"Is it any better in heaven... than you found it in Provence?" - William Carlos Williams
Provence welcomed us with a dramatic light show. Lightning flashed and rain pounded as we touched down in Marseilles. After a soggy drive, we found ourselves safely wrapped in chintz at the Villa Gallici just outside of Aix-en-Provence, too cozy and tired to pay much attention the the thunder that rattled the windows.
A good night sleep, some coffee, croissants (served up on Limoges plates), a little sunshine, and we were ready to explore...
It was market day in Aix, perfect for a leisurely wander - and an even longer lunch - before it was time to make our way to the foothills of the Alps where the village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie nestled snugly in the limestone cliffs.
Just below the village, the romantic La Bastide de Moustiers promised a delicious stay. Formerly the home of chef Alain Ducasse, and responsible for one of the Michelin stars in his firmament, with acres of gardens supplying the table - clearly we wouldn't go hungry.
We could have stayed forever, but would have need new pants - the buttons on ours were near defeat after just two days of gluttonous bliss. So off we drove to Noves to meet up with dear friends waiting in a charming villa at the Moulin de La Roque, which boasted hills to hike, a big green lawn for chasing after the younger members of our set, a perfectly chilled pool and a boules pitch - just what we needed to work off five course meals.
Even better, Noves proved the perfect launching point for expeditions, only 20 to 30 minutes away from just about any bit of Provence we wanted to visit, and allowing us to always be back in time for a swim, a pastis on the terrace, a game of boules and a dinner cobbled together from the spoils of the markets.
All of these fantastic points on our escape deserve posts of their own, and each day served up enough loveliness to keep me typing away for weeks. So I hope you don't mind staying in Provence a little longer. Sit back, pour yourself a glass of rosé and please join me. There's much more to share.
Happy weekend, everyone! XO