Les Gorges du Verdon

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Carrying on from exploring the UK, I set about exploring France when I went back home to Nice. About 1h30 drive from Nice, just above St-Tropez is the national Park of Verdon. Mom and I decided to go explore it but rather than just a day trip we thought to make a weekend of it, and swing by Avignon first.

Famous for well.... It's nursery rhyme (Sur le pont d'Avignon, on y danse on y danse), Avignon was a very pleasant surprise. We stayed in a lovely Airbnb and spent most of Friday exploring the streets and the Papal Palace. Avignon has lots of cute little bistros, with organic and healthy foods as well as local wine. This was quite refreshing, it isn't common to be able to eat healthy whilst on holiday.... Especially in the middle of wine country!

The next day we made our way towards the Gorges.... Not forgetting to stop by Chateauneuf du Pape first. Because it would be rude not to!

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After visiting a few vineyards we thought it best to stop for lunch before making our way to our hotel for the night. 

The "hotel" if you can call it that, is quite the family inside joke. It is in fact an old 12th century castle that was renovated into a pretty fancy hotel. My family, in fact, visited the castle many years ago when I wasn't much older than 2. Here is when the joke comes in. 2 year old me was quite fond of her pacifiers, whilst mom thought it well time for me to give them up already. So.... At our last visit to the castle, a perfectly timed ghost just *happened* to swing by our room and *happened* to steal all my pacifiers (all the ones at home too! Crazy right?). Living me with a rather bittersweet taste of Chateau de Trigance... I'm happy to report that no ghosts came to taunt me this time round!! Pay them a visit here.

All joking aside, it is a beautiful hotel owned and run by a lovely family for generations! So if you're in the area, definitely consider it.... But sleep with one eye open!

After a good night's sleep and a great breakfast in the old swords room... Mom and I made our way to the Gorges for a bit of hiking!

Les Gorges du Verdon are famous for its gut-renchingly steep cliffs that dive into a turquoise river 500m below... The windy road is separated from the cliff by little stone walls or.... nothing at all! This makes for a rather exciting drive (Mommy less than agrees) and even more breathtaking hikes!

The most famous hike is called Le Sentier Blanc Martel, which is a difficulty 4 and 6hrs one way. Mom and I thought that was a bit much so we settled for Le Sentier du Pécheur, a more sensible 3hr hike. It is labelled as a family hike, you start at the top of the gorges, walk down, along the turquoise waters and all the way back up again. It was just enough to walk off the wine tasting from the day before...

If hiking is not your thing, I would still recommend paying the gorges a visit, you can rent kayaks and pedalos near the Lac de Ste Croix and make your way into the gorge that way. In the summer you may even be brave enough to jump in for a dip!

I really enjoyed this weekend, and I'd recommend it to anyone spending a bit of time in the south of France, especially in the cooler Autumn months.

Goodwood Revival

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dad was invited to go to the Goodwood Revival last month, and decided to take me along! I had never been, and didn't really know what to expect.... But I must say, I was really impressed!

The deal is that not only are people there to look at the world's most unique and beautiful cars, they also make incredible efforts to throw you back to the 1940s. 

Dad and I stayed at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, which in itself was a sight to see! A lot of people going to Goodwood were staying there, which made for an interesting breakfast bunch! Think top hats, racing overalls and petticoats! 

After a couple of hours at Goodwood you would almost forget what year it was.... Except for the occasional iPhone snap here and there. Even the police cars were "d'époque".

Another thing that impressed me at Goodwood was the racing. I couldn't imagine it to be quite so exciting! You wouldn't think that people owning these pieces of art and history would be willing to go all out on the racetrack. Well like me, you would be wrong. The racing is definitely for real, and the cars for sure get bumps and bruises!




After a tour of the stands, we settles for a rather...l civilised lunch! With an uncomparable view of the track. 



We strolled back to the race control stands after lunch, to see the race of the day on the first line.

The style of Goodwood oscillated between the glamorous 40/50s and the bright and bold colours of the 70s. Seeing all these styles together makes the festival that much more fun!

Until next year Goodwood.... For we will definitely be back! 


   PS: this is a collectors peddle car... What! 


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Whale whale whale.... What have we got here? A road trip that's what!
Working in Derby this summer, I was able to explore more of the UK, which happens to be rather stunning! On today's agenda: Wales.

First stop: Snowdonia. Dramatic mountains, windy roads, waterfalls and sheep seem to be the common denominators of this part of the world. 
The roads are beautifully windy and admittedly quite scary at times but before you know it you are crossing the bridge onto Anglesey!

On the way there, we stopped to explore a closed down copper mine that was converted into a museum of sorts. They do a good job at making things interesting and you'll learn a lot if you pay them a visit! You can find them here.


If you do make it to Anglesey, try to go to the South Stack Lighthouse near Holyhead, especially for sunset! Waves crashing into cliffs below and the constant howling of the wind will make you forget anything happening back in London, guaranteed.

Next up, discovering Anglesey! The drive back to England along the coast is just as grand, and car hiking is always more relaxing than actual hiking, am I right? 


That's all for now! Stay tuned for more adventures coming to a screen near you...

Back in Business

Monday, September 14, 2015

Today is the day! This year has been pretty quiet for me to write on the blogosphere, but things have come and gone, I am freshly graduated, moving to Oxford and ready to Gabalot! (see what I did there?)

Let me treat this post as a catchup, we are all old friends after all (because lets not pretend I have anyone but my friends following this blog), and show you what's been going on!

First things first... Oxford. I'm moving there in a month! It's been such a whirlwind of a year, but I will soon begin the long journey that is a PhD! Madness.


Before moving however, I've been enjoying my last free summer as a student.... Before I become a professional student! This mostly involves traveling, and well avocado on toast. 


I'm really excited to be sharing all my travels with you this month, so until then.... Au revoir!


Pumpkin Surprise Halloween Cake!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween is just around the corner, and I'm here to show you a fang-tastic recipe! Surprise in the middle cakes are super easy to do and are sure to impress your guests!

To make it you will need two cakes, I chose a vanilla sponge and a chocolate sponge. Use any recipes you like, but feel free to use this chocolate cake!

First bake your vanilla sponge. It would be really cute to color the sponge orange to have an even spookier cake! You could even flavour it with orange zest to have a chocolate orange cake... yum.

I baked the vanilla sponge in a loaf tin, un-moulded it, and then cut it into slices. You can then cut out your pumpkins from the slices and put them back in the tin!

Make sure you pack in lots of pumpkins so that when you pour the chocolate mixture on top it doesn't leak in between. Once you've carved your pumpkins, make your chocolate sponge and pour it in the loaf tin.

Bake as you normally would, the white sponge won't over bake and as it is in the middle it will stay moist!

Un-mould your cake, let it cool before cutting into it and be prepared for a surprise!!

Isn't it cute?!

A Flatmate in Nice and Paris Fashion Week!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I know this is a bit delayed, but I am trying to catch up with my blogposts! So prepare yourselves for an overflow of GiftofGaby posts in the next coming weeks...

September in Nice is my favorite time of the year, the sun is no longer scorching and the tourists have flown back home. The sea is calm and the air is crisper! One of my flatmates, Ell, who you've met in Sevenoaks, came down to visit! So I played tour guide... I really love it when people come around because it gives me an excuse to do loads of touristy things!

We drove up to the quaint village of Èze, above Monaco. I've always loved Èze but hadn't visited in a while. The view is truly breathtaking and the drive is really quite fun! (think winding roads with a ditch of more than 300m to your side).

I found a door to my size! This seems to be a recurring theme this summer... After going around the tiny village we settled at a terrace and enjoyed chilled glasses of rosé... tough life on the Côte d'Azur I tell you!

With only one week left of the holidays, Mom and I decided to go visit my big bro in Paris! He just moved there and we thought it was time for him to be a tour guide!

We realised, rather at the last minute, that we were going bang in the middle of Paris Fashion Week! If that isn't the best people watching week... then I don't know what is!

We visited the Louvres, walked by the Seine and stuffed our faces with pastries! A week well spent.

I rocked my new boyfriend jeans from Zara and Brandy Melville top! I didn't quite look as fashionable as all the fashionistas out there, but that's as far out of my comfort zone I could go!

We met up with Xavier for dinner, and took rather silly siblings pictures, as you do.

That's all for now... Salut!

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