As the Spring wildflowers give way to the blooming lavender, I present to you my Spring wildflower cyanotype series for 2019. A big thank you to Nicky at the NG Creative Art Residency in Eygalières that allowed me to use the studio space and exhibit there.
On the 1st of May, make sure to visit the celebrations in Arles where the Fête des Gardians takes over the city. Worth a visit! You may even see the queen of les Arlesiennes.
This is the month of public holidays in France. Make sure to be aware of store closings. I would just give up on getting anything official done this month. Beware of “faire le pont” where everyone combines a public holiday with a weekend- even if the holiday is in the middle of the week!
You’ll find the landscape to be full of red poppies, wild peas, elderflower, rocket and more. The markets display stunning varieties of artichokes, peas and mountains of fresh herbs. Book an insider’s market tour with me if you’re curious.
Jours Féries/Public Holidays:
1 mai : Fête du Travail (French Labour day, A LOT is closed. Luckily, there are numerous festivals. This is when I met my man 11 years ago. The public holiday was the excuse for drinking all his wine and eating all his chocolate while stranded at a youth hostel in deep wine country Languedoc….
8 mai : Victory in Europe Day 1945
30 mai : l’Ascension…
Recently, I spent a day out in Sete with Nancy McGee of Absolutely Southern France. She was excited to show me around her adopted home and I, ever curious, was happy to come along a day with her. We actually found that that we have common very close family friends, but that’s another story!
Lous XIV chose Sète as the place that the Canal du Midi would join the Mediterranean. In addition to the important port, Sète is also known for the jousting tournament that takes place every July since 1666. The town has always piqued my interest because of this special tournament.…
So I’m perhaps little nuts but at this time of year I love to sit in the evening with a glass of wine, talk to my man and shell fresh peas. Those plump lovelies are so delicious it’s worth the effort, and relaxing too.
Right now in the Luberon it’s all about the cherry blossoms. There are many weekend vide greniers and lots of fresh foraged asparagus, arugula/rocket, thyme and more to be had in the hillsides.
Yesterday, we spent 3 hours at the notary as we’re buying a house. It’s a complete ruin and very old so all the boundary lines are tricky. There’s even a secret passage! Things won’t really move ahead for another couple months (it’s France) but exciting nonetheless!
Inspiration for visiting Provence from November-March.
Truffles – Sea Urchins – Long Walks – Horseback Riding – Eating (of course!)
If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed that I’m trying to start a new hashtag #provenceinwinter because this place is honestly wonderful year-round. The area does become more sleepy after the busy summer season (thankfully!) but there’s still plenty to see, eat and do. The sky in the Camargue often has a pink tint on the horizon and in the Alpilles a dark blue behind the mountains. The air smells of wood-burning fires particularly in the Luberon where the smoke from stunning farmhouses rises in the valleys. The sheep return from their mountain retreats and take over the fields. White flowers bloom between the leafless grape vines and the winter light on the plane trees highlight their goblet shapes. When the Mistral wind is blowing it’s best to stay inside but otherwise it’s quite possible to eat outside at midday. The markets are much smaller but it’s the best markets that are year round as the tourist markets disappear during the winter months. Prices for accommodation are cheaper so you can stay even longer! Rent a villa and cook delicious stews! Here are just a few ideas to inspire your visit to Provence in winter.…
Spring is Upon us! Or, at least, it is here. The almonds are blooming and it’s about 20 degrees in the sun. I remember growing up in Montréal when you could smell the spring mud and ice thawing, there would always be one last snow generally right before my birthday on April 26th. Urgh. For all of you in colder climes, you’re almost there…
Here is my list of interesting goings on in Provence this month. Enjoy and let me know if you attend any of the events and what you thought! Feel free to add any other suggestions in the comments.…
Just for fun, I printed some of these fun Provence-inspired drawings onto stickers. Something to brighten up the winter months?
You’ll find 2 drawings of “rosé piscine”, an essential during the Provençal summers. This is where you ask for a large glass of rosé with ice cubes, or “a pool of rosé” perfect for sipping and people watching on a terrace during market day.
There are 3 drawings of heirloom tomatoes (yum!), fish soup, a map of Provence, a 2CV car and of course, lavender.…
Our House in Maussane is up for sale
*The house has since been sold!
We have decided to put up our house in Maussane-les-Alpilles, as seen on the Househunters International show, for sale. We’re hoping to start a new renovation project sometime soon. This house is a perfect pied-à-terre for someone wanting to experience Provencal village life in the heart of Les Alpilles.
Maussane-les-Alpilles is a small Provencal village of 2000 residents, located 10 minutes from Saint Remy de Provence and right next to Les Baux de Provence. At the foot of Les Alpilles national park, the surrounding scenery is stunning with olive groves and vineyards for miles. Maussane also has many restaurants, some of which are the best restaurants in the region.
Our charming house is 3 blocks away from the centre square in the historic centre of the village. You’ll find a wine cave, artisan cheese monger, organic vegetable store and fresh fishmonger at the end of the street. Maussane also has three bakeries and a weekly market! This village has all the chic of Saint Remy, while being lesser-known.
- The house is 38 square metres (409 square feet) with a small attic for storage and a small courtyard (about 9 square metres/95 square feet).
- Built in the late 1700s, part of a traditional Mas longue or long farmhouse. The house is the end parcel.
- Electric radiator heating (possibility of installing a reversible heater/air conditioning unit)
- Newly renovated with up to date French building code (new electrics and plumbing)
- Renovated using traditional provencal methods with re-claimed materials
- High ceilings with beams (about 7-8 feet)
- Exposed original stone
- Configuration: Downstairs kitchen and living room, upstairs bedroom and bathroom.
- Street Parking
- 25 minutes south of TGV Avignon, 10 minutes from Saint Remy, 45 minutes from Marseille airport
Contact Ashley about our Provence village house for sale at firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries.
Sea Urchins, Truffles, and Long walks
The villages of Provence become quiet after the holidays. People tend to stay in, stoke their living room fires, and leave a pot au feu (stew) on the stove for many hours.
There are fewer of the festivals that celebrate one particular type of local produce that I so much love; however, that doesn’t mean there still isn’t quality produce to be eaten. Rabbit, truffles, sea food and all manner of fresh root veggies and beautiful enormous cabbages fill the markets. I must admit I quite enjoy seeking out a sunny café and overlooking the quiet landscape dotted with stems of chimney smoke. This is a great time of year for foraging, visiting the sites of Provence that are otherwise crowded (Roman ruins, museums) and hiking.…
During December in Provence the local bakeries and gourmet grocery stores are filled with delicious specialties and the winding streets of hilltop towns come alive again (after quiet November) for the Christmas markets. The gift of food is king here. I have to say I cannot be more on board with that French policy.
Attend any of the events below and you’ll find yourself nibbling roasted chestnuts and wandering around a town square with a glass of champagne or mulled wine in your hand. Provence may not be known for it’s festive season in comparison to the Alsace region of France, but I’m certainly not complaining. If you happen to be in the area, I’m still offering market tours despite the more chilly weather. We’ll just have to sneak an extra glass of red to keep us warm!
Just about every single village in the Provencal countryside has their own Christmas market. I like the outdoor markets better than the markets held in the local community centres. I also prefer the markets that last only a weekend or a day. See Noel.org for a complete list of the many many Christmas markets and light festivals. Christmas markets (Marchés de Noel) generally only start at 10am and go until 6pm.