Road Trippin’ en France

road trip france

Every summer, The Chapmen pack a suitcase, cram buckets, spades, and our kite into the boot of the car, create a (frankly, epic) holiday playlist, and embark on a driving holiday.  The road trip is not unfamiliar to us.  Mainly because we can’t afford to fly now there are 4 of us requiring seats on a plane.  So when we do fly, it’s going to be to somewhere far, far away, or to somewhere inaccessible by road (hello Greek Islands, I’ll have a lamb kleftiko, ta).

This year we ventured to Charente Maritime in South West France, and stayed at La Palmyre; a lively resort slightly north of Bordeaux and on the Atlantic coast.

road trip france

Although we drove to Portsmouth, got on a ferry, and slept overnight in a cabin, the trip really started in earnest when we disembarked at St Malo and went for a traditional French petit déjeuner in a sweet little cafe within the city walls. Croissants and baguette smeared with jam and rich hot chocolate you make up yourself in a bowl.  I don’t think you can French it up a whole lot more than that.

road trip france

Hot Choc 1

Soon after 10, we got back in the car and made our way towards Rennes, and then Nantes, before heading out of Brittany and through the Vendée towards Charente Maritime.  We drove through an epic storm: the rain was so torrential, the windscreen wipers couldn’t clear it.  We’d borrowed a sat nav for the trip, which proved invaluable for helping with directions as we couldn’t see road signs for the rain.  

road trip france

Once off the Nantes periferique, we found a supermarket and picked up vital supplies, before finding an aire to stop at for a picnic lunch.  Fresh baguette stuffed with garlic roule cheese and the ripest, tastiest tomatoes, pots of apple compote, and a religeuse, the best patisserie ever made.  All washed down with cans of Orangina.  


road trip france

The last leg of the journey was by far the prettiest.  We drove past field after field of beautiful, blousy sunflowers, all bright and cheerful.  


road trip france

There were cornfields and vineyards and wind turbines and charming little villages, the road through adorned with hanging baskets overflowing with flowers, and pretty stone houses with shutters on all the windows.  

road trip france

We drove over enormous bridges and along the coastal road towards La Palmyre, finally arriving at dinner time.  Four happy, hungry road trippers ready to relax and enjoy the rest of the holiday. 

Disclosure: This post is an entry to MoneySupermarket’s £50 Road Trip Challenge.  I was given £50 to fill up my car and hit the open road.  Although the petrol was paid for, all experiences are our own. 


Manor Farm, Jump Back in Time

manor farm farmyard

Day three of half term and we are having fun.  On Monday we went to our usual playgroup, which was heaving.  It was one of the few groups still running in the school holidays and let me tell you, people took full advantage.  It was loud and boisterous and Elliot especially had oodles of fun.  I love that playgroup because a few of my friends go, so it always feels so welcoming and inclusive.  I’ll be sad when Elliot starts school, mainly because I will have no reason to go there anymore.

manor farm hens 1

manor farm kids 1

Anyway, yesterday we went to Manor Farm, and if you are Hampshire Hogs like us, then you really must visit.  And even if you are not quite Hampshire Hogs, if you have inquisitive little ones, then they’ll love it

Continue Reading

Calshot Spit


This is the first year I’ve legitimately been able to talk about, and be involved with, school holidays.  Roo’s preschool only runs in term time.  So yesterday, we made the most of the glorious sunshine, and the fact that we live on the South Coast, and I took my children to Calshot Spit.

Continue Reading