Disclosure: I may earn a small commission from the companies or products mentioned in this post.
*All photos in this post were taken on the Samsung Galaxy S9+
Yesterday evening was a strange one for many of us in the UK. An evening of aimlessly flicking through the TV channels trying to work out what to do with ourselves now that 8 long weeks of Love Island finally came to an end with the big final on Monday night. What did we ever do with our evenings before this show took over our lives for the entire summer?
I’ve never been a big TV watcher, especially when it comes to reality TV shows. I always claimed I was too busy to dedicate so much time to one series. However this year I decided to give Love Island a chance and I must admit I was dangerously addicted by the end of the first episode. So for the last two months I’ve become a social recluse each evening, making sure I was set up in front of the TV by 9pm ready for my nightly dose of grafting, pranging and DBS meetings.
Therefore, like many others who also succumbed to the Love Island addiction this year, last night as it turned 9pm I felt a bizarre sense of loss and confusion. Feelings that will more than likely last the next few evenings as I gradually wean myself off of my guilty pleasure. But what do I do with myself for now?
The logical answer… write a blog post about Love Island instead!
Living the Love Island Villa Lifestyle on the French Riviera
Okay so maybe it wasn’t actually Love Island, but my week exploring the beautiful Côte d’Azur (or French Riveria) earlier this month was certainly as close to the real villa as I’ll ever get.
Landing in Nice with my friend Lish, we jumped in a hire car and headed up the coast to the Gulf of St Tropez where we set up base in a luxurious villa in the coastal town of Sainte Maxime.
Inbetween celebrating Bastille Day on the beach of Sainte-Maxime with locals and taking a boat across the bay to the Port of St Tropez (one of the most insane places I have ever been but there will be another blog post on this in the future!), the majority of our time was spent sipping on glasses of Rose and eating French cheese and Tapenade by the pool in our villa. A lifestyle I could definitely get used to!
Our villa in Sainte Maxime:
The Bastille Day Fireworks in Sainte Maxime:
Lish exploring the Port of Sainte Maxime:
Detour to St Tropez:
And luckily for me, the end of our time in Sainte-Maxime wasn’t the end of my trip to the French Riviera. After dropping Lish back off at Nice airport and spending an afternoon exploring Nice by myself, I welcomed in another group of friends who would be joining me for the second half of the week. This time it was a group of blogging friends with whom I was spending several days in a friend’s aunts villa in the Riviera town of Tourrettes-sur-Loup.
Follow my blogging travel buddies on Instagram: Julie at A Lady in London, Phill at Photoammon, Paul at TravMonkey, Michael and Nat.
So off we headed to villa number two of the week, which was even larger and more luxurious than the first. From its large pool overlooking the ocean from the villa’s prime hilltop location to the outdoor BBQ kitchen, this villa easily rivalled the Majorca based Love Island villa itself.
Villa in Tourrettes-sur-Loup:
For the next four days we proceeded to fully make the most of the amazing villa, spending the majority of our time splashing around in the pool, sunbathing in the 30°c+ heat and sipping cocktails on the terrace.
In the past I have been septical about chilled-out summer breaks (being a city girl myself), however, after my week in France I can certainly see the appeal of spending 8 weeks in a luxury villa with a great group of friends, plenty of laughs and a whole lot of sun! Better start my application for Love Island 2019 now…
Villa in Tourrettes-sur-Loup:
The Samsung Galaxy S9+:
At this point you’re probably thinking… yeah so what, you went on holiday to France and stayed in a couple of villas, that’s not Love Island it’s just a holiday! Well, there was one last link to Love Island on my trip.
For my week in the French Riviera, I ditched my trusty iPhone and recoupled with the Samsung Galaxy S9+ for a special mobile photography project with Traverse and Three Mobile.
Just like the TV Islanders, I carried my new Samsung phone around everywhere with me, waiting for a text to tell me the man of my dreams would be entering the villa (it didn’t happen unfortunately) and using the phone’s category-defining camera abilities to document my trip.
And I have to admit, my head was turned!
The phone’s dual aperture camera which adapts like the human eye made it easy photographing both in the bright daylight and the low light of beautiful sunsets, whilst the live focus mode helped achieve some half-decent portraits of my unphotogenic self and the super slow mode made for some fun pool videos.
Having been an iPhone user for many years now, the Android system did take some getting used to, however, the amazing camera will certainly have me rethinking a few things when the next recoupling comes around.
And if you don’t believe me (or you’re not impressed by my photography skills), head down to the Herrick Gallery in Mayfair on Thursday 2nd August to check out some amazing phone photography taken on the Samsung Galaxy S9 by 50 fellow content creators.