Thursday, June 25, 2009

The end of June/early July is Lavender season in Provence - the colours are incredible against the bright blue sky with the sound of the Cicadas singing.

In the name of research we took a day out today to the Gorge de la Nesque, at the foot of Mont Ventoux the drive and scenary are spectacular. Another gem of Provence!

This is the view of the valley towards the village of Sault,once engulfed by the Ocean.

As well as visiting some wine Domaines (in the interest of our business!) where we were forced to taste and buy wine we stopped and bought cherries as they were being picked.

My catch , a crate of succulent red plump cherries, over 5 kilos for 10 Euros.

And finally - is this not one of the nicest post offices you have seen? should it not be a restaurant?

Fancy living here? not the quietest spot!

and Gentlemen - imagine your 6 foot tall , desperate for a pee - these are the public toilets! and you get the one on the left - you might leave with a stiff xxxx

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Karen looking stunning - like a statue!

And the two of us!

Last thursday we took another 'route touristique' This time heading to the south side of the Luberon, the first stop this tiny village called 'Vitrolles en Luberon'.

From here we went to La Tour d'Aigues where this ruined chateau stands in the centre of the village and is now used for outdoor concerts. It dates to 1550.

It's grandeur contrasts with the rest of the village which has a relatively poor feel to it.

The restaurants are offering a three course lunch with wine for under 10 euros.

Our route then took us to Ansious, a village where Bradd Pitt and Angelina Jolie were going to settle. Thankfully they chose another village, instead the former fortress was sold to a 'highly distinguished Marseille family ' for in excess of 5 Million Euros.

The restored Church dates to the 14th cuntury.

The Belfry dates to 1540 whilst the village clock to the 18th Century.

This is Cucuron, the home of La Petite maison de Cucuron, a delighful restaurant overlooking the central bassin surounded by spendid plane trees.

three, two , one - got it! Thanks Brian

And we were watching you too - or should that be two?

And finally we headed to Lourmarin, a very popular village with a wide range of restaurants, art galleries and shops.

It is so relaxing to meander through the narrow streets.

We are very lucky to have some free time now to resume our research into the area. It seems we have not been out and about in ages! it's nice to remind ourselves why we chose to live here. And what better way to do it than in my old beema! Of all the cars I have owned this was always my favourite - and after driving it around the villages of the Luberon it still is! So how did it get here you may ask? Well our neighbours in Weybridge, Brian & Carole bought the car from me before we left the UK and have been caretaking it for me!! They are touring France and are staying with us for a few days so we are off to explore!.

First port of call is Bonnieux, it is a superb drive through acres of vineyards to this hillside village made famous by Peter Mayle in the book A Year in Provence. This is taken from Lacoste looking across to Bonnieux with the Luberon behind.

We then visited Lacoste, famous for the Chateau where the Marquis de Sade once lived in the 18th century.

This statue depicts that he spent 32 years of life behind bars. The chateau is now owned, like most of the houses in Lacoste by Pierre Cardin.

Le Chene, now finished.

We are now getting into quite a civilised routine! Saturdays are normally changeover day. Last weekend the couple staying at Les Cypres left, coming in we had a couple from Belguim whilst the Canadians who were in Le Chene for 3 weeks left swapping with a French couple from Burgundy. It is a pretty full on day, cleaning, getting linen and towels changed and being ready to welcome the new guests in.
I now have an ever increasing garden to maintain. The 'formal' lawn by the pool has to be cut. I then have the Orchard which takes me a full day to cut. My trusty mower which I bought out from the UK seems to do the job well.

Our pool is proving very popular with our guests. Karen and I manage to sneak a dip in most days whilst they are out and about.

This is our own house 'the bit we live in!'

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dominique our gardener continues the transformation to our garden bringing 48 lavander plants to go on the bank by the pool.

On Wednesday evening we laid on our first 'soiree' for our guests. A four course dinner with unlimited wine!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

We had new clients arrive Saturday, David & Judith staying alongside Brian & Helen whilst Patricia is in our chambre d'hote room - so we are full! as are both houses - at last money is coming in! That will keep the bank manager happy.
And so Sunday we went to our favourite market in Coustellet, abt 20 minutes away. All the produce is grown within 20 miles, it is a very relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere. This guy has been going there for years with Mans best friend, his long haired German shephard. He simply sells wild thyme and earth!

There are plenty of cherries, melons and asparagus all in season.

On Sunday evening we had a meal out for my birthday. Despite this on Monday Karen and I were up early monday preparing breakfasts for our guests!

Happy Clients!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

We are finally being able to manage our days to get work and leisure time balanced!
And so yesterday we were invited out to supper passing the village of Roussillon on route.

Good friends of ours have just bought this barn to convert- untouched for 70 years or more they can see the enormous potential.

Whilst doing the work and managing the project they have rented part of this lovely house where we lunched today.