BLOG 2019

ST TROPEZ ROAD TRIP

Ten cars, 2000 miles, some of the best driving roads in Europe and some fine dining along the way made for an epic road trip last week from the South East in the UK down to the South of France in St Tropez. It took some organising with the help of some friends but all worked out well...
18/05/2019
Covering European road trips before has always been fun and the photography aspect has always been the highlight for me, so having your own itinerary and friends along for the ride made this one a bit special, obviously the camera was on board, but having the Mustang for a year now made this road trip a bit more special. We set off from Calais on a chilly but bright Tuesday morning, a quick Starbucks so we could all touch base with everybody before the first stop off down to the historic race circuit in Reims. This always works well for the group shot of the cars, plus at this stage they were all still gleaming from being all detailed prior to the journey.

We then stayed in Hostellerie La Briqueterie in Epernay, a beautiful hunting lodge style hotel with some fine food and wine, this was the perfect way for everyone to meet each other properly and look back on the days driving around some stunning French countryside. Wev weren't so lucky with the weather the next day, constant rain all day, this was the longest stretch of the trip between hotels at 360 miles so a steady drive down on the motorway was the route everyone took. Annecy is a beautiful place and the Imperial Palace that sits on the lake was sumptuous and worthy of its five star status, definitely a place to revisit.

Day three and we were on a shorter run now, down to Embrun, picturesque and full of mountains as a backdrop for the cars to be photographed and drive around, the Chateau La Robyere was homely and served some great food and local wines, a walk in to the centre of the town early morning was spectacular with the mist lying over the top of the mountains. This day provided some of the best roads and views, heading from Digne down through the Grand Canyon du Verdon was one of those breathtaking driving moments, hearing the rumble of the V8's as they tackled some of the best roads i've ever driven on. A lunch stop was then followed by a trip to the Citromuseum, a private collection of over 90 cars from the 1940's to 1990's. A final stretch of the Route Naplolen lead us to the Michelin star restaurant at the Chateau de la Piolone, the bundling was impressive and provided a perfect backdrop for the Ferrari 599, its V12 engine echoed around the buildings walls rather harmoniously!

Day five and the trip had almost come to an end, a simple and relaxing drive from Aix en Provence to St Tropez, we spent the afternoon in the jewel of the French riviera, it felt more open and authentic than Monaco and lunch off of one of the side streets with a local beer was much needed. Our last hotel and meal as a group was the Mas Bellevue set in the hills of Tropez, where the infinity pool led to breathtaking views of the sea. Day six and three of us headed to Millau, home of one of the most impressive bridges in Europe, at a cost of 400 million euros it stretches over a valley and ha certainly been one on the bucket list to tick off. The Mustang, BMW 240i and Mercedes GT-R then set off for one final stop off in Marcoles, prior to this though we came across the best tarmac on the trip, rock formations that hung over the tarmac that had bends that went on for miles provided a great end to the trip. Auberge De La Tour in Marcoles houses a Michelin star restaurant, but with modest room prices. The chef, Renaud Darmanin even served us our aperitifs, fine dining in the heart of one of the most beautiful places i've been to, great end to six days of epic driving.

As you can imagine day seven was all about getting home, 560 miles from Marcoles to Calais, a few service station pit stops, fuel, coffee and chocolate and by 7.30pm we were on the shuttle to cross the channel, sad its over but at least the fuel bills will be a bit cheaper now!