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Castel Famille: Été en France

With the end of summer upon us, we wanted to share some photos of our wonderful family holiday in France.
Our favorite place has always been in the south, near Cannes and Mougins, but the past couple of summers we have ventured to the west coast of France to Île de Ré. Île de Ré is a 30km long strip of bike-able paths, sandy beaches, and almost painfully charming villages. Here are a few pics from our vacances....

The winding, cobbled streets of Saint Martin de Ré, the main port village where we rented a lovely little townhouse.

Île de Ré's roads are lined with salt marshes, where sauniers use age-old techniques for raking and harvesting sea salt. There are stands all over the island selling bags of sat on the "honor system."

We are completely enamored with the details and colors of the painted shutters and doors that adorn the village homes.

If you love oysters, then you have found your paradise. Biking all day, you work up an appetite, and luckily you never have to go far before you find a cabana with plates of fresh oysters, and a cool glass of wine to fortify the journey home.

La Martinière is the local favorite for creatively flavored glace (ice cream) and gauffes (sweet waffles). Our son's favorite spot for an afternoon goûter.

Of course we made time for a little shopping, and the local markets are the best for scoring gifts unique to the islands. Our favorite marché is in Ars-en-Ré.

The best way to see Île de Ré is by bike. We literally parked our rental car on the day we arrived, and didn't revisit it until we left for the mainland a week later. There are 110km of cycle paths on the island and lots of shops where you can rent bikes by the day or weeks. Be sure to get a bike with a basket!

We headed to the south from Île de Ré which is our favorite place for beach time and long lunches with our feet in the sand. More on that another day!

As we gently ease into fall, we look forward to our Fall Collections and creating new fabrics inspired by all of the beautiful places we are lucky to visit. Voilá!