Vintage ~ Handmade ~ Homes ~ Gardens

Sunday, 4 September 2011


My trip to Il-de-Re is over far too soon.  What a heavenly place it is. I travelled there by Eurostar/TGV. It may take longer than by plane but it's a great way to observe the French.

I love people watching don't you?  And the French are so fascinating. There was an impossibly glamorous lady seated near me on the TGV down from Paris who was reminiscent of Catherine Deneuve. Now I like to think of myself as fairly stylish but next to the average French woman I feel a frumpy and lumpy! On Friday I asked myself, why is it that on a blistering hot day a French woman will look cool and serene, wearing a jumper (yes woollens!) and I resemble a wrung out dishcloth?

Anyway I digress. To get to the island you take a bus from the station at the lovely coastal town of La Rochelle.

Over a bridge that arcs out to sea ...

... and arrive at the pretty village of La Flotte. It is referred to as France's most beautiful village. Well, I don't know if that's true but by golly it's gorgeous! (Click on photo for larger version)

Il-de-Re is a flat island and everyone cycles everywhere.  I hired a bike for a couple of days and explored the many cycle paths that cover the island. Like this one along unspoilt coastline.

Mon bicyclette. Anyone know the French for saddle sore?

Il-de-Re is often referred to as the Hamptons of France and you can see why. I thought I had stepped into a Boden catologue. Everybody looks so perfect.  This is where well heeled Parisians (and a lot of Brits normally found in Aldeburgh this time of year) holiday. Lots of linen, berry brown limbs, perfect children. They ride charmingly battered bicycles and stay in their holiday homes decorated in French shabby chic style. Truly, I thought of you my fellow bloggers and and how you would be sighing at the sheer gorgeousness of it all! It is French perfection!

Of course there are wonderful little boutiques selling gorgeous things. These shops in St Martin de Re caught my eye.

And back In La Flotte where I stayed there was lots of goodies to splurge on too.

The daily market is held in this beautiful medieval square

Even the donkeys are stylish on Re in their chic striped trousers!

My trip was over all too soon but a return trip with friends next summer is already being planned to this idyllic little island.

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  1. Che isola stupenda!!!E che bei negozi!Ciao,Rosetta

  2. I really enjoyed this post Louise, such a lovely place to visit, I'll be jotting this down in my note book for places to visit :) x

  3. Ah yes, easy to spend money in France. Those donkeys are too adorable

  4. I can see you had a wonderful time in France, Louise !
    You've taken gorgeous photos and I really would like to visit those antiques shops :-)
    Nice week,

  5. Louise,
    How lucky are you! What a great trip! Lovely scenery, great shopping, what more could a girl ask for! Looks like you had a ball!

  6. Love it all. Whenever I am in a place such as this.,one that exudes beauty, charm and exists in a a natural setting I seem to float through the days.

    I would like to do a little floating there.

    Thanks for the visit.

    xo jane

  7. fab :) I am a huge people watcher. I get told off by the hubbie for staring....!

  8. I've found your blog in Laura's Post of the Month Club. I used to go a lot to Ile de Re. I might have been there more than 10 times. It has been really nice to read your Post about the island, the French and the battered bicycles.
    I promise I'll browse through the rest of your blog during the weekend. I've seen that you live in the English countryside, so I'm sure I will find many thinks of my liking!

  9. It looks wonderful! Gotta add it to my list of places to see!

  10. Lovely post with such beautiful photographs. Thanks for sharing at HH UK with Laura...beautiful.

  11. This has been on our list for some time, but it seems difficult to get to from England? Your photographs make it look worth the travel. You have put it back on our radar :) Thank you for joining Post Of The Month! XOL

  12. Came over from HH UK. Your post caught my eye because we just spent the day on Il de Re; we live in France, so for a weekend trip it's totally doable. And it was every bit as gorgeous as your photos!


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