Paris… What a wonderful time, we had in this gorgeous city! If you have read my previous blog post, you will know, that Frenchie, Clara and I spent three wonderful days in “The city of love” – and it was amazing! What was even more amazing is, that our trip to France wasn’t over – it was time to move on… Time to go somewhere, where we could relax in beautiful surroundings and have a lot of family fun!
We travelled with Eurostar from St Pancras London to Gare du Nord Paris. This is by far the easiest way to travel, if you ask me. All we had to do was to get onboard and let our train driver take to us to our destination! Perfect, when bringing a toddler!
Feeling at one with nature!
Well, this certainly looks a bit different from where we came from… Welcome to Les Villages Nature Paris!
Can you imagine leaving a very big and busy city and entering paradise on earth? It’s sort of that feeling, I had, when we arrived at Les Villages Nature! We only drove for around 40 mins – and then we experienced a whole, new world!
Clara could not be more happy, when she entered our lovely Comfort Cottage. Let’s go and take a look!
A spacious living room with a flatscreen TV
A fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher (yay!), washing kit, microwave oven, 4-burner induction hob with hood, refrigerator, electric coffee maker, kettle, toaster and a recycling bin
Floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto the wooden terrace furnished with garden furniture
Two lovely bedrooms: one with a queen-size bed and one with twin beds
Bonus-info: (These are for free): One baby bed and one highchair, safe and a parking space at the car park of your cottage zone
Last, but not least we had 2 bathrooms! One with a bathtub and one with a shower! How luxurious is that! I love having my own bathroom and not having to share with Frenchie… It’s a girl thing!
I think someone was in a very good mood! Clara was dancing around and so excited about being here!
Look at her happy face! A photo says more than a thousand words!
Welcome to our new home! This is where we will stay for the next 4 nights. Heavenly!
Delicious lunch at our terrace – and then it was time to go and explore
So what is Les Villages Nature Paris really? This relatively new and innovative park opened in September 2017 and is an amazing project based on eco-tourism and sustainability. The park is designed to connect its guests with nature through a range of activities like the geothermally heated Aqualagon (a water park with flumes and a natural swimming pool) and the stunning Extraordinary Gardens with more than 25,000 trees. It also has its own farm, forests, meadows, lake and spa. Pride of place is given to natural materials, green walls and hanging gardens! It truly is beautiful here – and I can’t wait to show you around!
Tip: We downloaded the free app, which was of great use, when it came to information about upcoming activities, services, restaurants, opening hours etc
Although Les Villages Nature Paris is a car-free holiday village, those arriving by road can park for free near to their accommodation. I can recommend picking up a bike for the duration of your stay as the miles of cycle paths can take you around the whole complex. There are bikes of all sizes for all ages!
Clara in “Cinderella” mode!
We really wanted to rent bikes… But Cinderella had other plans! She complained loudly no matter what we did! Nope, she did not want to sit in a carriage or in the seat behind me on my pretty pink bike! What to do? Here is the answer!
Look at her face! I think we found a winner! To be honest we did have A LOT of fun in our electric golf cart – and didn’t regret our choice at all. There was a lot of singing and laughing going on whilst driving around! (The price for hiring a golf cart for 3 days is 165 euro)
Driving Miss Daisy!
Loving these cottages…
Les Villages Nature has been designed around a large lake overlooked by an architectural masterpiece of stone and glass which is the famous Aqualagon. Whatever the weather this is the place that will delight the entire family (more about this later)
Take my breath away! A sublime place to live out your fantasies and adventures! This is an outdoor playground called “The Forest of Legends” and it is (obviously) created around the forest and its legends. Here you will find playgrounds, construction of wooden huts, creative workshop and interactive shows
Beautiful, isn’t it?
Even though The Forest of the Legends is more suitable for older children (and their parents!) – Clara enjoyed playing in the sand…
– and there were a few slides etc that were perfect for her age!
Wroom, wroom – moving on!
Next stop – lunch at restaurant Les Délices de la Ferme (Bellevie Farm)
We loved the family friendly atmosphere. Here, you can enjoy daily specials and a varied menu of fresh, seasonal and regional products…
– while playing in this gigantic farm-themed playground. The haybale trampolines, silo slides and tractor bikes bring the farm to life. It was absolutely marvellous! I love the theme!
“Old Mac Donald had a farm…”
Look at the giant cheeses on top of these “boxes”
Outside Clara met a giant cow…
– and again there were plenty of opportunities for her to have a lot of fun! This really is children’s’ paradise
We had pizza and chicken salad for lunch and enjoyed the amazing weather
After lunch we walked around at the pretty Bellevie Farm – a fully functioning farm, that gives children the chance to help looking after the animals, take a pony ride or learn skills such as bread-making or honey production
For a “city-girl” this is a great experience. The minute, Clara laid eyes on the cows, she said “Moooohh” (That’s my girl) Coming from the countryside myself, I believe it is important for Clara to meet and learn about “real animals” – and not just Peppa Pig!
Bonjour to “The Three Musketeers!” (I made that up – and I still find my joke hilarious!)
Clara was a bit too young for most of the activities on the Bellevie Farm – but she could join the other kids, when it was time to meet the small farm animals
Curious and so happy to meet new friends…
We were introduced to all kinds of animals, learned about their habits and were allowed to touch them as well
I fell in love with Mr Ferret!
Clara loved the birds...
– and the Chinchilla! (So cute and soft)
Awwww. Would you look at those faces! C’est l’amour!
There was a fluffy rabbit as well! Adorable! I think we are lucky, that Clara is not older, as she would probably have been begging us to take that little fella home with us to London!
In the evening we took a walk at the Lakeside Promenade.
Bonus-info: You can hire pedalos and electric boats here! We really wanted to try this, but Clara had to be 3 years old. Next time for sure!
Checking out what was going on….
Bonus-info: The supermarket offers a wide range of supplies including healthy option salad bar and ready meals
Wine for Frenchie and diapers for Clara! All set!
There is also a very popular Italian pizza and pasta restaurant, “Vapiano” – and the innovative French cafe “PUR etc”’ specialising in healthy seasonal fast food (more about this later)
The bakery and patisserie offers freshly cooked morning baguettes and croissants…
We had a food delivery every morning… How luxurious is that? If only every morning could be like this! I still remember Clara’s face, when eating her fresh pain au chocolate! Delicious!
What I love about Les Villages Nature is that their range of eateries and availability of buying fresh food give families the chance to mix self-catering with eating out! Here I am at Wine Bar and Restaurant Cépages
The perfect sharing platter accompanied by Aperol Spritz and Pastis
The food at Cépages is a very traditional affair. Most dishes are inspired by classic French cuisine with plenty in the way of sharing dishes – and I am not complaining. I love French food! Steak frites for Frechie…
– and a Croque Monsieur with french fries for Clara and me!
My little explorer did have a very long and exciting day – so she almost fell asleep in the middle of her dinner! Too cute!
Zzzzzz….. And we had another glass of wine enjoying the silence!
Tour de Lakeside Promenade…
Bowling… I love it! I might not be the best, but it’s not always about winning, right?
In need of toys, souvenirs, towels, bathing outfits…
– or perhaps a souvenir to bring home? The Lakeside shops have got you covered!
Good morning! What’s up with the happy faces? Why are we in a bus – and where are we going?
Welcome to Disneyland Paris! YAY!
Now, this is really clever! Inside Les Villages Nature, there is a bus stop – and every 30 mins you can jump on a bus and 15 mins after, you arrive outside Disneyland Paris! Amazing! When Clara saw Mickey, she starting shouting out loud “Miffyyyy Mifffyyy” (Oh, well – she will get the name right eventually!)
I am big Disney fan. When I was much younger, my parents took me here, so it was very special to be able to do the same for my own daughter. Here I am in front of Walt Disney Studio Parks. We didn’t go this time, as Clara is still very young…
Instead we went to Disneyland Park – which is probably the most popular one!
Bonus-info: Disneyland Paris reopened July 15th. You have to wear a mask all of the time (guests aged 11 and older) – except from when eating and drinking (They are very strict with these rules!) Not all shops, attractions, restaurants etc have opened yet – on the other hand, there aren’t many people inside and we never waited in a line
Being a big fan of Minnie Mouse, Clara obviously wanted a big balloon and a Minnie doll! I went for the Minnie Mouse ears with a bow… Your are never too old for Disney!
Even Frenchie had a moment of weakness and turned into a very “masculine” version of Minnie Mouse! Clara was amused!
We were a bit worried that Clara was a bit too young for most of the attractions – but it actually went really well… She enjoyed the Lancelot Carrousel
– and the Mad Hatters Tea Cups
Dumbo the flying elephant was also a hit!
– and watching Daddy become a child again! I love it!
The most popular attraction was “It’s a small world”…. Oh, how we all loved this one
Sing along to the classic anthem of world peace during a delightful musical boat tour hosted by the children of the world. From a colourful dock, climb aboard a cosy boat and set sail along the Seven Seaways Waterway on a 10-minute journey
Amid a vibrant, multi-coloured backdrop exquisitely crafted out of papier-mâché, glitter and fabric, behold a cast of almost 300 traditionally dressed dolls from nearly every corner of the globe sing a simple song in their native language about universal harmony and dance
Look! It is Tower Bridge in London! Yes – we really, really loved this amazing journey through 7 beautiful continents
Burgers, french fries and Disney cartoons! Clara was in heaven!
I always call Frenchie for “Pumbaa” – so obviously he he should have a “Pumbaa-hat”
Someone could not stay awake any longer… Too much excitement for a tired toddler!
It was a lovely day in Disneyland Paris – and we will for sure come back!
Last photo outside the park before jumping on the bus home to Les Villages Nature for dinner
In the evening we went for pizza at the very popular Vapiano
I was very very pleased with my classic Italian Capricciosa
– but the winner was clearly Clara’s pizza! A Mickey Mouse pizza! The perfect ending, when you just returned from Disneyland! How cute is that! And look at her face! So happy!
What a view! This is the famous Aqualagon!
Bonus-info: The pools, both inside and out, are naturally heated to a comfy 30degrees. There are aqua fitness classes to join, scary flumes and tubes to slide down or you can just float around on the “lazy river”. Sunbeds are placed around on immaculate terraces all with great views. The Deep Nature Spa offers some signature treatments as well as steam room and sauna!
(Photo by Luc Boegly)
(Photo by Luc Boegly)
(Photo by Luc Boegly)
We did plan to Clara to the Aqualagon on our last day – but unfortunately she woke up with a cold, so I decided that it was best not to take her! Instead we went on other adventures…
Daddy and Clara enjoying peace and tranquillity in the very beautiful “Extraordinary garden”’. Here you will find sheltered paths meandering through delightful and thoughtful planting with water features and lovely seating areas tucked away
Will you look at the size of those Hydrangea pompoms! Gorgeous
They are bigger than Clara’s face!
Nothing but love for this little one…
Lots of fun for children here as well!
Clara and mummy discovering the wonders of nature….
Even Frenchie had a special “Lavender-moment”! He is so French!
The landscaping really was unique – inspired by the four elements of nature: Earth, air, fire and water
After a lot of fresh air and disappearing “into the wild”, we went for lunch at PUR etc.
In spite of having a cold, Clara decided to do a little dance… This girl really loves music!
I can not recommend the food here enough! It was really, really delicious! (PUR etc. believes in preparing clean, healthy food and priorities quality and locally sourced ingredients)
I loved the Tabbouleh and hummus – a true delight for my tastebuds! Must-try!
Last ride in our beloved electric cart… (Mega-happy faces – and Clara looking slightly worried about her crazy parents)
– and it was time to say good-buy to Les Villages Nature. We had our last dinner at Cépages!
Bonus-info: Our blue wrist bands ensured a smooth and seamless stay, making it easy for us to access our cottage, pay and book activities
Heading back home to London… with so many new and amazing memories!