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Happy Holidays from Perfectly Provence

Holiday Wishes!

The holidays are here, and it’s time to wish everyone Merry Christmas – Joyeux Noël and all the best for this joyful season. However, before we head out on a little technology break, it’s time to acknowledge all our terrific contributors.

Time Out in Provence – What’s On

Lynne launched Aixcentric with the idea to post current events happening in and around Aix-en-Provence. Aixcentric is the go-to resource whether you are interested in the latest art exhibit or need to find out why the roads are under construction. Discover Lynne’s two books where she dives into the historic details about Aix-en-Provence and the artists who have lived (and created) in the region. Please read our reviews of Aix-en-Provence, The Inside Story and Art in the South of France, The Inside Story.

Provence @CuriousProvence

Ashley Tinker is a Canadian transplant, who readily admits that Provence is an inspiration for her photography. Curious Provence is the name of her blog and where she highlights current events, market finds and of course her great photos. Join Ashley on a market tour or photoshoot for holiday experiences you won’t forget.

Expat Living in the South of France

Rebecca Ronane is combining her career experience and professional goals into building a networking and personal development business based in Provence.


Deborah Bine aka The Barefoot Blogger can be found scouring markets from the Mediterranean to Alsace. Our solo traveller is happy to visit the Cote d’Azur or spending a few days in the Pays Basque or hanging out on a beach chair.

Gayle Padgett and her husband Ralph are American transplants who after working in Heidelberg, Germany for two decades decided to retire to Provence. Hardly out of the blue, their move was the result of several vacation forays (she calls it flirting) to the South of France over those years. Her memoir Passion for Provence: 22 Keys to La Belle Vie, begins on the tennis courts in Arlington, Virginia where the couple first met and ends in France.

Phil Chandler is the writer behind – An Englishman in Avignon. He and his wife are exploring the region from their home-base in Avignon.

Exploring Provence

Our Vaucluse Dreamer, Julie, is discovering Provence one kilometre at a time from the seat of her bike. When Julie is not pedalling, she is busy turning antique silver market finds into gorgeous jewellery.

Luberon Cycling Routes

Martine Bertin-Peterson runs small group tours with a culinary focus. Her company Gout et Voyage brings food and travel together. Look for her recipes and travel stories.

Laura and her family live in Switzerland, but take full advantage of living in Europe to explore. The adventures of this multi-cultural family are captured in Laura’s blog Let’s Explore, where she provides travel tips and encouragement to see the world with your family.

Marina Depoorter is the founder of Learn French in France with Franci Discendum a language school that offers the ultimate bespoke learning experience. Based in Viens a charming village in the Luberon, students are invited to spend their holiday in an immersion environment of their own choosing. Marina and her fellow instructors offer a fun, stress-free language learning at-your-own-pace.

Franco-American Girl Gone Gallic is a Francophile to the core, she is happy to provide details on shopping tips, how to dress like a French woman and the best places for hiking on the Mediterranean coast.

Provence Cote Bleue

Michel and Shirley are exploring the culinary trails in Provence from Sablet. Their home in this charming Vaucluse village is their base when they are visiting and available for rent the rest of the time. These “Our House in Provence” posts are indispensable guides for new restaurants you need to try.

Biking, hiking and running accommodation in Provence David and Karen have a three-bedroom villa with a private pool, two gites and a chambre d’hôte room with a shared pool.

Mary Kay Seales was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest in Washington State, where she also teaches writing to international students at the University of Washington. When she is not working, she is travelling and often to the South of France. She is the author of The Beginner’s Guide to the French Riviera: Stop Dreaming & Start Packing.

Photographer and passionate traveller Paul Shawcross heads up the European Acquisitions for Bindu Trips a travel planning website that features Provence along with many other European destinations. Watch for new Apps in 2020.

Mary Jane Deeb is an enthusiastic reader and an author herself. Look for her book reviews.

As an ex-pat American living in Germany Dorothy Garabedian looks at Europe through a different lens. Here, is what she has to say about France’s second-largest city, “Marseille is a fascinating place that holds many secrets waiting to be unearthed.”

Who wouldn’t want to live on the Cote d’Azur?

Buying Property Provence Cote d'Azur #FrenchRiviera @PerfProvence

Our contributors tempt us to visit with their travel tips, family holiday ideas, and how to get away from the French Riviera crowds. Read posts from;

Becks at Access Riviera for family-friendly travel tips that won’t break the bank.

Phoebe Thomas about running a self-catered apartment and managing a growing family.

Chef and sommelier Viktorija Todorovska who is enjoying life on the Cote d’Azur.

We can hardly wait for Jemma’s dispatches from Antibes each summer. Her French Lessons Blog is about language, expat living and cultural discoveries.

Published author Margo Lestz no longer calls Nice home base, but we continue to read her amusing and informative Curious Rambler posts on interesting historical facts about France.

Time for a toast with the Wines of Provence

Merry Christmas Perfectly Provence 2017

The team at Mirabeau Wine is producing lovely wines that have garnered the attention of many industry experts. In the spare moments when Stephen and Jeany are not managing a growing business, they enjoy family time and tasty meals (with their wine of course).

Susan Manfull Newman juggles many wine glasses with her e-magazine Provence WineZine informative, funny and all about the wines of Provence.

Master of Wine Elizabeth Gabay who has been hard at work on a book that is certain to be THE rosé resource guide.

Jill Barth who is also writing a book when she is not tasting wine, visiting vineyards, talking to winemakers around the world, and writing her informative blog l’Occasion.

Chrissie, the voice behind the Riviera Grapevine, is taking a pause while she runs after her toddlers.

One Foot in Provence – Part-Time Expats

After an expat assignment in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Keith and Val Van Sickle decided that they loved living in Europe. How? They changed their work focus so that they can spend at least three (3) months a year in Provence. But, they needed to learn the language. Keith describes their adventures in his first book One Sip at a Time: Learning to Live in Provence and his second Are We French Yet? Keith & Val’s Adventures in Provence.

Shutters and Sunflowers a blog name that evokes Provence, and Caroline Longstaffe (and her hubby) are now officially living part of the time in Lourmarin. Read her stories here.

Cheryl named her blog Cobblestones and Vineyards, neither of which are found in significant quantities in upstate New York…so they travel often to France.

Provence Lifestyle Parking Chez Paula @tableenprovence

Sommelier, chef, cyclist and a Canadian Paula Kane cannot get Provence out of her blood. She returns each summer and dreams about the South of France for the rest of the year. Follow her A Table en Provence posts.

Author Deborah Lawrenson is busy at work on her latest novel, inspired by Provence and its history.

Cooking up a Provencal Storm

David delights us with festive Cocoa & Lavender-tested recipes all year round. Here are a few Christmas holiday sweets:

Croquants are a crunchy cookie that is the French version of the Italian Biscotti.

Cookies Christmas Croquants with Vin Cuit

Galette des Rois (King’s cake) is a classic Christmas cake made with puff pastry and filled with frangipane.

Galette des Rois Kings Cake Provence @CocoaandLavender

Chocolate Delight Mendiant Tart is flaky, sweet pastry tart filled with decadent chocolate ganache and topped with candied fruits, flowers and fleur de sel. Discover why this pie is a Christmas tradition.

Chocolate Mendiant Tart Recipe Christmas @CocoaandLavender

Barbara Schuerenberg is a self-taught cook who runs cooking classes from her kitchen near Vaison La Romaine. Cuisine de Provence is where you will learn to make classic Provencal recipes using the freshest seasonal ingredients. BTW her Instagram feed will make you hungry.

Agathe Forest is the face behind the blog Live & Love Provence. I discovered her gorgeous photos and delicious recipes by stumbling across her Instagram feed. Warning! It will make your mouth water.

Anne Challier and her twin sister Véronique (Vero) are a team who offers culinary services in the comfort of your home. In 2009, the two sisters decided to combine their skills and warm personalities to offer homemade and healthy food for their clients. They launched Un air de famille (Cuisine à Domicile). The menus are completely flexible based on your tastes, the number in your party, the occasion, and the budget.

Tasha Powell is a chef, photographer, food stylist and writer who specializes in working with celebrity chefs and leaders in the hospitality industry. Just a word of warning, her images are almost edible they are so beautiful. Tasha Powell

Chef François de Mélogue grew up in a very French household in Chicago. His earliest attempts at cookery began with the filleting of his sister’s goldfish at age two and a braised rabbit dish made with his pet rabbits by age seven. He eventually stopped cooking his pets and went to the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute where he graduated top of his class in 1985. Follow his blog Pistou and Pastis for mouthwatering recipes and order a copy of Cuisine of the Sun: A Ray of Sunshine on Your Plate Cuisine of the Sun: A Ray of Sunshine on Your Plate.

Cook’n with Class is a husband (Chef Eric Fraudeau) and his marketing-guru wife (Yetunde Oshodi-Fraudeau) explore their delicious recipes.

Wishing everyone happy and healthy holidays!

Merry Christmas Perfectly Provence 2017


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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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