So it’s that time again, Christmas has passed and the Winter blues are tugging at my chunky knit jumper, trying to take a foothold. What does anyone do at this time? Look forward to Summer and more specifically, start planning their Summer holiday.
We have a decision to make this year, Dave and I are on two different side, both attempting to persuade the other round to our way of thinking. He loves Wilma our camper van and would like to go away in her to France as we did two years ago. I’ll admit that it was lovely seeing the children so happy on the campsites but the reason I’m anti is is doesn’t feel like a summer holiday in the traditional sense to me. There is still cooking and cleaning to be done and it’s not luxury by any means.
A summer holiday to me means flying somewhere and getting that wall of heat feeling when you step off the plane, white sands and blue skies, the smell of sunscreen at the pool and food prepared for you. In my mind, I can see myself relaxing somewhere like one of these luxury homes in Greece. Could you get anymore James Bond-esque? The thought of watching one of the breathtaking sunsets from the balcony of one of these stunning houses with a glass of wine in hand is the perfect antidote to the cold grey weather we are currently experiencing here in Britain. It’s not just the stunning scenery and blue seas that call me to Greece either. The food for me is pure heaven. As a vegetarian in France, it can be a bit of a struggle but in Greece, the options are endless with delicious Mezze boards with tempting morsels to try and for my fish loving family it is just perfect too.
Here are some of my favourite foods;
Tzatzikki, I know you can get this dip everywhere but it just isn’t the same as freshly made, served in a beautiful bowl with a drizzle of fresh olive oil on the top, a sea view and crispy pita to dip in!
Dolmades, these little stuffed vine leaf bites are like little pieces of flavour explosion in your mouth.
Mousakka, I LOVE this dish. It’s better on a chilly day but I’ll take it any time! I can never make it properly at home, no matter how many times I try, I always get my aubergines wrong somehow!
Greek salad, perfect on a hot day, I love the combination of fresh feta, cucumber, red onion and gorgeous vine tomatoes. You just can’t get the tomatoes for it in this country, there just isn’t enough sun!
Kolokythokeftedes, say what now! Courgette balls or patties that are flavoured with herbs, fried and served with tzatzikki.
Baklava, the little honey soaked filo pastries with it’s layers of ground nuts. A great way for that sweet kick at the end of a meal!
I’m trying to be balanced, I really am, and I do love Wilma too, believe me I do, the ease of just driving off with everything packed up ready and arriving with everything just as you left it too. Sleeping where you park with just a few adjustments. Stopping where you want and being able to cut out the long flight where you are crammed into a small area with fractious children for several hours. Instead you have the ferry ride and our portable DVD players mean that if they are bored when we are driving, we can pop a film on and the kids are happy for a couple of hours.
On the campsites they make lots of friends and can take their bikes so get to ride around and enjoy the freedom that I had as a child. We can explore chateaus and caves, go canoeing down rivers and lots of the sites have kids clubs.
And yet, I’m still yearning for a ‘proper’ summer holiday. I know that we are lucky enough to have the choice, some people never get a holiday and I feel incredibly fortunate that we are in a position to have one but it is still a great expense for us and I just want it to be perfect.
To try and stay balanced, I asked some blogging buddies of mine for some tips on French campsites they loved.
Jo from Organised Jo gave me her review of the very popular site, Camping Du Letty which you can read here, and Lisa from Travel Loving Family also recommended another fantastic sounding site in Nantes, you can read her review here.
Helen, from the blog Casa Costello has this to say when I asked if anyone could recommend a good site; “Pavilion Royal In sW France (near Biarritz) We love it there & have been for 9 summers.”
In my heart of hearts I know that we will be camping in France again this year, financially its the only option for us as holidays in the school holidays are beyond extortionate so I’m just going to take a moment to think about all the food I wish I was but won’t be eating this summer! I’ll just have to make do with a wealth of fancy cheeses and the most heavenly pastries instead!
So in conclusion, I am just definitely lucky to have a summer holiday, and I know I’ll have a good time regardless, but one day, I’d really really like to stay in one of those luxury Greek homes. Hopefully with a chef to make some of those amazing meals for me!