To celebrate our one year Anniversary in France we chose a special place for a family lunch with spectacular views of the Cote d’Azur. Known as “The Eagle’s Nest”, the village of Gourdon sits at the top of a cliff and from there you can see over the valley and the River Loup, to Nice and across to Theoule – a long way!
Gourdon is in the mountains, 31 km from Cannes and 14 km from Grasse – to get there you have to drive up a winding road with a sheer drop next to it, which I admit made me a little scared (in comparison to my Petit Garçon who found it fun)…however, the of promise of lavender ice cream made it worth it!
As we turned one of the bends the perched village revealed itself on a rocky spur, which is very impressive and like something out of a Bond movie! Once we arrived we enjoyed walking around looking at the white stone-built medieval houses decorated with flowers, nestling around a feudal castle. It’s very charming and I can see why it’s listed as one of the ‘Most beautiful villages of France‘.
We chose Restaurant La Taverne Provençale, Place de l’eglise, for lunch because of their outdoor terrace overlooking the amazing views. We were welcomed by friendly service and the typically French food was lovely. I enjoyed a delicious trout covered in toasted amandes. In terms of being family friendly, I thought it was nice that the waitress offered a booster seat for our Petit Garcon, but like most traditional French restaurants there are no baby change facilities (the mystery of where to change a nappy continues to baffle me!).
It was lovely to mark our special occasion with a French meal together, with my Mum and Dad too, and appreciate everything we’ve done since moving to France – from the little things like working out what to buy in the supermarché and using La Poste, to the big stuff like getting a job and finding a house to live in (and everything in between)!
A trip out on a hot day would not be complete without an ice cream, and Le Glacier de Gourdon serves my new favourite flavour…lavender! The flower fragrance is sweet, yet subtle and the perfect symbol for being in Provence. I forgot my no-sugar diet for 5 minutes and indulged! My Petit Garçon was as excited to try it as me and finished his whole cup very quickly.
Wherever I travel I am drawn into the gift shops and there are plenty of artisan shops in Gourdon with Provençal displays of lavender soaps and bags, olive themed ceramics, perfumes and more. If you have a sweet tooth you’ll love the gorgeous sweet shop La Florian with it’s colourful homemade fruits confit, confitures, and chocolat. The packaging is très jolie!
On the weekends we’re usually down on the coast, so it was interesting to be up high in the mountains and see it from above. We could see the areas we’ve been exploring, such as our favourite beaches, the cities and islands where we’ve been on holiday, and even the town where hubby plays football. It was a good moment to reflect on how far we’ve come and how much our little one has grown!
Tips for families visiting Gourdon
- Parking is free.
- There’s a picnic area next to the car park which has tables in the shade and space for ball games.
- If you don’t fancy formal dining, the pizzeria opposite the entrance to the village is a good place for kids.
- I don’t think the castle and gardens are open for visitors, but if you find out let me know!