Posts Tagged ‘france’
Craving some sun after the British summer wash out? Take advantage of our double holiday discount; with our post-school holiday savings and last-minute booking deals catching some late French or Spanish sun is even more affordable.
We have self-catering accommodation available in France and Spain for as little as £43 per person per week for autumn sun destinations including the south of France, the Ardèche, Atlantic Coast, Picardy, Brittany and the Costa del Sol in Spain.
And if that’s not enough, paying for your booking in Euros will also save you money with the Euro currently at 1.27 versus the pound* - one of the best rates available during the last 18 months!
All of our apartments and Holiday Villages are self-catering and are equipped with cooking hobs, a dishwasher, fridge, microwave oven, coffee machine and full sets of crockery and cutlery. Many apartments also have air conditioning, a dining area and garden furniture on the balcony or terrace. Breakfast, bakery, grocery and delicatessen delivery services are also available for those looking for a part-catered break.
Below are outlined a selection of the top savings on late sun accommodation for holidays taken between September and November:
Pierre & Vacances Holiday Village Cap Esterel, French Riviera – from £85.50 per person
A sea view studio sleeping up to four people from 15-22 September is discounted to £342 from £488.
Perched on a red rock hillside, Cap Esterel overlooks the magnificent Mediterranean Sea. Its self catering apartments are surrounded by a golf course and gardens, and just 30 minutes away from the white sandy beaches and cosmopolitan night life of Cannes. There are also three large swimming pools with wave machines, horse riding, spa treatments, tennis courts and bicycle hire to enjoy in the Holiday Village.
Pierre & Vacances Holiday Village Moliets, Atlantic Coast of France – from £55.25 per person
A studio sleeping up to four people from 15-22 September is discounted to £221 from £276.
This car-free holiday village is set within a picturesque pine forest and boasts four adult pools, bicycle hire, tennis, local sailing and surfing schools, and is within easy reach of sandy beaches, the buzzing seaside resort of Biarritz and the stunning Landes de Gascogne regional park.
Pierre & Vacances Residence Torremolinos Stella Polaris, Costa del Sol – from £58.50 per person
A studio apartment sleeping three people from 29 September 6 October is discounted to £234 from £320.
Located in the centre of Torremolinos on Spain’s sandy Costa del Sol, apartments in this recently renovated residence have direct access to the famous Bajondillo beach. As well as two swimming pools, guests can also enjoy authentic Spanish spots and sights in Torremolinos on their doorstep, such as the ‘La Carihuela’ fisherman’s quarter.
Pierre & Vacances Residence Roquetas de Mar, Andalucia – from £43.84 per person
A two bedroom apartment sleeping up to six people from 6-13 October is discounted to £263 from £376.
Located on the Gulf of Almeria, apartments in this newly built residence enjoy views of the sea or the lush greenery of the Playa Serena golf course. Guests can enjoy the residence’s large outdoor pool and solarium, the sandy Cerillos beach just 450m away and the Puntas Entinas-Dabinar nature reserve just 300m away.
Bookings can be made at www.pierreetvacances.co.uk / 0870 0267 144
*Exchange rate correct on 22/8/2012.
Forget Wimbledon, football championships and the ‘O word’ we can’t mention, the highlight of our sporting calendar is the annual Pierre & Vacances summer Petanque party.
This hotly anticipated event features wine, cheese and a fiercely fought Petanque contest, which is always guaranteed to bring out the competitive nature in all our lovely travel partners and francophile friends.
Here, the lovely Elodie from our team gives you a glimpse behind the scenes of organising our summer party, from choosing the wine and cheese in Calais, to hightailing it to a Parisian themed bar when the British weather threatened to spoil our fun!
‘At 7am the day before the party I took the ferry from Dover with P&O Ferries (thank you to Daniel Acarnley for organising!) and went to Calais to buy all the French food and booze needed for our summer event.
‘A short hour and a half later we were in Calais and decided to buy the drink first, white and red wine from “Calais à vin”. They had a huge range, so of course we had to try a few – to be sure we made the right decision of course!
‘The day of the event came and all eyes were firmly glued to the weather forecast. Last year’s event was bathed in glorious sunshine, but sadly this year the weather was not on our side, with heavy rain and strong winds howling down on our little gazebo – not ideal conditions for playing Petanque on the beach!
‘However, being the true sport and Petanque enthusiasts that we are, we still managed a small competition with the help of the Brighton Petanque Club Association - with a few people holding our gazebos down…
‘After the short competition and a fast “aperitif”, everyone sheltered from the storm in our local chic French bar “The Paris House” to continue the party in drier conditions.
‘Martyn Summers and Ian Burgess won the hotly contested Petanque competition, and to reward their dedication they each received a basket full of French local produce such as the famous Saucisson from Ardèche, a bottle of Sancerre and paté.’
Inspired by our Francophile fun? For Love France week we’re giving away two limited edition Pierre & Vacances Petanque sets over on our Facebook page!
And thank you to everyone who braved the British weather and came along, the Paris House Brighton for taking us in at the last minute, and to KBC PR & Marketing Team for their contribution to the event.
If you’re a diehard fan of our blog you might be keenly anticipating Nick’s annual write up about his family holiday to one of our Pierre & Vacances Holiday Villages in France. Well, it’s here!
Not a diehard fan of this blog? You will be! And then why not try a visit to Pierre & Vacances’ Normandy Garden holiday village in France yourself – and see why Nick and his family loved it!
We decided on Normandy Garden as we wanted a June half-term break to France, not far from Calais, but with lots to do inside as the weather forecast was rubbish. Normandy Garden sells itself as an all-weather holiday park. So Normandy Garden it was.
A ferry to France
Our littles ones, aged 5 and 3, still love the ferry, so we booked a return ferry crossing with DFDS Seaways who have just started running crossings with LD Lines ships on the Dover-Calais route. Though we were late (again!) DFDS very kindly found us a place on the next boat and the journey was excellent. The kids loved the soft play area and we had a bite to eat from the cafe which offers hearty French and English cuisine at a reasonable price.
From Calais the journey to Normandy Garden is relatively straightforward, and between 2.5 and 3 hours with only a few small toll charges to pay. We all got very excited about the breathtaking journey over the Pont de Normandie bridge.
Normandy Garden Holiday Village Review
When we arrived at Normandy Garden the staff were very welcome and checking in was very quick. Fortunately the mini-market is right next to reception so we were able to grab a few essentials before heading to our house. We had reserved one of their new two bedroom VIP houses. It was lovely.
Both modern and stylish with a bit of Normandy charm thrown in. We particularly loved the spacious modern shower room and the special touches like the DVD player and the Senseo coffee machine (no mess!). Plus there were lovely views of the villages from our terrace.
If the kids had their way we wouldn’t have left the village. Number one on the daily list was the heated swimming pool ‘aqua’ complex with large central pool, lazy river, a choice of hot tubs, a great paddling area for little ones, and two outdoor pools with sunbathing area.
Number two was the hugh indoor playarea – perfect for the Normandy weather. Also in the village is a football pitch, tennis courts, table tennis, outdoor play area, crazy golf and a petanque terrain. You can hire bikes and horse riding is nearby.
Our youngest wanted to try the children’s club so we booked them both in for a session with three other English girls and they had a lovely time. We didn’t eat in the restaurant this time but there is a fab takeaway service where you can order pizza, roast chicken or kids meals and take them back to the apartment.
Things to do with the kids in Normandy
When we did manage to get them out and about in Normandy we enjoyed Trouville and Deauville. We found the Trouville beach to have more for the children to do, including an aquarium which unfortunately was closed for lunch when we tried to get in. The nearest resort to Normandy Garden is Villiers Sur Mer which is a lovely little resort with a choice of restaurants and ice cream stalls.
We also spoke to other families in the village with older children who had made the most of visits to Normandy Landing beaches, D-Day events and nearby Bayeaux. Which all seemed to go down very well with the kids and the adults!
Book Normandy Garden online or by calling 0870 0267 145.
The France Show 2012! An eclectic mix of everything that makes France fantastique – travel, food, wine tasting, cooking demonstrations by talented French chefs, talks on France by well known writers and presenters, and cancan dancers!
We had a very busy show, and met lots of lovely loyal Pierre & Vacances customers and new ones too. And there was of course the Pierre & Vacances petanque pitch, manned by our petanque expert Bruce, ready and waiting for intrepid fans to come and show us what their boules were made of!
The pitch proved to be hugely popular, with Bruce kept busy playing, demonstrating and guiding the petanque players of the future who stopped by. And for those wanting to take the weight off their feet and have a rest, Jeremy was on hand to whip up a tipple of Marseille aperitif Ricard.
On Sunday we held a petanque pairs competition, featuring 18 teams from across the UK who battled it out for the first prize of a holiday to France with Pierre & Vacances and DFDS Ferries. The quality of the competition was fantastic and only a few players were distracted by the Ricard tasting available next to the terrain!
And the proud petanque winners were husband and wife team Lee and Angie Jamieson! With runners up Nick Goodheart and Mal Hanley from Harrow winning a limited edition Pierre & Vacances petanque set. All together now: oooh!
Below are some more pictures from our The France Show weekend, hopefully tempting those who couldn’t make this year to put it in their diary for 2013!
See you next year!
Martin Scorsese’s new film Hugo Cabret is the story of a young orphan who lives in the walls of a bustling 1930s Paris train station, maintaining the clocks and working on his late father’s greatest ambition – a broken mechanical man. You can watch the Hugo Cabret trailer here:
To mark the imminent release of this magical film we thought we’d pay homage to its lavish back drop – Paris in the 1930s… an almost mythical decade when Hollywood vied with couture in Parisian fashion and electricity ignited the city for a new, modern era. All to the backdrop of a groovy jazz soundtrack
And for starters here is a video of Paris in the ‘beautiful 1930s’ – and it’s not hard to see why this decade was chosen for Hugo Cabret’s fantastical world.
Artists in 1930s Paris
1930’s Paris served as a flame to artistic souls, who were drawn to the City of Light, the world capital for the avant garde of free thinking intellectuals. Picasso and Hemmingway, Balthus and Louis Armstrong are just some of the names associated with the city during the ‘30s, when it became a hotbed of writers, artists and sculptors, film-makers and musicians.
Entertainment in 1930s Paris
From Edith Piaf, discovered in the Pigalle area of Paris by nightclub owner Louis Leplée in 1935, to Charles Trenet and Jean Sablon, Paris was also a hotbed of musical talent.
Jazz clubs were all the rage, with the likes of legendary jazz singer and dancer, Josephine Baker, taking the scene by storm.
Fashion in 1930s Paris
Paris fashion houses kicked off the decade with a return to the higher waist, longer skirt and the tighter silhouette line. But as the ‘30s progressed, theatrical costumes from the movies began to make an impact…
Hollywood had a lot to answer for in terms of the major fashions of the 1930s and Paris couture was no exception. Influential Parisian designer, Lucien LeLong said: ”We, the couturiers, can no longer live without the cinema any more than the cinema can live without us. We corroborate each others’ instinct.”
Italian born Elsa Schiaparelli – or “Schiap” as she was known to friends in Paris – was another designer to embrace Hollywood, dressing several stars along the way including Mae West in the 1937 film, Every Day’s a Holiday.
Puffed-sleeved gowns, lavish Scarlett O’Hara ‘barbeque’ dresses and tipped velvet hats were all the rage by 1939.
Schiap was also heavily influenced by contemporary artists from the growing Surrealist group in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris, including Man Ray and Salvador Dali. In a telegraph to the editorial offices of Photoplay Magazine listing highlights of the 1938 Paris fashion scene, costume designer, Edith Head, wrote: ”Paris says: Long waistlines, short flared skirts, fitted bodices, tweeds combines with velvet, warm colors…”
Jazz in 1930s Paris
And to unwind? The intellectual elite and jazz hounds made a beeline for now legendary bistros including L’Ami Louis, Boeuf sur le Toit, La Coupole and The Vaudeville.
L’Ami Louis was legendary even back then, serving, it is claimed, “more game, especially ortolons and bécasses, than anywhere else in Paris, as well as a hundred lobsters every day”.
Picasso was allegedly a regular at Boeuf sur le Toit. The ‘boeuf’ in this instance being French slang for a jam session.
The Vaudeville and La Coupole are two of the few remaining brasseries decorated by the Art Deco renowned Solvet brothers, La Coupole especially was frequented in the ‘30s by the likes of Man Ray and Josephine Baker.
Iconic sights around 1930s Paris
Developments such as the Le Stade de Roland Garros, home of the French Open – built at the end of the 1920s – became synonymous with progress and the modern world typified by Paris in the 30s.
TVs made an appearance in the homes of Parisians whilst Peugeot and Citroens became common sights on the city’s streets (even the odd Bugatti!).
In architecture, the geometric shapes created by Le Corbusier changed the face of the modern building.The Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne took place in Paris in 1937. The Musée de l’Homme was founded by ethnologist, Paul Rivet, specifically for the occasion.
So there you have it – simmering with artistic geniuses, 1930s Paris built on the city’s unique cafe culture and reputation for innovation to become a mecca for artists, singers, actors, authors and designers. So if you fancy a Parisian adventure of your very own, Pierre & Vacances has a range of self catering aparthotels in the heart of the city.
Hugo Cabret is in cinemas 2 December 2011.