The scent of pine and jasmine...

posted on: Friday, 12 June 2015

I've been to Monaco since last week. My husband won an award with his work and so we were treated. I kept writing and re-writing in my head what I would tell you about my trip because it was just so lovely and special that I felt I must capture it moment by moment. Turns out it's harder than I thought. The reasons why it was so lovely are numerous and varied, but let's start with: was away from here!

I never think I want to escape my life until I escape my life and then look in through a different lens. Going to Monte Carlo on a luxurious break was a tonic of the best kind. It is the most glamorous place, so chic and so very beautiful. We stayed in a hotel suite high up above the bay, and slept with the doors open, listening to the waves. One day we took bikes and cycled through villa-lined residential roads (who actually lives there?!!), the sun beating down, the air smelling of pine and jasmine. We attended a cocktail party at the Villa Rothschild which sits atop a hill overlooking the Riviera bay. It was like something out of 'Tender is the Night' by F Scott Fitzgerald. We swam in the crystal clear Mediterranean. I wore white and it was appropriate! We drank way too much rosé. We watched fireworks at a gala dinner where the roof of the building we were in opened up, swished aside (yes, really!) and the night sky lit up. We listened to Euro-pop in a nightclub, drinking pink champagne, with sore toes from dancing for hours. And each morning a new fleet of super-yachts belonging to the super-rich had moored overnight. It was surreally, wonderfully fabulous. I know I am gushing now...

We had the most fun.

I completely fell in love with the place.

And now I am home. Rather hungover, literally and figuratively.

And so to the rest of my life. Honestly the contrast couldn't be greater! They are planting courgettes in the fields around my house so there have been tractors all day. Tonight my son has cricket practice so we go and have a beer and chat to the locals. The house is....well, the house is still what it was yesterday and the day before: undone. I have an incongruous French June tan as the weather here has been chilly. I now want summer more than ever!

It was lovely to come home to the children though and having a few days apart reminded me of all the good and lucky I have in my life. Nothing like a bit of perspective.

Oh and I hate to say it, but Victoria is no longer with us :-( another life lesson in nature and survival of the fittest! Victoria II is arriving over the weekend...


  1. I've been dying to ask for ages - are your pictures of you/your family/your home/your life or do you find them on the internet? I am a pedantic and need to know if its you I am looking at (and admiring the dress/figure of), or some random woman! Thank you!

    1. Hi Debbie - I'm afraid it's not me :-) it's an unknown source from the web; but isn't she lovely?! Lou x

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  2. How wonderful your trip sounds. I LONG for some luxury. Many years ago I used to visit a beautiful villa in the South Of France for 2weeks. We would take the ferry from Saint Maxime across to St Tropez. It is entering another world, a little taste of luxury before heading home to wellies and dogs! I LOVE my country life, but sometimes, just sometimes I would like to live in "that" world. Have a lovely weekend x

  3. What a fabulous glamorous trip! It sounds wonderful and quite the experience. A little escape from the norm is often the perfect 'pick me up' - and an early tan helps! Happy weekend back home.

  4. I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU WENT TO A PARTY AT THE VILLA ROTHSCHILD......OMG!!! How fabulous, it is the most incredible house isn't it, completely other-worldly. The view at night, the lights, the fireworks - did all the ships toot their horns in approval when the fireworks ended, my children love that part!

    Lovely to escape, even just for a few days, good for you Xx

  5. Oh, Simone said it all. One year I sent everyone invitations to stay with us in the South of France at that house, showing photos of the bedroom and exterior, of course, it was a silly joke but so much fun. I think one of the finest pleasures is seeing how these people live/lived. I toast them when I'm there. But, I did get to sit next to Sir Richard Branson in the restaurant at the Casino ... not to shabby, right? xx's

  6. How wonderful Lou …….. these experiences are what life and travel are all about.
    …….. BUT, I actually do love getting back home and back to real life, don't you ?
    …… and, congrats to your clever husband on winning an award from work …….. what a treat to go on such a glamorous trip….. don't let him leave that job !!!!!!!!! haha XXXX

  7. Your trip sounds fabulous and needed ~ I think we all need a little escape every now and then ~ it helps us appreciate what we have. Hope you are having a great weekend. xoxo

  8. Wow! That's quite the escape! I was so jealous when I saw your instagram pics. And I felt so special for getting to use the company's seats at Fenway Friday night! :-) Here in the US, there are awards that send winners to Hawaii - several of my husband's team members have gotten to go the last couple years, and I keep asking "When is it our turn?!?" Patience, Mary, patience. Anyway, I digress...

    How lovely that you got to escape real life for a few days. It looks gorgeous. And now back to everyday life. Perspective is most certainly a beautiful thing.

    Happy Monday!