If Paris is heaven, then the south of France is paradise. The Côte d’Azur has long been the iconic getaway of all Parisians. When the weather warms up they flock to this gorgeous place for sea and sun stretching from Cassis to Nice.
Their getaways begin in Spring around the time of the Cannes film festival, and peak in the summer when it seems nearly all of Paris has flown south for the month of August. That’s how I first discovered this part of the country, one August now many summers ago on the annual Parisian getaway. Immediately I was hooked.
My love of the south is very unique though. For me places like Nice are where my two worlds collide. A mélange of the sea, sun, and palm trees from my roots in Southern California, and the culture and architecture of the French from my home in Paris. For myself in particular it’s a most welcoming combination. And so I find myself returning often whenever the opportunity presents itself. In fact the office of tourism in Nice invited me to come down for several days and discover the city with them. So last Monday I boarded a train at Gare de Lyon in Paris for the five hour scenic ride to the south. The next two days were nothing short of paradise spent strolling the famous Promenade des Anglais along the coastline and lounging by the sea at the private beaches beneath those striped umbrellas. When the days are hot in the south of France, you dip your toes in the vibrant turquoise waters of the Mediterranean and let the cool breeze of the Mistral winds brush over your skin. And in Nice, it’s hard not to finish every day by watching the fiery pink and rouge sunsets from atop the Chateau de Nice reflecting on the Bay of Angels. If this place isn’t paradise I don’t know what is.
And so naturally, every Parisian returns from their time in the South revitalised, rested, and inspired. I imagine that’s how Lancôme dreamed up the summer color collection, French Paradise. I see the blues of those perfect Mediterranean waters in it’s shadows, the golden rays of the sunshine in its shimmer, and the vibrant reds of those sunsets to tint our lips and cheeks. Luckily the collection arrived just in time for my little voyage, tossing some of my favorites in my suitcase before disappearing to paradise. But don’t worry, next week I’ll see you back in Paris...