How to bring the Côte du Soleil feeling home
We're all wanting the lockdown to end so we can get away, but for now, we've got top tips here on how to bring the French Riviera summer feeling home.
Isolation seems to be lasting forever, and while it's important that we follow the rules, I think we can all agree that being stuck at home is boring! The recently launched 'Côte du Soleil' eyewear collection is inspired by the classic lifestyle and aesthetics of southern France in the 1960s and 1970s.
Learn more about the iconic style while spotting our new favorite pair of glasses. We've got all the top tips on how to bring the Cote du Soleil feeling home.
Setting the Scene
Bringing the Cote du Soleil feeling home is easier than it sounds! We've got general tips on how you can create that holiday feeling, but we didn't stop there.
We've got some great decoration tips for your home, as well as the best drinks & recipes. We've got lists of films that the whole family can enjoy and we've put together a perfect playlist to properly set the scene in the comfort of your own home.
Classic food recipes
Think classic southern French foods and the first thing that should spring to mind is their famous Ratatouille dish! You don't have to have perfect chef skills to pull off a great Ratatouille either. In fact, it's a very simple dish to make.
You'll need the following:
- 5 red capsicum
- 4 cloves of garlic (sliced thinly)
- Olive oil (70 ml)
- 1 onion (chopped finely)
- Passata (1 litre)
- 2 eggplants (sliced)
- Green zucchini (400 g, sliced)
- 8 fillets of anchovy (sliced thinly)
- 6 roma tomatoes (sliced)
- 2 tablespoons of thyme leaves (fresh)
- Gruyère (100 g, sliced thinly)
- Fresh and fine breadcrumbs (140 g)
You'll be eating this delicious classic meal in no time by following these simple steps:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Roast capsicum in a roasting pan with two tablespoons of olive oil until the skin has blistered. This should take 10 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer them into a bowl and cover it with some plastic wrap. Leave to cool.
- Once cooled, peel the capsicum and remove the seeds.
- Discard the peel and seeds and then slice the remaining capsicum thinly. Set them aside for later.
- Take a saucepan and add two tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and onion and heat for five minutes until they've softened.
- Add the passata and then simmer for an additional five minutes.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste then remove the pan from the heat.
- Pour into a deep baking dish, ensuring it covers the base of the pan evenly.
- Layer eggplant slices over the base, ensuring they overlap slightly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Repeat step 10 with both the zucchini and the roasted capsicum.
- Layer anchovies.
- Add the roma tomatoes as the last vegetable layer.
- Place breadcrumbs, thyme and Gruyère into a bowl and mix together. Add seasoning to taste, then layer the mixture on top of the vegetables. Drizzle the dish with the olive oil you have left over.
- Bake for approximately one hour, until the vegetables are soft and the top crust is crunchy and golden.
Serve with a salad and a glass of dry Provençal rosé wine.
Other delicious dishes of South France that you should try include the following:
The Duck Confit dish comprises pan-fried duck breast, served with a green bean and beetroot salad. It's a nice, light dish that can be served as a starter or for lunch. You could also double the quantity if you fancy having it as dinner one evening.
An unusual but fantastically French dish is the Swordfish Provençal, which combines shallot, olives, tomatoes, anchovies and swordfish together for an outstanding meal. The swordfish can be substituted with trevalla or tuna if you prefer. Accompany it with a bitter side salad for a perfect balance.
Creating your own cocktails
We all know that the French are the creators of some of the best wines in the world; however, you may not have known that they're also famous for a number of cocktails, too. So if wine isn't your thing, we've got a list of some refreshing French-inspired cocktails that you can mix up at home and enjoy sipping in the garden while you work on your tan.
The French Connection
A simple yet satisfying drink that is named after France itself, is the French Connection. It consists of equally mixing two drinks together: amaretto and cognac (3.5 cl of each ingredient). Both drinks are easily available at your local supermarket, so you can add them to your next shopping list.
Pour the mixed drink over ice and enjoy. It is recommended to use either Hennessey, Courvoisier or Camus as cognac.
The French 75
A refreshing cocktail that will go down a treat on a hot summer's day is the French 75. Mix gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup together and strain the mixture into a glass over ice. Top with champagne and a slice of lemon for a yummy, bittersweet balanced drink (3 cl Gin, 1,5 cl lemon juice, 2 dashes of sugar syrup and 6 cl of champagne).
How many times have you ordered a Blue Lagoon on a night out at your local cocktail bar? Did you know that it was created in France, back in 1972?
The colorful concoction is made by mixing blue caraçao, lemonade and vodka together and then is poured into a highball ball glass over a small mountain of ice (5 cl vodka, 2 cl blue caraçao, 10 cl lemonade and 1 slice of orange). Its eye-catching bright blue color is what really stands out with this cocktail, and is a favorite among many. It's easy to make at home, so you can enjoy the French classic too.
There are lots of other French cocktails that you can try at home too, so you can bring that Cote du Soleil feeling straight to your kitchen.
Keep on moving to music
You've got the food, you've got the drinks, and now it's time to set the scene with the perfect playlist so that you can really get that Southern French feeling happening at home.
We've put together a playlist of the best classic and twisted modern songs that'll make you feel like you're sitting along the southern coast itself, and you won't even need to leave the house.
We had a lot of fun putting this playlist together for you, and we think you'll get equal amounts of fun from listening to it.
Finishing with movies
After a long day, what better way to finish it than with a packet of popcorn on the sofa and a film on the TV. Continuing the theme and helping you to bring the Cote du Soleil feeling home, we've got a list of films that we think you'll enjoy watching that have all been set in the south of France too.
The movie list
1. La Piscine
This summertime drama about jealousy and possessiveness from 1969 takes place on the Côte d'Azur. It was one of our inspirations and for the look of the Cote du Soleil collection and also the inspirational source for the names of the glasses. A hommage to Alain Delon, Romy Schneider and Maurice Ronet.
2. Plein Soleil
Another inspiration for our glasses and a crime thriller based on the novel “The Talented Mr. Ripley” by Patricia Highsmith.
3. Never Say Never Again
A 1983 classic action-packed Bond film, where James Bond finds himself trying to save the world from cruise missiles being detonated.
4. Under the Cherry Moon
A romantic musical starring worldwide famous singer Prince.
5. Priceless (Hors De Prix)
A romantic comedy about a shy and quiet waitress who is mistaken as a multi-millionaire businesswoman.
This thrilling action movie sees an ex-US intelligence officer on the search for a mysterious suitcase which is about to fall into the wrong hands.
7. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
A classic comedy where two criminals are struggling to operate in the same area and so make a bet to rob an heiress where the loser has to pack up and leave forever.
8. French Kiss
A romantic comedy which sees a thief falling in love with his latest victim.
9. Absolutely Fabulous (The Movie)
Edina and Patsy are at it again, this time escaping to France after being accused of killing top supermodel Kate Moss.
10. Grace of Monaco
The true story of Princess Grace Kelly who is faced with a political dilemma between France and Monaco.
Try them out
We can’t bring the Côte d'Azur home to you, but we can show you, how it would feel like. Try our Cote du Soleil AR-Facefilter and see how Romy, Alain and Maurice suit you.