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Joie de Realty - Leyla Takes France

Joie de Realty - Leyla Takes France


Laptop? Check. Passports? Check. Air France and champagne? Double check. With my family in tow, we were ready to embark on our French Summer excursion beginning in the picturesque village of Ramatuelle, then to glamorous St. Tropez, Paris, and concluding in the breathtaking Loire Valley. As a busy Realtor with a self-admitted affinity for timeless design, even during my travels, I’m drawn to the details and magic that live in European architecture. Between wandering the seaside with my children, exploring castles and châteaux, spending evenings in the city of lights, and serving my clients with the help from my Bay Area teammates, I found Joie de Vivre and Joie de Realty all in one.

If luxury had a permanent address, it would be somewhere in St. Tropez. Club 55 offers beach side lounging on mattresses in the sand, because why not? It’s St. Tropez after all. If you’re in the mood for colorful dancers, flame throwers, and sparklers that light up the sky above the harbor, then L’Opera is your go-to for dinner with flair. Insider tip: if you order a bottle of Dom Pérignon, they’ll bring a flag of your country to display at the table! For some down time to shop for gifts and delight in fresh food, Place des Lices Market is the place to be. To top off our time in the southern region, we indulged in several Michelin Star restaurants located in Gassin Village. 


It wouldn’t be a trip to France without a stop in Paris. Here we trekked exactly 674 stairs to the second floor of the Tour D'eiffel to snap photos and experience a reprieve from the heat in the cool breeze. A day at the Musée d’Orsay was spent inside the mind of Antoni Gaudí, the esteemed 19th century Spanish architect most known for the still-incomplete Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona. Our time in Paris finished in grand opulence with a guided tour of the Sun King’s Versailles. 

The last leg of our journey in the Loire Valley brought a delightful mix of dreamy bike rides around the town of Ambroise and tours through Château de Cheverny castle (17th century), Château de Chambord (15th century), and Chenonceau Castle (15th century). As a real estate professional, I made a few mental notes for any clients in the market for a vacation home or ready to make a permanent move overseas. While châteaux are in ample supply and more affordable than chic city living in Paris, they come with high maintenance costs and constant work. It’s a passion project worth it for those who are emotionally invested in the vision of countryside living. One thing among many that the French get right are historically sustainable design practices. Traditionally, French homes are built with strong wooden/iron shutters that can be locked from the inside, which is beneficial not only for conserving energy but for security as well. In addition, ​​the French use concrete, stone, or bricks rather than wood for durability and temperature regulation, which was especially noticeable when visiting the castles. 

Like all good things, our trip to France came to an end. What made this spectacular trip even better was the ability to remain engaged with my business whilst away. I was even able to help a client purchase a stunning home in San Francisco’s Glen Park! Upon returning to my life here in the states, I am more excited than ever to bring a fresh perspective to my clients and help them discover their own Joie de Vivre in the home of their dreams. 

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