Today we’re Escaping to…romantic Provence, the dreamy region of Southeastern France that has delighted travels and artists alike for centuries. Tracing it’s original namesake from the Romans, as it was the first Roman territory beyond the alps, Provence has become a European hotspot for wine tasting and coastal retreats. Comprised of six regions overlooking the Mediterranean Sea (think Cannes, Nice, and Aix-en-Provence to name a few), and characterized by rolling hills, vineyards, and lavender fields, not to mention some of the most beautiful seaside views on the Mediterranean, this is the perfect location for a destination wedding or honeymoon.
The streets of Provence are more than idealic…they’re downright nostalgic for simpler times. The architecture is simple yet dazzling, with cobble stone, limestone and brick lining almost every inch of every town and village. You could literally roam the streets for hours and hours, with the exception of the occasional set of chairs or a bench calling you to sit and ponder how very lucky you are to be here.
How exquisite is that tiny chapel? Perfect for saying your I do’s, don’t you think?
There are so many places to visit, and so many things to see in Provence. Here are just a few of my picks for the best in where and what you should sleep/eat/see:
Sleep: La Bastide de Boulbon…Located in Boulbon, which is near the areas of les Baux, Avignon, Saint Remy de Provence, le Pont du Gard, and Arles, Le Bastide is the ideal destination hotel of Provence. Both quintessential French country house and modern hotel, you’ll enjoy everything about your stay from the amazing service of owners Marie-Claire and Jan, to the heated pool, to the hotel’s two mountain bikes available for self guided tours of the alps. Take a hike and visit the medieval castle of Boulbon, the windmill and the Frigolet Abbey, or schedule a message and read in one of the properties tranquil gardens. Either way, your guaranteed a charming and comfortable retreat.
Eat: Fou de Fafa…the best kept secret (or not so secret) of Avignon, Fou de Fafa is ironically owned and operated by British couple Antonia Pyemont-Coughlan and Russell Coughlan. Serving French farm to table cuisine with an international twist, such as Duck breast with strawberries and a balsamic glaze, it’s no wonder this restaurant is a destination hotspot for locals and tourists alike. The atmosphere is unpretentious and prices are extremely reasonable, although reservations are recommended as the dining room is both popular and small.
See: Beyond the beaches of Nice, and the famous festival at Cannes, there is so much that the region of Provence has to offer. For the wine alone, your first stop should be Les Caves Saint Charles. Owner Guy runs this restored 13th century cellar and offers an extensive collection of wines from the Chateauneuf-du-Pape AOC region. Try as many red varietals as you can, being this the most renowned offerings from the area. Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild is the perfect destination to experience a unique and vast collection of French furniture and art. This villa, located on the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula, is one of the most beautiful on the Côte d’Azur. As the former home of Baroness Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, it’s remains both a museum and tribute to Beatrice’s love of France and her travels throughout the world. And that’s just inside the villa…the gardens themselves are worth the trip. It’s important to note that the Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild does offer use of the space for weddings and receptions.
Until next time…