Living Like a Local on the French Riviera
When I travel I tend to notice things more. Not just the big landmarks, or the people, or the cultural differences, but the scenery and the environment. I tend to appreciate the little things and feel enchanted with the world around me. This, in large part, is due to my love of adventure and, more often than not, where we stay.
You have two options when you travel, stay in a hotel, or stay somewhere a little bit different. To me, a hotel is a hotel. Sure, a five star might be a little more glamorous than a two star, but it's all the same. You have a bed, bathroom, and a TV. Each hotel looks about the same, save for the colors and decor. But when you want to stay somewhere a bit different, how do you go about doing that? Where can you find unique locations? The answer is Glamping Hub.
What I've quickly learned, especially after staying in a gypsy caravan on the French Riviera, is that you can find incredible places to stay that are within your budget. Staying with Glamping Hub was not just a place to sleep, but an experience.
The place we stayed in Mougins, near Cannes, was a gypsy caravan grounds of the lovely guest house of Les Rosees. The owner built it himself to echo the feeling of Provence as the gypsies traveled across France with their caravans and horses. It has a shabby chic feel along with delicate personal touches. There are pictures on the wall of the owner's family, pottery cups and dining ware designed with intention with a local potter, and his and hers sinks and perfumes.
I can honestly say I've never stayed anywhere quite like this, and the experience alone was one of my favorite parts of the trip. One of the most memorable aspects was the cooking. We treated ourselves to a four course dinner, they have a chef on hand, and it was an intimate dinner with just a few other couples as we watched the chef work his magic with roasted lamb. For breakfast in the morning we were treated to piles of croissants, fruit, tea, coffee, cheese, quiche, and even French Toast.
One of the best parts about staying in the Gypsy Caravan was getting to immerse ourselves in the feeling of being French. I know, I know, that might sound ridiculous. But it's true! I loved all the details from the beautiful gardens to the expertly remodeled stone work and the lovely antique furniture. The guest house has been here for over 400 years and it's easy to feel like you're stepping back in time, in the most unique way.
We arrived to Mougins around 4pm and were so tired after driving around through the French Riviera all day. We were also hungry. So, we explored the grounds of Les Rosees a bit and found the Gypsy Caravan tucked away in the garden. We each took a long bath and used the stereo system to listen to traditional French folk music. While this is “glamping” we had full wifi access, electricity, and running water. It's like the comforts of a hotel, but in a more special way.
After settling in, we walked the few steps over to the dining room where we had quite frankly, one of the best meals of my life. I adore French cooking, but this was so delectable. The chef was busy in the kitchen and we watched as he meticulously crafted our appetizers. He had been in the kitchen since we arrived at 4, and we knew this was going to be an exceptional meal. We started with red wine and delicately fried vegetables and the owner greeted each table and talked with us about his recommendations for what to do nearby.
The next course was mushroom soup. Saying that doesn't do it any justice. It was unlike any creamy soup I've ever had before.
Then there was the roast lamb. I was so full but it was so divine I ate the whole thing. Also, the potato on the side was out of this world. And the greens reminded me of some of the best side dishes I've had in Nashville.
We ended the night with a tart willed with raspberry and extra cream. Michael practically drank the cream.
I would come here even just to eat. It was like an intimate party with one of the best chefs in the world.
The next morning we woke up and had a delicious Provençal breakfast fit for kings. We asked our host again the route for what he recommended: drive the loop from Mougins to Gourdon, the city on top of the hill, then drive down to the candy shop for homemade sweets, make your way to Valbonne, then down to Cannes. We listened, and we were so glad we did because it was one of the highlights of the trip.
The incredible city of Gordon is perched on top of the hill and they have more perfume shops than there are churches (which is really saying a lot). We caught the views and could see the outline of the Cõte d'Azur.
We drove down through the mountains and had to stop the car when we saw waterfalls cascading from the side of the mountain. We ran on the road, dodging cars on the narrow road and watched the water cacade down as we were lightly sprayed from the falls. It was so interesting, since the French Riviera is usually known for it's blue coast lined with over the top yachts and homes. But this was such a different view and made me realize how much Provence has to offer.
I was ready for a snack, so we drove down to the famous Confiserie Florian. This shop is unique, from their candied rose petals to the boiled and sugar covered lemon peels. Warning: there are samples.
Next, we headed to Valboone for lunch in the sun. The French Riviera is dotted with these gorgeous ancient towns. You can really get lost in these towns and their rich history and delicious food.
Then it was time for Cannes. We walked on the sand and passed by the famous film festival. We stopped by the yachts and then made our way to the old town. We were so lucky that the weather was exceptional and it made for lovely pictures. Also bonus points for it being much less crowded.
Our last stop for the day was in Antibes. All of these resort towns, though close together, each truly have their own character and even food. Antibes is known for it's delicious bouillabaisse, a traditional Provençal fish stew made with a minimum of 4 different kinds of fish. There's also the old town, flanked by the star-shared Fort Carré.
You can see Fort Carré off in the distance below:
When we got back, we relaxed by the pool, snacked on our candy from the shop, and had a glass of Rosé as the sun went down. It was truly living the life. While of course this was a luxurious stay, it made me feel transported back in time. I felt like I really got to feel what life was like on the French Riviera. All becuase of our stay at this incredible place.
This was such a wonderful experience for us, and it was so unique. Not only did I find a new place to visit, I found a new way to travel. With a unique resource of hand-picked destinations around the world, and suitable for all budgets, I'll definitely be booking with Glamping Hub again.
This post is sponsored by Glamping Hub but all my opinions are my own. Check them out on Instagram: @GlampingHub and with the hashtags: #MyGlampingStory #NewYorkGlamping#GlampingHub #WinterGlamping #FranceGlamping
See our full 8 day Itinerary right here.