How to Recreate a Holiday to… France
Need a holiday? Don’t we all! Although travelling isn’t an option at the moment, you can still enjoy a little escape by recreating that trip to France you’ve been dreaming of.
You can explore iconic landmarks, soak up the culture and try popular dishes – all in the comfort of your own home. Just think of it as the ultimate staycation!
How to Have a French Holiday at Home
Oh, France. From the lush vineyards of Bordeaux to the magical thrill of Disneyland Paris, holidays in France are a dream. Why not bring some of that excitement into your living room? To help get you started, we’ve come up with some fun suggestions for recreating a French city break. You’ll get plenty of enjoyment and none of the hassle, so it’s a win-win for everyone involved!
START YOUR DAY THE FRENCH WAY
We’re sure you’ll agree that food is a highlight of any trip to France – and it all starts with breakfast. In France, the first meal of the day is simple but delicious. Grab a few croissants, slice up some crusty baguettes and serve them with butter and jam. If you’re seriously enthusiastic, try baking everything from scratch for that fresh-from-the-boulangerie taste. Otherwise, just shop ahead of time and warm it all up in the oven. Add an espresso into the mix and some hot cocoa for the kids, and you’ve got yourself a French breakfast.
Once you’ve finished breakfast, it’s time for a spot of sight-seeing! And, luckily, there’s never been a better time to take a virtual wander around the streets of Paris. Google Arts & Culture lets you roam around some of the city’s most famous landmarks, admiring them from all angles. With just a few clicks, you can stroll along the leafy banks of the Seine or head straight to the top of the Eiffel Tower for a bird’s-eye view of the city. For a more immersive Eiffel Tower experience, check out the virtual reality tour videos on YouTube. Some of these tours start at ground level, so you can experience getting the glass lift to the top.
Is there anything better than eating a French crepe after a long morning of sightseeing? We don’t think so! If you’ve ever visited France, you’ll know that crepes are everywhere. And luckily for you, they’re quick and easy to make. French crepes can be sweet or savoury, so a quick rummage in the kitchen should give you all the fillings you need. Cheese always goes down well, as does chocolate, or you could go all out and add vegetables and meat to your crepes. The possibilities are truly endless, so put on your best French apron and get the whole family involved.
GET YOUR CULTURAL FIX
If it’s culture you’re after, you’re in luck. You now have the chance to explore some of Paris’ best galleries and museums, without ever leaving your sofa. The Louvre is offering virtual tours that are both educational and fun, so it’s a great time to visit. Explore the Egyptian antiquities collection, wander around the remains of Louvre’s moat or browse the artistic treasures of the Galerie d'Apollon. You won’t see the Mona Lisa on these tours, but that’s all the more reason to plan a future holiday to Paris!
TAKE A DAY TRIP
One of the best things about a pretend holiday is that you’re not limited to a particular location - so make the most of your freedom with some dreamy day trips. Google Arts & Culture, your new best friend, lets you explore the magnificent rooms of the Palace of Versailles. Meanwhile, HistoryView is offering an exciting virtual tour of Mont Saint-Michel, an island off the coast of Normandy topped with a medieval abbey. You can also get an aerial view of the popular Unesco World Heritage Site.
ENJOY FRENCH FOOD AND DRINK FOR DINNER
Everything’s been building up to this – the main meal of the day. Thankfully, dinner in France involves multiple courses, so you’ll have plenty of time to savour it (after you’ve cooked up a storm, of course). Dinner usually starts with an aperitif and nibbles – the perfect time to treat yourself to some champagne and olives. The l’entrée, or appetiser, is the official start of the meal and popular dishes include French onion soup, beef carpaccio and cheese soufflé.
Then it’s time to let your imagination run wild, because the main dish typically depends on what region of France you’re in. Follow this with a platter of cheese, along with some bread and fruit. And if you can manage it, finish up with a light dessert of profiteroles, chocolate mousse or a fruit tart.
SIP WINE THE FRENCH WAY
France is one of the biggest wine producers in the world, so you might as well embrace it. From the rich red wines of Bordeaux to the crisp white wines of the Loire Valley, deciding what to buy might take some time. Whatever you choose, remember to drink it like the French do by only partly filling your glass and sipping as elegantly as you can.
SET THE SCENE
If you’re struggling to get into the French spirit, don’t give up! Try setting the scene at home with films and music. Carla Brunei is a classic choice. She sings in both French and English and her album, Little French Songs, is a great one to have in the background while you pretend to be on top of the Eiffel Tower. For a song that’s about as French it gets, add Les Champs-Elysées by Joe Dassin to your playlist. Just don’t blame us when it gets stuck in your head!
If film’s more your thing, the charming Amélie is the one to watch. It’s a quirky romantic comedy that follows the life of a naive young woman in Paris who decides to help those around her. She falls in love along the way and hopefully so will you.
Although we can’t promise you the sparkling snow of the French Alps or the sun-drenched beaches of the French Riviera, we can promise you’ll have lots of fun recreating a holiday at home. When travel is back up and running, you can browse our blog for inspiration and check out our range of cheap holidays to France. In the meantime, whip up those crepes, turn on your computer and blast those French tunes!
Loved creating a French holiday at home and are looking for more inspiration? Consider trying your hand at an Italian adventure next!