My Golden Hour Guide to Annecy
How’s everyone’s summer going? Hot enough? We’re on week 4 of our annual expat friends & family summer pilgrimage. Wonderful & exhausting. Any other expats here? I am loving the freedom to travel and reconnect with loved ones, but the daily socialising/parenting/work juggle definitely takes its toll on my introvert nature. Something I’m getting better at is taking a bit of time out for myself each week, even if it’s just an hour to do something by myself.
When I’m in a new city with a “golden hour” to myself I want to walk, soak up the atmosphere, see art, browse interesting boutiques and have a sweet treat. On such days out, I’ll normally tag team with my husband, taking turns with the kids, so we each get a little time out to do what interests us.
At times like these I often wish I could download a one hour walking route that would take me straight to the places I’ll love most so I can come away feeling that I’ve found my own special pocket of that place. Instead, if I have the foresight, I’ll spend the night before furiously googling “preloved fashion Annecy” “vintage stores Annecy” “best fashion boutiques Annecy” “art gallery Annecy”, saving anything that looks interesting to Google Maps and then planning my “golden hour” walking route. Just like successful shopping – it’s all about the planning.
So if you love vintage style, art, have a sweet tooth and you find yourself with a “golden hour” to yourself in Annecy here’s my guide. You’re welcome 🙂
First things first. Food.
We had cycled 30 minutes along the lakeside, so a quick refuel was in order. Fantastic buttery croissants and coffees for us and waffles for the kids at Cafe des Ducs by the pretty Pont Perriere bridge did the trick. This was a really simple traditional cafe that came highly recommended, but the whole street along the canal is full of cafes and restaurants so you could take your pick.
Then we walked along the canal, took in the street art at Cafe Des Arts and browsed the Atelier d’Art Maurier with colourful affordable art from 80 Euros.
Then walked over the pretty Passage de I’lle bridge (selfie central) to Beyond the Appearances art gallery. Sadly shut during the hours we were in Annecy, but we pressed our noses against the window and all bagsied the pieces we’d buy if we could 😉 They had some really beautiful sculptures and larger scale paintings that looked really interesting. Next time.
We continued past the beautiful handmade soap shops to the beautiful historic hat store Chapellerie Pochat. I felt like I’d stepped onto the set of “Amelie” browsing the shelves of caps and hats in every shape and size. I found my perfect packable sun hat. I’ve been looking for one for ages, but most stores don’t stock any small enough for my pinhead. This one fits like a dream, won’t take flight on a windy day and is so light, soft and comfortable to wear.
Time for a quick refuel at the Au Fidele Berger Chocolatier & Patisserie Tea Room. Their cakes are out of this world.
Vintage Stores, Gallery & Craft Hall
I finished the day strolling back along Faubourg des Annonciades to check out the vintage stores, gallery & craft hall. Bliss.
- United Vintage
- Retropical Vintage
- Gallerie 361 – photographic gallery. Fantastic panoramic photography scenes of the alps and alpine wildlife throughout the seasons.
- Art ´Loc ´Hall If you appreciate artisan crafts you will love this place. Choc full of local independent makers and designers, jewellery, clothes, accessories and home decor.
- Annecy Boutique de Createur “ExtravaganTa”. This is the boutique I found my ‘Heidi’ dress in. Great selection of preloved clothing, upcycled garments and unique statement coats and dresses made by creatrice Tatiana Korotina. You can also shop her handmade jewellery online at her Etsy store and shop her art on @tkoronita_art
When I spot this red embroidered dress it’s like my 28 year old self is daring me to buy it. It’s exactly the sort of thing I used to love wearing. The red is slightly off ideal for me, but there’s enough contrast with the black and white to make it work. And the folk embroidery makes my heart sing ☺️ My 48 year old self makes a deal with my 28 year old self to say Yes more often. So I rejoin the family and cycle back along the lake wearing my new hat & dress feeling like Heidi. I am practically yodelling this has put such a spring in my step! 🎶
Ah the transformative power of True Style… Replenished and reconnected to my True Self in an hour! Happy days.
Has any new (to you) style purchase put a spring back in your step recently?
We stuck to the old town on our day trip and I feel like I barely scratched the surface of Annecy, but I have fallen completely in love with its historic winding canals, quirky shops and beautiful alpine setting. This is a wonderful place to say Yes to.