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What was quite possibly one of the best weeks of my life

23 May 2015

Now that exams are officially over and the end of my year abroad is rapidly approaching, I've been in full-on relaxation/make the most of everything mode. This has resulted in probably one of the best weeks of my life and has made me feel even more emotional about going back to England! 

The weekend was spent in the beautiful Vaison La Romaine in Provence with my closest friends from Montpellier, Rowan and Anna. I went there with Rowan way back in October and absolutely loved it, so it was lovely to be able to go again. Our time was spent sunbathing, eating out, and wandering around the charming little streets. I love that place because it really feels like somewhere I'd go on holiday with my parents to.

As soon as I came back from Provence, I hopped on a coach to Girona in Spain to stay in a beautiful big farmhouse for a few days. With twenty people. As you can imagine, it was absolutely hilarious and so, so much fun. We were kind of unlucky with the weather actually, and there was a lot of heavy rain on one of the days we were there. This was majorly annoying as the grounds were beautiful and I really wanted to explore, but we ended up having an ultra childish day indoors playing games. I'm talking Chinese whispers, hide and seek, sardines, wink murder (with tequila shots for those who lost, of course). And yes, we are all around 21 years old but it turns out those games are just as fun as young adults. I am now absolutely exhausted, I feel like all my energy has been drained and I need to detox for the next month probably.

I can't quite believe that I've just said goodbye to so many great people that I may never see again. I'm really trying to be positive about my last week though and focusing more on getting the most out of France for now. Get ready for lots of posts summing up my year abroad in the next few weeks. I've got some reflective ones planned, some highlights, and some guides to Montpellier/the Languedoc-Roussillon region!

Lazy Sunday: La promenade Du Peyrou

12 May 2015
There I was complaining to my friends back home about how much I missed grass and how there is absolutely no grass whatsoever in Montpellier, when it turns out that I only live five minutes walk from a park. Oh.

To be fair to me, there really isn't a lot of grass, and it's no Hyde Park (referring to the one in Leeds and the one in London here). Nevertheless, La Promenade du Peyrou features a few little patches for sunbathing, along with some gorgeous views of Montpellier and Pic Saint Loup. If you take a seat on the grass or one of the multiple benches dotted about the place, then you will also have a view of the stunning Arc de Triomphe, which is the beautiful monument that will pop up on Google Images anytime you search for Montpellier.

I hope everyone is enjoying their week!

Bakespiration on Pinterest Take 1: Cupcakes

9 May 2015
Ever since my exams completely almost finished, I've spent far too much time on Pinterest, and despite deciding to go on a health kick, most of my pins have been of some seriously indulgent chocolatey goodies. I am genuinely surprised that my flatmate hasn't commented on my squeals of joy whenever I find anything particularly delicious looking (so, every minute). Anyway, seeing as I'm heading back home to my beloved baking equipment soon, I figured I'd start a list of some of my absolute favourite recipes so far. Kind of like, a baking wishlist?

They're just so adorable I can't deal.

No explanation needed for this killer combo. 

God I love marshmallows. And chocolate. 

I'm quite embarrassed to say that I genuinely believed I didn't like salted caramel until a few months ago. Luckily, when I moved next door to a cupcake shop in France I quickly saw the light and I've never looked back.

Because everyone needs their 5 a day.

Look how cool these look!! I didn't even own a piping bag until around this time last year, so it would take a lot of time, effort and patience to get this beautiful appearance. Worth a try though, right?

I discovered cookie dough cupcakes a few years ago and I fell in love.

I have developed an unhealthy attitude towards gin and I intend to continue that attitude indefinitely. I'm slightly skeptical of alcoholic baking, but then again I've never actually properly attempted it. This Summer is the one.

Are any of my readers avid Pinterest users as well? Have you pinned any yummy foods recently?

Lovely Lakes, Fantastic Food & Cute Company

5 May 2015

This weekend, my little sister came to see me in Montpellier for five days. Although my whole family dropped me off in August, that trip involved a very stressed out me running around the city looking for places to live/attempting to set up contracts/register at the university. So it was super nice to have Tash to stay again, and be able to see the city in a much more chilled out and relaxed way! Our days consisted for the most part of eating, drinking, and napping. So pretty much my standard French lifestyle here.

So here's a summary of my Instagram photos:

- Introducing Tash to some of the people I've met out here with a cocktail (or two because it was Happy Hour so I couldn't say no).

- Taking her to the Australian bar we always go to, so that she could meet more of my friends, dance, drink too many Gin & Tonics, and end the night getting pizza.

- Having a little look at the shops, which I can confirm are just not on the same level as British shops. Independent ones? Yes. Chain ones? No. Topshop and Urban Outfitters are calling my name back home and I cannot wait to go on a crazy big shopping trip as soon as I'm back!

- Food food food (insert girl with hand in the air emoji here). I recently snapchatted a friend at midnight asking his opinion on making a second dinner at that hour. His reply was a simple but effective 'Food is life.' I couldn't have put it better myself.

- Cupcakes from the shop next door to me. I've never actually branched out from the Caramel or Speculoos ones, despite a number of times I've been there, but Tash said the Peach Passion was fantastic (especially with the addition of a fizzy sweet on top, which is always a winner). Potential inspiration for baking when I get home in a month?

- Burgers galore. We are all big eaters in my family, and Tash loves a great burger as much as I do. Unfortunately, my favourite place was closed, despite the fact that it was a Saturday lunchtime and therefore peak time (not bitter, I swear.) We managed to sit outside of a place called Sir Georges instead though, which does delicious fries and pretty tasty burgers too.

- I took her to my favourite restaurant, a place called Café Leon, on the first night. She absolutely loved everything about the food, and it helped that they presented it beautifully on that night! It's a very typically French place and is definitely our go-to place when we want to show visitors around.

- A trip to the lake that I've been meaning to visit for a while. I do love a good lake, and they're always so much more peaceful than the beach. This one was called Lac du Crés and was situated right in the middle of a residential suburb of Montpellier. Weird, but kind of cool. It wasn't as picturesque as the beautiful Saint Guilhem Le Désert, but it would be pretty unfair of me to compare every lake to that beauty!

Imogen x

Daytripping in Avignon: Palais des Papes & Views of Provence

2 May 2015

Hey, guys! I'm back with some more photos from my day trip to the beautiful city of Avignon in Provence. I raved about the place in Part One, and I will absolutely rave about it again in Part Two.

Although we only spent a day here, we managed to fit in quite a lot, including a visit to Pont d'Avignon, the Palais des Papes, and a walk up to the park for some stunning panoramic views. After eight months of living in France, I am still not even remotely bored of acting like a tourist everywhere I go and still get very snap happy when a find a new little gem! I have one month left here and I'm going to take as many pictures as possible, go to as many new cities as possible, and try out as many new cafés as possible - just watch this space.