Average temperature °C
2-3 hours from London
France is our nearest neighbour and oldest ally. The sophistication of the people and the beauty of the countryside have kept it one of the most popular destinations for us Brits.
With its fabulous restaurants, mind-blowing galleries and wonderful clothes shops there is something for everyone. From the chic cities all over the country to the elegant interior to the beautiful people on the beaches this country never fails to impress.
It is wonderful to take the Eurostar to Paris – or even right down to the south and step out into La Belle France. Sip a cafe noir on the boulevarde before a little light shopping or just relax on one of France’s many beaches. This country is a foodie’s heaven with wonderful markets and glorious vineyards. Choose from the famous foie gras country around Bergerac to the glitz of the Riviera, we assure you that you’ll come back again.
What can’t we tell the French about cuisine isn’t worth knowing. Chefs from all over the world learn all the French techniques as a basic part of their training. These rich traditions of cooking have been perfected over many centuries.
Some of the most popular dishes in France include Tournedos, entrecôte, gigot de présalé served with flageolets or pommes dauphines.
If you are a seafood lover then you won’t forget the fresh fish, oysters, mussels, or shrimp. Sample croissant or brioche at breakfast with the best cafe au lait. French cheese is utterly delicious and can be extremely smelly! The French are fiercely proud of their wines and aperitifs - unquestionably among the most delicious in the world, but nothing beats an ice cold glass of champagne - Sante!
Follow the miles of coast for water sports or relaxation on the beaches; reach for the mountains to ski or soak up the cultural atmosphere of a city. Be as classical or as extreme as you can imagine - France has it all. France is bordered by three bodies of water: the English Channel to the north, Atlantic Ocean to the west and Mediterranean Sea to the south. There are fabulous museums and art galleries in the cities and endless markets (day and night!) to sample all the delicacies that France has to offer.
Unless you are by the sea, in Paris or pretty far south nightlife in France is very low key. The French countryside is remarkably peaceful and underpopulated and the liveliest you would get is a joyous village fete and these remain incredibly charming.
Eating out in France is a fairly early affair but many towns have night clubs and bars open late.
A trip to France would not be complete without a tour of some of the wine regions, such as Champagne or Bordeaux. To enjoy the tasting, take a bike and cycle through the countryside. For a city break it must be Paris with the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and Champs Elysees. The northern coast of Normandy and Brittany is steeped in wartime memories, and the Mont St Michel is a fantastic sight, only accessible at low tide. In the south the Cote D’Azur with beautiful beaches, warm Mediterranean waters and the celebrity hot-spots of St Tropez and Monaco can be enjoyed from the comfort of a yacht.
Wine, cuisine, beautiful scenery, skiing, many outdoor sports, culture, unspoiled peaceful countryside wonderful markets.
France is literally teeming with the famous - almost every A list Hollywood star has been to the Cannes Film Festival. Other seasoned lovers of France include Brad Pitt and his French wife Vanessa Paradis, Kate Hudson and Shilpa Shetty. Kate Moss is amongst one of the many supermodels who flock to the beaches around San Tropez and the Club 55 is one of Kylie Minogue’s favourite haunts.