I often get asked why I started French Loaf and my number one motivation was so that I can drop and collect my two boys from school and nursery every day. I realise this is not something everyone can do or wants to do but after a 24/7 job in the city it was what I wanted. You see I can remember only a handful of times when I was collected at the end of the day from school as at the age of eight, I went off to boarding school.
I was always giddy with excitement counting down to the holidays. My trunk would be packed weeks in advance, we’d have our end of term midnight feast and spend the last day of term waiting for the bell to ring.
It was the holidays that gave me some of the best times with my family. We’d have walks to the local shop to buy sweets, den making with my older brother, games of hide and seek. Just the simple pleasures of childhood.
When we actually all went away, now that was an adventure! My dad being a Commander in the Royal Navy meant everything was executed with military precision. We had checklists, route maps, eta's and emergency supplies to last a month. Though our destinations were either Cornwall or France we were prepared should we be shipwrecked or struck with monsoon rains.
Camping in Cornwall was a religious pilgrimage for us. With everything packed into our brown Ford Capri, four children on the back seat, my parents, and Neil Diamond playing loudly on the radio it was always an interesting (note sarcasm) eight-hour journey. Once there though we were in our element. Body boarding until the skin on our stomachs was red raw, making sand ramps, playing in the rock pools and getting lost in that time together.
On our many trips to France I can remember the long drives, past sunflower fields and beautifully evenly spaced trees that lined the side of the roads. The taste of sweet cordial and the smell of Gauloise cigarettes smoked by the locals. We had daily trips to the boulangerie where we'd practice our French then while away the day playing in the swimming pool.
These holidays have given me some of my happiest childhood memories. If I can help other families create anything like the holiday memories I have I'll be very happy.