I spent my whole life dreaming of visiting the South of France. I dreamt of picking fresh fruit and olives barefoot, lounging under fig trees and driving down to the Mediterranean to escape the summer heat. It always seemed like a place I’d fall in love with.This summer Sam and I finally had the chance to fulfill my travel dream when we took a road trip starting in Paris and ending in Saint Tropez. The entire experience was truly transformative and exactly as dreamy as I imagined. I can’t wait to go back and dream of spending an entire summer in Provence. In the meantime I’ve been filling my home and my life with reminders of our trip. Even my gifts are infused with these touches courtesy of L’Occitane and their beautiful gift sets. This season L’Occitane has partnered with UNICEF to donate $4 from the sale of each Shea Butter Collection or Shea Butter Deluxe Collection gift sets to help thousands of children around the world. What better way to celebrate the holidays than with beautiful gifts and beautiful intentions.
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*This post was created in collaboration with L‘Occitane.
Over the years my love of travel has grown to a point where being home for more than a few weeks seems daunting. Even if it’s just a short road trip to the desert or up North, I always feel the most inspired when I’m traveling. I love the feeling right before I go somewhere new and cherish the feeling of nostalgia when I visit a familiar place.
When Hat Attack approached me to design a hat for a mini collaboration I instantly knew that it was going to be inspired by my travels through France this summer. I chose a soft grey/ivory color palette reminiscent of the Parisian skyline and added the embroidered Au Revoir detail, which means goodbye in French. I love the way the hat turned out. It has become my favorite travel companion and the perfect fall accessory. The hat is now available at Hat Attack. Pick up yours today!
This weekend Sam and I attended the annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. It’s probably one of my favorite social events of the year. I get to catch up with industry friends all the while sipping on some of the best bubbly. This year I wore a very special dress I bought when Sam and I were in Paris last year. It’s by a Japanese designer, Tsumori Chisato. She adds an incredible sense of whimsy to all of her designs and creates her own beautiful prints. The sailboat print for this dress came from watercolors she painted herself. It’s one of my favorite pieces. It’s delicate, playful, and the sheer draping adds a romantic touch. I pull it out whenever I need something special to wear. I love feeling confident knowing no one else will be wearing this dress.
The first stop on our European road trip was France’s second largest city of Lyon. We had a limited amount of time to spend here, so we did our best to capture the essence of the city in just 24 hours. Lyon has a very different feel than Paris. Even though it receives almost as many visitors, the city has a calm energy and it is not uncommon to find yourself walking through a street totally alone.
We started our day with a grand breakfast spread at Mama Shelter which is the hotel we stayed in. I highly recommend it. It’s brand new and situated a few blocks from the Seine. After breakfast we strolled along the Seine people watching and taking in the city. Our next stop was a decadent lunch.
The most important part about Lyon is that it is considered to be the gastronomic capital of France. It has produced the world’s greatest chefs and this was the main reason we wanted to visit. At the top of our list was the iconic restaurant, Paul Bocuse. Bocuse’s restaurant is the oldest 3 Michelin star restaurant in the world. He is considered to be one of the most famous chefs in France and his restaurant is an ultra authentic experience in French fine dinning. The dishes found on the menu are more than iconic, they are a history of French cuisine. Make sure to bring an appetite because the portions are large, rich, and they keep on coming. This place is an experience in culinary time travel, you have to keep an open mind.
After one of the best meals of our lives Sam and I took one of those touristy boat rides up and down the Rhône river. It was the perfect way to learn more about the extensive history of the city in a short amount of time. We had a dinner reservation at another 2 Michelin star restaurant with a modern take on French cuisine, but to be totally honest we were so stuffed from lunch we never made it. Instead we grabbed a bottle of Rosé and some light snacks, settled down on the banks of the Rhône, and watched a spectacular sunset that seemed to last forever.
Lyon is a beautiful city and worth a visit if you’re looking for a new French city to explore. Make sure to follow along with my Insta Stories. We’re in Provence now on the second leg of our road trip, and off to Italy tomorrow. Let me know if you have any suggestions for the areas around Portofino and Florence.
Welcome to the first post from our European road trip. We spent our first day in Paris where we did what we do best, sit at open air cafes while people watching. We visited our favorite touristy spots like Place de Trocadéro which is the best place to get those iconic Eiffel Tower shots you see everywhere (it’s best if you go early in the morning). We also stopped by the Arc de Triomphe before being treated to an exquisite dinner at Ladurée. The next morning we picked up our gorgeous rental car from Sixt and took off on our road trip.
Follow our road trip on Instagram~ @LateAfternoon and come back to read our travel guides for Lyon, Provence, the coast of Italy and Florence.