From the seaside town where Chanel opened her second boutique to the region famed for its intricate lace and particular brand of sweet cream filling. So, on a spa break in France, where should you go?
Nothing beats coffee and a croissant whilst watching the world go by in Paris – here butter wrapped in butter accompanied by a strong hit of caffeine seems to have all the feel good factor in the world – I think it is probably good for the soul. The inspiration of artists and movie makers across the centuries, for every iconic item on the to do list one could do far worse than a wander around this city.
Odd as it sounds, a stroll around the Père Lachaise Cemetery offers posthumous intrigue as the burial ground for the famous and infamous including Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. An evening at the Moulin Rouge is the height of glitz sparkle and a touch of scandal, and from the bustling Champs-Élysées to the more intimate Montmartre, you can never get bored in Paris.
Meanwhile, accommodation includes the likes of the Hotel Molitor Paris – a 1930s hotspot where only Clarins will do in the spa.
A 15 minute drive from Cannes, Mougins is in the district of Grasse in southeastern France. A village surrounded by forests, such as the Valmasque forest and peppered with pines, olives, and Cyprus trees, it has become a favoured hotspot amongst artists and celebrities including including Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Man Ray and Yves Saint Laurent. You would be hard pushed to be in more elegant company.
Mougins is described as the capital of gastronomy and art – a decadent combination – and surveying a region rich in beaches and leisurely outdoor activities, it is the architecture and style itself that impresses, sitting as it does, like a citadel on its hill, dominating towns and villages towards the very base of the Alps.
Stay at the likes of Le Mas Candille, a five star destination surrounded by olive groves, in a farmhouse that dates to the 18th century. It also has a Michelin Star gourmet restaurant that’s overseen by chef David Chauvac.
This seaside town has a historic reputation amongst the rich and fashionable, which is why Chanel chose to open her second boutique here when her name and reputation began to grow.
On France’s Basque coast, it has been a popular resort since European royalty began visiting in the 1800s, but these days it’s also known as a major surfing destination, with long sandy beaches and plenty of surf schools. Just take it from us – those waves can take you by surprise so make sure you hold onto your swimming costume!
When visiting, stay at the Sofitel Biarritz Le Miramar Thalassa sea & spa where five star luxury is accompanied by healthy living, the healing power of seawater and the art of thalassotherapy.
Named after the River Loiret in east-central France, Loiret is a historic city peppered with magnificent architecture including a cathedral dating back to the 13th century, which was rebuilt after being destroyed by Protestant forces in 1568.
Meanwhile, The Loire Valley is famous for its many chateaux, which is one of the things that makes Chateau d’Augerville such an ideal place to stay. Like being a part of the region’s intrinsic history, it is surrounded by spectacular grounds including a nature reserve and even has its own chocolatier.
Famed for its lace and its cream confectionary, Chantilly is small and select, dominated by restored chateaux, parkland, gardens and the Forêt de Chantilly, offering a wealth of walking opportunities. Racing in Chantilly at the racetrack is a particularly prestigious affair that requires getting dressed up in your finest, and it’s all just 50km from Paris.
Where you stay is very much a dominant factor in your experience of the location and Auberge du Jeu de Paume Chantilly from Relais & Châteaux is a perfect example. Surrounded by gardens that have been styled in 17th century tradition, the hotel is all about five star luxury complete with a restaurant that boasts two Michelin stars. Polo, golf, horse riding, or simply a wander around the grounds are all part of the experience, and all 30 minutes from Charles de Gaulle airport.