A huge recap of my trip with Bioderma in the South of France with Bioderma Australia.
It’s weird how you appreciate something so much more when it’s gone. Although I loved my time in Paris, I think it’s finally set in how lucky I was to experience it now that I’m back home.
I’m sitting here in my robe on my couch eating a baguette with some delicious jam I purchased from Pierre Herme whilst perusing Galeries Lafayette.
I still feel so fortunate to be picked for the trip of a lifetime to head to France with a fantastic team of Cosmetiques de France, Bioderma Australia and Nuxe.
I went back to work yesterday and there was a common theme of questions “why didn’t you post more photos”. Tech issues and very patchy wifi aside, I think it’s nice to be in the moment and enjoy something for what it is, rather than bury your head in your phone and share the moment with others. You can always do that later.
You’re also going to get three videos as well, so sit tight on that because they do take a little bit to edit.
I was going to do this in one large post, but the sheer amount of photos and words would take you an hour to read each post. So here we go.
I arrived at Nice airport with my passport in hand and a million thoughts running through my mind. I felt sick in my stomach with anxiety, but I wasn’t quite sure what there was to be anxious about. A new experience I guess?
My passport was stamped, I collected my bags and I found my driver who resembled a gorgeous Martin Médus lookalike with impeccable dress sense. Small talk was had, which at the time was hard, jet lag and a cute man and all. I met up with Sarah who was also coming on the trip, the gorgeous blonde beauty editor for Australian Marie Claire magazine.
On the car trip to our hotel in Cannes, we chatted about business, blogs and our backgrounds. Oh, and beauty too.
We arrived at our hotel and I looked up to see the grand nature of the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic where we were staying. It’s finally starting to sink in. Pinch me, I’m in France!
We checked into the hotel, ventured up to the room and instantly began to take photos of everything. The entire room was Instagram worthy.
I stopped for a minute and noticed the anxious and nauseating feeling in my stomach hadn’t alleviated, in fact, it had gotten worse.
I showered, changed and ventured into town to find a pharmacy. After some bad translating with another attractive French man (what’s in the water over there?!) I walked out with some herbal supplements packaged in a box I couldn’t even understand.
Walking back to the hotel and attempting to translate when I’d only started to learn French seriously about 20 days prior, I took two tablets, chewed them well and chased them with water. I felt chuffed with my translation skills.
Upon entering my hotel room, the pit of nausea in my stomach was getting worse. Shortly after I aquatinted my face with the toilet bowl. We would be friends for the next two hours.
Tears were had. Who gets food poisoning in France?! France! Between vomiting, crying and attempting to call my mum back home, I sat helplessly on the toilet floor wondering why my trip had to start like this.
I picked myself up after I’d say sit for 15 minutes, had another shower and hopped into bed. We had a group dinner that evening that I didn’t want to miss out on. I know first impressions count, and I didn’t want to be known as the girl who got food poisoning in Cannes.
So I woke up, put my best dress on, applied lipstick and went downstairs. In life, there are some things we have to suck up. Food poisoning wasn’t going to be my Debbie Downer and I wanted to meet Sheree from The Australian Women’s Weekly and Emilie from Cosmestiques de France.
We walked to dinner, I drank some medicinal Coke with lemon, indulged in the local cuisine and had a lovely evening with the ladies.
I guess Elizabeth Taylor was right in saying that you should put on some lipstick, pour yourself a drink and pull yourself together. It works.
I wake up feeling fresh as a daisy. The weather is beautiful and we’re spending the day in Monaco. I think because I felt so sick the day before, it made me feel on top of the world today.
I dress to impress and I head down to breakfast. Elisabeth, Emilie and Sheree are waiting. I order a coffee, “cafe noir s’il vous plaît”, hoping I’ve ordered the right thing.
We chat and my coffee comes. I take a sip and it’s perfect. It’s served in a large silver jug that holds the potent life-giving brew that I am most addicted to.
I get up and am overwhelmed with the breakfast choices. Apparently, the eggs are a speciality, so I have eggs, crisp bacon, some fruit salad, 2 small croissants and 2 prunes. I arrange my breakfast in an Instagram-worthy fashion and take some photographs while we are discussing plans for the day. Breakfast is quickly polished off and I head to my room quickly to freshen up.
Our gorgeous French driver is back and I feel delighted to find we are spending our time with him for our whole trip. We are on a time constraint heading to Monaco. I have no idea about the geography of France but I’m gathering it’s quite close.
Obviously, as we pull up at an airfield and find we are going to Monaco via helicopter!
The view is incredible and now it’s my chosen method of transport. Maybe I need to update my about page to let future companies know that this is how I wish to travel?
Photos are taken, of course. And before we know it we are laughing, smiling and taking photos of the beautiful scenery and the view. The weather is perfect and I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face for the whole trip.
We land in Monaco and I end up flashing my rear to the helicopter pilot. I always have issues with my clothing and flashing random people. My love of inappropriate underwear seems to be a consistent theme in the life of Peta.
We then are met by car and head to the palace for a tour. As we walked through the palace it made me think of one of my favourite movies by Sofia Coppola, Marie Antoinette. Imagine if that was your house? I started to think it our gorgeous driver was royalty, like that episode of Gossip Girl with Blair and if we ended up together would this be our house?
Clearly still delirious post food-poisoning.
We took more photos and headed to lunch. I discovered French rose` and fell in love. We had Mille-feuilles and espressos and ventured back into the car to a town called Èze.
I felt a little out of place not being out of the country before or knowing any of these places. Kind of like the uncultured bogan that most people associate Australians with.
Upon discovering Èze, it’s a beautiful town on the side of a mountain with little cobblestone pathways and hidden shops along the windy path to the top. There’s something magical about this place and I can’t stop thinking that I’ll need to plant a bougainvillaea on my verandah when I’m home from France, they’ll now constantly remind me of Eze.
The view is spectacular and with every climb, the view becomes more picturesque. We get to the top and I stop and find myself looking at out the view completely overcome with emotion at the whole experience. When I found out I won the trip it hasn’t sunk in. But it was this moment that I felt so grateful for my life and like I was the luckiest girl in the world.
Photos were taken. We wandered back down and buy some lollies and nuts. We are greeted by two small cars and apparently it’s our ride home. They’re so tiny and cute and all we can do is laugh.
Driving through the tiny winding and narrow streets of the French town, the roof is down and our hair blowing in the warm breeze. We’re eating lollies and laughing, not really understanding anything our French driver is saying but being completely absorbed in the moment.
We get back to our hotel and it’s past 6pm. We have a short break to get ready and we head to a dinner with a view.
It’s our last night in the south of France and it’s a special dinner with beautiful food.
We get back to our room and it’s past midnight. I have to be up at 6 the next morning to pack and head to Provence. Yikes.
I wake up early and apply my makeup. I put on an outfit and pack my bags before heading down to a delicious breakfast in the restaurant Fouquet’s.
Croissants were had and basically a repeat of the breakfast for the same day. I look around and think my mum would like it and make mental plans to return again at a later stage.
We get into our car and head to Provence where we visit the Bioderma factory and lab to learn about the products and to see how they’re made.
It’s an interesting visit and I feel very special to view how the products are made and learn first hand about the Company. Did you know they sell 1 bottle every 3 seconds of their popular Sensibio Micellar water? The product line also never switched off for it either. They’re making some right now as I type!
Bioderma is made up of some dynamic individuals with a passion for skincare that’s infectious. Mentally, I’m tallying up all the products I need to buy when I’m back home and jotting down products I know my readers will love.
We finish our factory visit and head to a restaurant at the beautiful Le Pigonnet. Ah! I can imagine marrying the French driver here and then find out it’s a popular wedding venue. The lunch is perfect and the gardens are romantic.
With full bellies, we head into Provence for a pharmacy visit to see Bioderma on the shelves. It’s amazing to see how popular it is and how much shelf space it’s allocated. It’s the star of the pharmacy and it makes me wonder why we don’t celebrate in Australia as much as they do in France.
We head back in the car with our luggage in tow and make our way to the train station to head to Paris.
We say goodbye to our gorgeous driver and Elisabeth from Bioderma who was an absolute delight to spend the trip with.
The train travel is picturesque and I find myself gazing out the window looking at all the wild flowers. How is this real life!
We arrive in rainy and cold Paris quite late. I quickly realise I haven’t adequately packed for the freezing weather but know that the experiences will warm my heart and body so who really needs a jacket!
Emilie, Sarah and I head to a cafe for a night cap and a big bowl of vegetable soup. I venture into bed around midnight thinking to myself that I’m in Paris living my dream.