We had wonderful tour with our first guests this year,everyone had a great sense of humour & got on well together. Lots of laughs, good food, good wine, great swimming and sunbathing (very important for all we Antipodeans escaping the winter!)
From the Champagne region down through the Alps and to the Cote d’Azur was a voyage of discovery. Vineyards & wine cellars, high alps, deep gorges, and finally to the protected area of Cap d’Esterel and the beach at Agay. A day on the beach – what luxury!
And finally to our home for 10 days, La Montagnette, just south of Avignon. It had everything we could ask for – ensuite bathrooms, a tower for a princess (Libby?), 2 comfortable sittingrooms, large terraces (plenty of space to be alone if one wished), a beautiful pool … and a great kitchen for the chef – me! With occasional and welcome help from Nathalie.
It’s wonderful to be in France in the summer, when all the festivals are on, and of course the biggest is the 3 week Theatre Festival in Avignon. although we didn’t get to a performance (we did mean to, but there was always so much else to do). We did have lunch in the Place de l’Horloge, front row seats to watch the performers promoting their shows.
The Sunday markets are always special, and the markets at Chateaurenard and Isle sur la Sorgue are worth getting up early for. At Chateaurenard it was the festival of St Eloi and we happened upon the Grand Parade – 80 large horses in a line, massively decorated, beautifully costumed women and men from different regions of France – stunning.
The archeological site of Glanum, outside St Remy en Provence, is fascinating – from Gallo-Roman times – but incredibly hot in the glaring sun (up to 40 degrees centigrade), , so a visit to the nearby Clotre de St Paul for a van Gogh exhibition was a welcome relief from the heat.
The perched villages of the Luberon are great for a day’s visit, starting with the Borie Village outside Gordes. Stone beehive shaped huts from ancient times, where people eked out a living from the stony soil. Gordes, the village of artists, and Roussillon with it’s red ochre buildings are fascinating to explore – and there was plenty of time for that! Then at the end of the day, back to the pool, a cool wine, a sunbathe, a meal alfresco, or a visit to lacal restaurant. What more could one ask for?
A word from our one Australian guest (our honorary Kiwi!) :
“I would like to record my appreciation for the best holiday I can ever remember. It had absolutely everything. Variey of scenery/sightseeing, festivals, wonderful meals, hilarious company, enormous generosity and a genuine caring that your group was comfortable, well oiled and enjoying themselves. You were an amazing hostess and host.”