What to pack for a long weekend in the French Riviera: I’m killing two birds with one stone today because as I mentioned on Tuesday, as soon as the exams finish we have a few different breaks planned so I need to be organised. We’re having some little adventures because I’ve realised it’s the last time I’ll be able to plan these things for sure. The middle son is hoping to go travelling next summer and I’ve no idea where the eldest will be so I’m making the most of one last hurrah.
When I posted the pictures of our holiday last year, a couple of people got in touch to say how helpful it would have been to know how I was packing in advance and then see how the clothes worked in situ afterwards so I’m going to try to plan outfits for each break before we go. The things we’re doing are so varied that by the end of it I should have most holiday types covered.
So, I’m beginning with a long weekend on the Côte d’Azur in June. Friends of friends have very kindly offered us their villa for a few days and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it. The younger two are coming with us and the exams will just have finished so they’ve briefed me that culture should be kept to a minimum because they need to rest (poor lambs). I’d like to say that they’re looking forward to the scenery or the cuisine or the opportunity to practice their French but no… the thing they’re most excited about is the fact the villa has a Nintendo Wii so they can ‘go retro’.
Anyway, while they’re inside playing Mario Sport, Mr MC and I will have our own agenda. Let me show you how it’s panning out in my head.
French Riviera Weekend – Day 1
We’re taking a lunchtime flight on a Friday and for once I’m aiming to go with cabin baggage only so my outfits need to work hard. I want to travel in comfort but still feel ‘nice in Nice’ when we arrive so I’m going to wear the navy linen dress that you’ve seen a few times with a simple ecru jacket that will work with everything while we’re there. We’ll arrive at the villa early evening so I’m thinking there might be time for a quick dip in the pool and then, perhaps, a barbecue in the garden.
- Ecru jacket:a hardworking summer jacket at a great price, the perfect cut to wear with midi-skirts, dresses and high waisted trousers
- Linen dress: my old favourite, hangs beautifully, true to size
- Gold espadrilles: a lower heel than the average wedged espadrille and now in the sale
- Pomegranate necklace: 2 years ago my mum-in-law gave me some money for my 50th. I’ve finally found the thing I wanted to buy, a pomegranate with 3 little garnets which link me both to her and my boys
- Straw basket: the easiest way to set your brain into holiday mode
- Gold hoop earrings: large geometric statement earrings – with these you don’t always need a necklace
- Gold silver and bronze sandals: sandals that will work with all of your jewellery. They have this season’s toe separator but they’re comfortable, I promise.
- Bikini top: I’ve just ordered this and it fits perfectly for a classic maritime look.
- Bikini bottoms: I’ve ordered these too but they’re on a 6 week wait, let’s hope they arrive in time. The roll top is a great feature for anyone who still has a small pregnancy pouch below the navel (most of us I suspect).
- Cabin case: I’m updating our suitcases so that we can travel as efficiently as possible this summer
French Riviera Weekend – Day 2
I suspect that I’ll meet with resistance all round if I suggest too much exploring on the first day so we’ll leave the boys to get the Wii out of their system while we relax by the pool. I’m looking forward to getting into “After The End” which a friend has told me is an absolute must-read so I’m saving it for this break. In the evening, we’ll head out to find somewhere to eat nearby.
- Sunglasses: a pair of cool classic sunglasses makes whatever you’re wearing look relaxed and youthful
- Panama hat: the easiest way to read in the sun and still get a tan
- Swimsuit: I’ve bought this and it’s fab you can either tie the strap around your neck or at your back as a bandeau. High neck swimsuits always look chic and are particularly good if you like to go to a beachside bar for lunch.
- After The End: not the lightest holiday read but absorbing so I’m told
- Wide V-neck slub t-shirt: a well-priced t-shirt with a flattering, clavicle exposing wide V
- Dipped hem skirt: I wore this with a swimsuit in Marrakech but it’s so beautiful that I’m also going to use it with t-shirts this summer
- Sandals: see Day 1
- Shell bag: as well as colour you can use texture and detail to subtly echo your environment, this shell bag does just that
- Turquoise resin hoop earrings: statement azure hoops that tone with the sea
French Riviera Weekend – Day 3
In the morning we’ll head off to a local market – it’s years since I’ve been to a French market but I’m thinking cheese and soap and breton tops… who knows what we’ll find. So, I’ve bought a new dress which will work for our main holiday too. In the evening we’re planning to drive along to Cannes for a wander round followed by dinner somewhere.
- Out of office basket: as above
- Sandals: as above
- Dress: a new buy from one of my new favourite shops. A great cut and I love the minimal packaging – it was delivered rolled in a tiny box
- Pomegranate and garnet necklace: as above
- Shell earrings: another way of referencing the landscape, I have a small collection of pieces like this that I keep just for holidays
- V-neck knitted tank: IdLF lists a deep V-necked tank as one of her essentials but they’re really hard to find. I tracked this one down last week and I’m waiting for it to be delivered.
- Seersucker wide leg trousers: these are on their way to me too. I like the cut and the texture of seersucker, it packs easily and feels fresh to wear.
- Shell bag: as above
- Gold hoops: as above
- Gold metallic espadrilles: as above
French Riviera Weekend – Day 4
Our villa is near the sea so we’ll perhaps go down to the local beach for a while. In the evening we might try a fish restaurant on the water’s edge.
- Linen dress: see Day 1
- Bikini top & bottom: see Day 1
- Sandals: see day 1
- Basket: see Day 1
- Knitted V tank: see Day 3
- Tiered midi skirt: I’ve loved this 70s vibe since I first saw it so I’ve ordered it to try as it was showing low availability although they seem to have restocked now.
- Shell bag: see Day 2
- Shell necklace: ringing the changes with a shell necklace – another one for the holiday collection.
- Turquoise hoops:see Day 2
- Gold espadrilles: see Day 1
French Riviera Weekend – Day 5
And as quickly as that we’ll have reached our last day so it’s a morning by the pool before we head home.
- Swimsuit: see Day 2
- Dipped hem skirt: see Day 2
- Sun cream (new packaging just coming through): one of my favourite brands for sun cream, I trust their ongoing dedication to it
- Turquoise earrings: see Day 2
- Sandals: see Day 1
- Ecru jacket: see Day 1
- Cobalt t-shirt: a well-priced supersoft tee with a lovely scooped neck in summer’s best shade of blue
- Seersucker trousers: see Day 3
- Gold hoops: see Day 1
- Espadrilles: see Day 1
What to pack for a long weekend in the French Riviera – summary
So, let’s summarise, this is everything I’m taking and when you look at it all together you can see that it could easily work for a week’s break or even a fortnight if you had a washing machine to hand. Other outfits can be created from these separates and if you added a pair of white or navy shorts (my recommendation in a 4 inch leg) it would work even harder. We aren’t going until the end of June but when we come back, I’ll show you how it all worked out.
A couple of pictures from this week. You can’t really see the dress in this one but it’s last year’s Zara so it doesn’t really matter. This was on Wednesday when I actually stepped away from my desk for once and had lunch in the sunshine.
Zara dress SS18; Shoes (gifted SS19)
And this was yesterday when I had an after work quandary that I put on Instagram – I had the option of going for a quick G&T or I could head home and join the middle son for a gym session. There were lots of sensible people who pointed out that gin should never come before gym and that I ought to do it the other way round but I can only think they’ve forgotten the spontaneous joy of an after work drink in the sunshine. If I’d gone to the gym first everyone would have cleared off by the time I got back so I followed my instinct and did both. And I felt like Rocky when I was doing my weights – which isn’t an impossible thought because I often glance up to see Tyson Fury doing his stuff next to me (I like to think he goes there because it’s where Midlifechic works out…)
This dress is part of my May edit for Boden and it’s one of those pieces that feels a bit uninspiring until you put it on and realise how flattering the cut is. The denim effect also makes it a little less formal than a classic summer dress. It’s 100% linen which gives it its structure – linen is something I usually avoid but I’d been wearing it all day here so you can see that it doesn’t crease badly. I found a 12R to be true to size.
And with that I’m logging off because I’m heading into my birthday weekend (I firmly believe that once you’ve hit 50 birthdays should be celebrated for at least two days). Yet again Mr MC’s getting off lightly because it’s the weekend of our local festival so he doesn’t have to plan anything. Sister Sledge are playing tonight along with Grandmaster Flash so I’ll be in an 80s reverie. As soon as “Thinking of You” comes on I’ll feel like I’m 17 again because it was released as a single on my birthday back in 1984 – happy days!
I’m really looking forward to it; I don’t quite feel like myself at the moment because everything’s been very much ‘all work and no play’ for quite a while now. I was saying to Mr MC last night that we don’t seem to have let our hair down since before Christmas which is unusual – and not good! So tonight I’m going to have a few glasses of wine and do it while I can because on Sunday I’ll be a whole year older…
I usually have a few important life thoughts around my birthday but they haven’t arrived yet. I’m sure wine will help and I’ll have something meaningful to say to you next week but before that there’s singing and dancing to be done. It’s even better when I’ll be dancing to songs performed by brilliant women who are still rocking it in their 60s – an example to us all. So if there’s a moment this weekend when you find you have a glass of wine in your hand too, kick off your shoes and join me – here’s my birthday song, I dedicate it to midlife dancing queens the world over.
Forgive me for a bit of sentimentality now but I just want to end by thanking you for reading. However busy I am, you and this blog bring me so much joy and I know I’m lucky to have you. And with that in mind, when The Sledge bang out their biggest anthem I’ll be thinking of you – because in our own way…
“…we are family – I got all my sisters with me,
we are family – get up everybody and sing!”
Disclosure: “What to pack for a long weekend in the French Riviera” is not a sponsored post
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