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Happy Holidays from Perfectly Provence

Holiday Wishes!

It’s time to wish everyone all the best for this joyful season – Happy, Healthy Holidays! However, before we head out on a technology break, it’s time to acknowledge all our terrific contributors.

Inspired by Provence

Lynne launched Aixcentric intending to post current events happening in and around Aix-en-Provence. For many years Aixcentric has been 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 historical 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.

Carrières de Lumières Paris Provence Japan


Ashley Tinker is a Canadian 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, Provencal market finds and, of course, her fabulous photos. Join Ashley on a market tour or photoshoot for holiday experiences you won’t forget.

Ruins Fort Buoux Luberon

Renata Haidle is a Romanian-American photographer, writer, and book author. She credits Paris for sparking her photography career after her first visit there in 2014. Her first photo book, French Riviera, was published in July 2019. She is currently working on a Paris-inspired poetry collection.

Aix-en-Provence Roof top Views

Living in the South of France

Rebecca Ronane combines 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 spend a few days in the Pays Basque or lounging on a beach chair.

Gayle Padgett and her husband Ralph are Americans who decided to retire to Provence after working in Heidelberg, Germany. Hardly out of the blue, their move resulted from 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. Her second book was published in September 2021, The Birdwatcher’s Wife, an engaging chronicle of the couple’s quest to reach their goal.

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

Luberon Cycling Routes

Victoria and Marcel Koning came to Provence for a 4-month sabbatical in 2013 and have grown roots! Having grown up in South Africa, the landscape, lifestyle and sunshine felt more like home than their 12-year sojourn in the Netherlands. Their life motto is “Work to live, not live to work.” They work with small businesses developing their web presence.

Virginie Van Der Wees lives with her young family near the Mont Sainte Victoire, a short 20-minute drive from Aix-en-Provence. She is a masseuse and a certified French teacher for non-French speakers. Since 2018, Virginie puts together full immersion experiences that include hosting and supporting language learners in her family’s home.

Exploring Provence

Martine Bertin-Peterson runs small group tours with a culinary focus. Her company, Goût et Voyage, brings food and travel together. This year Martine curated a delicious holiday menu. We hope that you enjoy the flavours of France during the festive season.

Interview Meet the Founder of Goût et Voyage

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.

Marti Schmidt is a seasoned traveller and an artist for over three decades. Let her be your guide through one of the most beautiful parts of Southern France.

Michel and Shirley are exploring the culinary trails in Provence from Sablet. Their 3-bedroom home in this charming Vaucluse village is their base when they are visiting, and it is available for rent the balance of the time. These “Our House in Provence” posts are indispensable guides for new restaurants you need to try.

Sablet Village vista

Photographer and passionate traveller Paul Shawcross heads up the European Acquisitions for Bindu Trips, a travel planning website featuring Provence and many other European destinations.

Beaumes de Venise

Giant hand sculpture with grapes at Beaumes de Venise in the Vaucluse Provence-Côte-d’Azur France

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

We understand that a successful holiday means finding the right mix of activity, sightseeing, and relaxation to suit everyone’s taste. Therefore, finding suitable accommodation should be at the top of your planning list. These Perfectly Provence holiday listings include bed and breakfasts (B&Bs), boutique hotels, cottages (gîtes) and self-contained apartments in Southern France and the French Riviera.

Côte d’Azur Living

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 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.

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.

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

Provence Part-Time

After a work assignment in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Keith and Val Van Sickle decided that they loved living in Europe. How? They changed their work focus to spending at least three (3) months a year in Provence. But, first, they needed to learn the language. In his first book, One Sip at a Time: Learning to Live in Provence, Keith describes their adventures and his second, Are We French Yet? Keith & Val’s Adventures in Provence. Keith’s latest book, An Insider’s Guide to Provence, is supplemental reference material rather than a guidebook filled with details on his favourite places.

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 upstate New York. So they often travel to France.

Provence Lifestyle Parking Chez Paula @tableenprovence

Sommelier, chef, cyclist and 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.

Tastes of Provence

Galette des Rois Kings Cake Provence @CocoaandLavender

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

Croquants - Croquets
This crunchy little cookie biscuit is the French version of the Italian Biscotti or Biscotto. Delightfully good served with your favourite tea or coffee or let's be honest completely on their own.
Check out this recipe
Cookies Christmas Croquants with Vin Cuit
Galette des Rois (Epiphany cake)
Here is what Phoebe has to say: Making your own Galette des Rois is very simple, assuming you can get hold of ready-made puff pastry. In France, we’re spoilt with excellent quality puff pastry that comes ready-rolled with its own baking paper, available in every supermarket.  And even better than that, during the festive period, roughly December and January, kits of puff pastry with a crown and figurine are sold too!
Check out this recipe
Galette des rois Epiphny Cake @FibiTee
Galette des Rois
A classic Christmas cake made from puff pastry, filled with frangipane and a small treasure or feve hidden inside.
Check out this recipe
Galette des Rois Kings Cake Provence @CocoaandLavender
Mendiant Tart
A flaky sweet pastry tart filled with decadent chocolate ganache and topped with candied fruits, flowers and fleur de sel,
Check out this recipe
Chocolate Mendiant Tart Recipe Christmas @CocoaandLavender

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. As a result, 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.

Liz Thompson, a native New Yorker, lives in Los Angeles and loves cooking with herbs. Discover her sweet and savoury recipes.

Petra Carter is the smiling face behind the cooking school Le Pistou. The cookery school is centrally located in Uzès, next to the tourist office and steps away from the main boulevard.

Spanish Paella Provence The pre-cooked chicken with fried peppers and onion

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


Chef François de Mélogue grew up in a very French household in Chicago. His earliest attempts at cookery began with filleting 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. In François de Mélogue’s second cookbook, French Cooking for Beginners, 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook like a Parisian, he invites you on a culinary journey through France.

Apple-Creme-Brûlée-Tart French Desserts

Cook’n with Class Experiences is a cooking school with locations in Paris and Uzès. The founders, Chef Eric Fraudeau and his wife, Yetunde Oshodi-Fraudeau (the marketing-guru), invite you to explore delicious French recipes.

We wish everyone happy and healthy holidays!

Merry Christmas Perfectly Provence 2017

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

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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