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Bonjour, my friends, from the South of France! I am currently staying in an airbnb in a charming village called Villefranche Sur-Mer and it is feels straight out of a storybook. I feel like I keep pinching myself because it is just absolutely stunning here.

(Annie, Ashley, Marcie, Katherine, Sarah, and me)

Have you ever been to France or Europe? This is my second time in Europe (my first time was last June in Barcelona). And I AM HOOKED. I am back HOME and am just super thankful for the opportunity to go on this trip.

I have updated the post with SO MANY PHOTOS. This felt like a fairytale trip and France was so dreamy.

This is what the alleyways look like in France. UNREAL! The French blue shutters, the brick streets, the hydrangeas, the bells ringing from the church. It was all so LOVELY.

I am with a group of five wonderful food blogger friends and we are eating and trying as much food as possible. It is a research trip. πŸ™‚

I get so much inspiration from traveling and trying new foods. We have already tried some crazy foods in our quest to immerse ourselves in the culture.

The first day we were here we signed for a food tour and you wouldn’t believe some of the things we tried! Our guide was so excited to share with us this special cake or pie that is special to Nice, France. I was anticipating something mind-blowing! So, I started to eat it and she asked, “why do you think it is green?” Any guesses?

SWISS CHARD! This was the first time I ever tried a dessert made with swiss chard. And it will probably be my last. Hahaha!

Isn’t this amazing how they make candied fruit in France? It is such a simple process and I am obsessed with it.

But it was so fun to be adventurous with food!

On this food tour, our guide had us try so many different things — chickpea socca, anchovy and onion foccacia, a cold swiss chard omelette called trouchia, a charcuterie board filled with meats and French cheeses, among other things.

Are you adventurous with trying new and unique foods?

As soon as the food tour was done, I was beelining it to find some French macarons and chocolate stat.

Isn’t this the most charming, little macaron shop? It was down a small alleyway and everything from the decor to the flooring to the delicious macarons was lovely.

We arrived back to the villa after picking up 6 desserts from a French chocolate shop to test and analyze. I can tell you…they were a lot better than the swiss chard cake!

We adventured to the town of Eze and even went and visited Monaco and saw the Grand Prix set-up and ate the best gelato!! We walked over 20,000 steps just exploring the city!

The town of Eze looked like we were transported to the inspiration behind Beauty and the Beast. It has so much beauty, charm, and history. We even walked the Le Jardin Exotique, a gorgeous garden set up on a huge hill overlooking the ocean.

When I heard we were touring a garden, I imagined vibrant flowers and lush gardens filled with statuesque trees. It was actually an “exotic garden” filled with cactus and it looked straight out of the Arizona desert. It definitely felt like home! Have you ever been?

Okay…maybe not exactly like Arizona. We definitely don’t have oceanfront property here.

We ate at a restaurant with stunning views overlooking the ocean. We tried pizza topped with zucchini blossoms, which are popular here in France. Have you tried them? It was actually absolutely delicious!

A fun fact about me is that I don’t drink alcohol so I am the “Mocktail Queen” on these trips. I am now determined to create some killer mocktail recipes!

This town was so picturesque with villas set up on a hill overlooking the ocean.

On to our next adventure….

We took an Uber to MONACO! Did you know it is one of the most expensive places to live in the world? It is also home to the Grand Prix, which they were setting for, so that was super cool.

We even toured the CASTLE up on a hill. One thing that was consistent about Europe was HILLS and STAIRS. My apple watch was so happy with me in Europe! I think we climbed 58 sets of stairs on this day alone. Just burning off pastries right and left!

And you know what we walked super FAR for? Any guesses? It was the top-rated gelato in the city and you know food bloggers will definitely go out of their way for GELATO!

I had to get three scoops because it was ridiculously AMAZING. They had chocolate fudge pistachio, chocolate fudge hazelnut, and amerana cherry gelato. I am still DREAMING about it!

After all of that walking, we worked up quite the appetite! Okay let’s be real….we snacked all of the time because we needed to TRY IT ALL.

We had reservations at this gorgeous restaurant right on the beach in Monaco.

One food that we saw on almost every menu in this part of France was TRUFFLES. Truffle eggs, truffle pasta, truffle mashed potatoes, etc. Now I love truffle but I am not going to lie… I needed a break from truffles. They were EVERYWHERE!

But my favorite food with truffles was definitely this truffle pasta. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!

After this relaxing dinner, we had to hightail it to catch a train back to Villefranche Sur-Mer. We made it with 2 minutes to spare!

There are so many farmer’s markets in France and we have only hit one thus far and it was charming. These pink peonies are what dreams are made of. Absolute perfection!!

We went back AGAIN to the Farmer’s market in Nice because it was just so beautiful and filled with so many things I wanted to take home! We don’t have farmers markets like this is Arizona. Hahaha!

Can we talk about how BEAUTIFUL these candied fruit are? I wanted to try them ALL!!

Ok can you guess everything in this photo below? Let’s see if you can guess what is on the bottom right! It is something I have never tried them before and they were unreal.

What about this one? Any guesses? I LOVED this pasta dish!

They are Zucchini Flower Fritters and they were phenomenal. We saw a lot of burrata, zucchini flower fritters, and truffle in restaurants in France.

What about this dessert? A hint…my kids like to call it the “styrofoam dessert.” Haha!

We wrote in the cutest shuttle ever around Saint Jean Cap Ferrat and then decided to do the beach walk. We thought it would be just an easy stroll but 10,000 plus steps and many stairs later, we were wondering why we were in skirts and sandals! Sometimes my outfit choices don’t make sense but I AM IN FRANCE!

These are my fun food blogging friends who I learn so much from. From Left to Right —

Me :), Ashley from Recipe Rebel, Annie from Maebells, Katherine from Love in my Oven, Sarah from Live Eat Learn, and Marcie from Flavor the Moments.

Now we are back at the villa for the night (it is Friday night here) and we are currently eating some “girl dinner” as some like to refer to it as. The French cheeses are just absolutely creamy and decadent and I am living off baguettes and cheese and also slathered in French butter.

Sarah from Live Eat Learn put this together in minutes and it is so beautiful. I am surrounded by such talented people.

We have two more full days here! We are heading to Cannes and Antibes tomorrow and the Cannes Film Festival is going on right now so it is going to be CRAZY. I can’t wait to hit so many more markets and stock up on all of the French butter. I will be sharing photos of my huge haul with you!

I added a TON more NEW photos above plus here are some more to finish up the trip. We ended up going to Cannes and the energy in the city was amazing. We even got a photo in front of the red carpet. πŸ™‚

We basically ATE our way through the city. SURPRISE! Isn’t this yogurt bowl so stunning? I was on the hunt for an AMAZING BAKERY and keep scrolling because we found it!

FULL DISCLOSURE: I wanted to order EVERYTHING! They just make the most beautiful desserts. And I was so surprised at the prices because almost everything was less expensive than in some parts of the United States. So of course, we had to try as many as possible!

Which one would be your favorite?

We had a relaxing dinner on the water in Villefranche Sur-Mer at Dry Restaurant. Look at how charming this town is set on the water. We just loved walking around soaking it all in. Oh and except that I made a very poor shoe choice for walking the hills of Villefrance Sur-Mer. I embraced the tennis shoes after this debacle! Hahaha!

One of the HIGHLIGHTS of the trip was definitely cooking together. The first night we arrived in France, we were all jet lagged and exhausted and sweet Annie made us dinner. Just love her!

The pasta was insanely GOOD in France. I am still dreaming about this ravioli and gnocchi. And those views never ever ever got old.

Below is a photo of beautiful Ashley and our lunch on the last day on the terrace. As much as I loved exploring France, we loved coming back to the villa and just relaxing.

Oh and I have to include one last photo of a bakery because they were EVERYWHERE! It was MY DREAM.

Oh and let’s just chat for a second about this CREPE stuffed with Nutella, topped with vanilla bean gelato and salted caramel.

Our FINAL DINNER was at this stunning restaurant overlooking the water in Nice, France. It was so much fun adventuring around France with my foodie adventure friends. They are all AMAZING! I just feel super grateful to have these types of opportunities.

It all started with a girl who was obsessed with learning how to cook and bake. I never though in my WILDEST DREAMS that I would be where I am at now. SO THANK YOU! I appreciate you coming back to Modern Honey and making so many of my recipes. I hope you know how much it means to me.

Thank you so much for reading! I love your comments so much. I need to catch up on replying to last week’s comments but I read every single one and appreciate them so much!

Have the best weekend, my friends!

— Melissa

Hi, I'm Melissa Stadler!

I am an Award-Winning Recipe Creator. Cover of Food Network Magazine. Two-Time Pillsbury Bake-Off Finalist. I am passionate about sharing the best recipes so you have success in the kitchen!

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  1. What a fun trip with fun, shared-vision gals!! Did I miss it…what were those three delicious foods you questioned your readers to guess. It all looked so DELISH!!

  2. Longtime subscriber here and I was delighted to see you were going to start a Friday chitchat section. I’ve always enjoyed the little bits of life and stories you include in your recipes and as a Christian I have gleaned so much wisdom and wholesomeness and resilience hidden in amongst your recipes (for example your family and parents continued faithfulness towards God even after the devastating loss of you brother) and your daughter now married and continuing in a God-centered life; it just continues to inspire me in so many ways and I look forward to living such that my daughter can tell the beautiful stories about me that you tell about your mom! I thoroughly enjoy your recipes and you’re the first place I come when I’m looking for something delicious to cook, because your recipes never fail to be delicious and you always have a warm and welcoming story to accompany it! Love what you do and am an eager chit chat Friday reader! Thank you for your wholesome, delicious content. Reading your recipes always feels like sitting down in a cozy living-room over coffee with an old friend!

  3. My goodness, you are with a great group of Ladies and it looks like you are having a wonderful time!
    I love all the pictures of the scenery and food! So yummy.
    Looking forward to the next Friday Chit Chat.

  4. Oh wow!! ✨ What an incredible life experience Melissa!! Surrounded by friends, and food, and gorgeous views – what more could one ask for?!! So happy for you πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’— We will miss you in Stake council on Sunday cause you always light up the room.😭love you!!

  5. Beautiful pictures, Melissa! I must say, from the time I was 15, the whole area has changed! It’s perfect now. I am so happy you all are able to see fantastic sights!

  6. Sorry you don’t care for swiss chard. Mmmmm. Give you credit for trying so many different foods. Such a great looking group. I also follow Recipe Rebel (Ashley), in your group. You’re both great bloggers! Can’t wait to see more photo’s. Thanks for sending all the pic’s and info.