with you and your son; it is so charming.
    Lisa recently posted…How to wear chokers, 20 years laterMy Profile

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    • Honest Mum

      Aw that’s so lovely and thank you, a lot of candy floss was consumed on this trip! So lovely to take the kids to places I’ve been going since I was a child, you really get to relive your life through your little ones x

      Reply

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