Summer 2012: French favourites
Kate Simon is the Travel Correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. She was Travel Editor of The Independent on Sunday from 2005 to 2011. Kate is also the co-founder of Little Black Book Creative (www.lbbcreative.co.uk), which offers editorial services, media relations consultancy and travel-writing training.
Sunday 27 May 2012
Brittany's south coast is the setting for Les Jardins d'Arvor, a new complex of 134 family friendly apartments at Bénodet that is being sold through Brittany Ferries (0871 244 1444; brittanyferries.com/holidays).
The apartments sleep between two and eight and are within reach of four beaches, the medieval city of Quimper, and the Glénan Islands. This summer, a family of four pays a total of £1,045 for a week, including ferry crossings from Portsmouth, Poole or Plymouth.
The newly renovated Monte-Bianco hotel, near Saint-Gervais, is open for summer fun in the Alps. There's plenty to do in the mountains, from glacier trekking to tours of Mont Blanc. The 84-bedroom hotel has an indoor pool, and kids' clubs provide diversion for youngsters from 18 months to 16 years. Peak Retreats (0844 576 0123; peakretreats.co.uk) offers seven nights' half board at the hotel from £464 per adult and £294 per child, with ferry crossings from Dover to Calais. A night in a hotel en route costs £98 for a family room.
You could set up home in the Dordogne this summer. Simply Périgord (0033 553 545431; simply-perigord.com) has a number of properties available to rent. A new addition is the Maison de la Forêt, a three-bedroom stone house, near Le Bugue. Sleeping up to six, it costs €2,275 (£1,800) per week. Beau Bois, a house sleeping eight with a pool in Campagne, costs €2,285 per week. Return flights are currently available to Bergerac from Stansted, Liverpool, East Midlands and Bristol, starting from £139 with Ryanair (0871 246 0000; ryanair.com).
Sharpen up your dinner-party skills on a cooking and wine tasting course, a new experience from Flavours of France Cookery Holidays (flavoursfrance.com). The four- and five-day courses are held in the gastronomic hub of Lyon, and include classes led by Simon Huet, from local Michelin-starred restaurant Têtedoie, as well as tours of beaujolais vineyards. With departures on 27 July and 17 August, the trip costs from £865 per person, including accommodation, most meals, classes and excursions. Flights to Lyon from Gatwick, Stansted, and Edinburgh airports currently cost from £86 return with easyJet (0843 104 5000; easyjet.com).
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