July 20, 2016
Welcome to the South of France.
Here’s look into my experience in the picturesque region of Provence, thanks to Bliss Travels.
I spent a week living out a luxury bed & breakfast in a gorgeous hillside village within The Luberon, which is the best place to be in the countryside if you are looking for endless fields of lavender, vineyards and olive groves. Every morning I woke up to a delicious spread of gourmet items, ranging from croissants, fruits, cheeses, baguettes, jams to specialty baked items like cake and clafoutis. There were also coffee and juice! Plus, the panoramic view from the tables was breathtaking. Both were truly reasons to wake up early for.
Bedrooms were homely with windows that open up into the village. We had one in the bathroom as well. There’s nothing quite like fresh air billowing into your room. In case you were wondering, yes there is air conditioning and daily cleaning service. I might also add, the toiletries stocked were all L’Occitane!
There were spiral staircases leading down to the salon and even further down to the open kitchen and garden.
Now, let tell you about the garden and pool. When, I walked through the first time, I felt like I was transported to a fairytale world. The lush greenery was such a welcome. That feeling stayed with me as I walked around town. I kept asking myself, “Is this real?!” As, someone from a big city, sights like this just amazes me. Simply, the best.
Besides the food & wine, which I’ll post about separately, this was my favorite part of my trip. I love to include a good hike or two in every trip. It helps burn some of the calories from all the eating and it leads to some pretty incredible views. Wendy took us to some spectacular places off the beaten path and the overlooks just took my breath away. We also ventured into nearby villages and saw remnants of Roman civilization, which piqued the inner history geek in me. Since, Luberon is mountainous and hilly. Expect a hike almost everywhere you go!
Remember, I spoke about the endless orchards and groves? I’m so happy we saw so many throughout the week, including lavender fields. Oh, and vineyards! We are in the rosé wine birth region, after all.
This is probably as local as you can go. The villages in Provence have different market days, but we went to the weekend ones. The first was right across from the hotel we stayed in. I went straight to the lavender products. It was on my list of things to bring back. I bought a good amount of products from soaps (as gifts), body lotions to linen sprays. I even bought a bunch of fresh cut lavender to hang in the room. I love walking back into a lavender scented room after a long day exploring.
The second market was in the town of Apt. It was several times larger than the local one. I don’t think I’ve even covered half of it when I was there. There are 300 stalls in this one! There are variety of vendors in Apt, but this is definitely the one you should go to if you love food. I tried some great wine, cheese, cured meats and fruits from here. I love how buzzing the market was and the freshness of the food. At the end, I did find the perfect straw basket and espadrilles to take home!! My favorite thing to do is to bring back a locally made item to incorporate into future outfits and for the memories.
Oh yeah, I was finally able to try lavender ice cream in Apt!! Mission accomplished.
If you’ve made it all the way down here, you deserve this little tidbit. Wendy, being the insider she is, took us to a private residence that is just the most amazing historic site!! Roman treasures, sculptures and fragments of architecture were literally dug up in their backyard. Their home is filled with artworks and pieces throughout history. We had aperitif in the backyard and I just sat in awe, as I was surrounded by relics of the past. When we toured the house, the amount of collectibles in each room was overwhelming in the best way possible. Just imagine living in The Met Museum, but better. This was probably the most mind-blowing experience.
I hope you feel like you’ve transported into the trip, even briefly.
A big thanks to Bliss Travels for taking me out and showing us the real Provence.
Next, up… Michelin Star dining, Lavender fields and Food/Wine!