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21 MAY 2015 - BY JOSEPH TYSON
France is the ideal destination for such a holiday; it's close by, starting to get warm in May and the country itself oozes romance and allure. The only issue is, where to go on your short romantic escape across the Channel? Here's some inspiration to get you thinking.
The ultimate city for a romantic break, Paris just has to come top of the list. From the laid-back cafe culture of Montmartre to stealing a kiss with your loved one at the top of the Eiffel Tower, it seems every inch of this city was designed to evoke feelings of love and passion.
Paris' stunning architecture and a bustling arts scene make it an incredibly pretty city to walk through and the French capital is surprisingly easy to navigate on foot. Take a few strolls through the streets of St Germain, the Latin Quarter and along the banks of the Seine and fall in love with this marvellous city.
Not only is Paris easy on the eye, but as a gastronomic powerhouse, it's not too bad on the tastebuds either. The city is famed for its wonderful restaurants and so it's not too hard to find somewhere incredible for an intimate meal.
As well as being able to fly to Paris directly from the UK, you can also use the Eurostar train which only takes around three hours and is usually very reasonably priced.
Nothing says romance like azure waters and long, sandy beaches and Nice ticks both boxes. Idyllically located on the Bay of Angels, the capital of the Côte d'Azur combines natural beauty with high-end glamour to incredible effect making it the ideal place for a short, lavish trip.
For stunning views and a trendy atmosphere, you may want to base yourself close to the Promenade des Anglais, a five-mile stretch of seafront that stares out onto the vast, blue sea. Being in such a picturesque setting, this part of the city contains some of the best (and most expensive) restaurants, but the fare on offer is well worth the price.
If you are after real charm and a place for a pleasant stroll, hand in hand, then look no further than the Old Town (Vieux Nice). This mazy clutter of tiny streets is crammed with bars, restaurants and some of the city's finest architecture. Yes, it's a little touristy, but that doesn't mean the locals shy away - a fantastic place to enjoy lunch in the warm Nice sun.
Brittany is drenched in rich history, from the marvellous pattern work of the Bayeux Tapestry to the scene of one of WWII's most important events, the Normandy beaches.
But in and amongst all that past, this north-east region of France is also home to some pretty dramatic coastline and beaches. It's not so much the beaches that make this part of the country so romantic, more so the little villages and towns that are strewn across the coast between them.
You could easily spend a few weeks driving along the coast, taking in a number of different villages all while sampling the famous Breton crepe, but as you only have a weekend, you may want to pick just one.
If you like the idea of escaping the crowds altogether head to the wonderfully desolate L'Aber-Wrac'h. However, if you want something a little more lively, consider Quiberon, a large beach with plenty of bars and restaurants close by.
For picturesque countryside, fascinating old towns and endless greenery, look no further than the Loire Valley.
This beautiful part of France has a little bit of everything so it's ideal for a short break away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday grind.
Rent bikes and pedal gently around Touraine, delve into the serenity of the Indre Valley or just loose yourself in the charm of stunning places like Chenonceau and Chambord - whatever you choose to do here, you won't be sorry.