Books on ProvenceCarolyne Kauser-AbbottInspire

Paul Shore Uncorks the Secrets of Pétanque – Provence Book

Almost two decades have passed since Paul Shore rented what he described as a “cave” in the famous hilltop village of Saint-Paul de Vence. The hamlet is known as the one-time home of painter Marc Chagall, and the place that also captivated the attention of Alexander Calder, Joan Miró and other artists. Some of their works are on exhibit at the Maeght Foundation just outside the town.

The town of Saint-Paul de Vence is barely visible until the final bend in the road. Only 20 minutes from the Nice airport, this perched village with its narrow cobbled streets and ramparts is certainly a world away from the summertime crowds on the Promenade des Anglais and beachfront deckchairs on the rocky shore of the Baie des Anges.

Paul Shore Author Uncorked

As a 30-something, Paul Shore had the opportunity to settle into life on the French Riviera for 12 months; a time in his life before marriage and children. Shore was a curious traveller with a corporate assignment to establish a branch office in Nice, France for his employer, a Vancouver-based technology start-up. Sounds like a dream job? Sadly, not everyone would jump at the opportunity and certainly fewer with the same inquisitive attitude.

Based out of an office space in the French Riviera technology hub of Sophia Antipolis on the outskirts of Nice, Paul could have chosen to rent an apartment in Nice and live a quasi-expat life surrounded by cronies. Instead, he established himself in Saint-Paul de Vence, a village of less than 3,500 permeant inhabitants and busloads of tourists in peak season.

Shore is publishing his first book “Uncorked” a tale of his year in Provence, and it’s not about wine (or at least not entirely). He was there to work, but decided the best way to integrate into his new home was to gain some acceptance from the locals, despite his “pathetic” (his word) French. His strategy was to break into the circle of locals on the sacred pétanque pitch inside the old walls of Saint-Paul de Vence. At best this was an audacious goal for a non-native. Not deterred by “non”, Shore proceeds to find and impress a pétanque coach and many of the locals.

Paul Shore Author Uncorked

Uncorked is a lighthearted read the book describes the feeling that many of us have once Provence has gotten under our skin. After you have fallen under “her” spell of life at a slightly slower pace, it feels impossible to shake (and why would you want to?) the new “normal.”

Uncorked Front Cover by Paul Shore

Giveaway! Paul Shore has generously offered a free copy of his novel to one lucky Perfectly Provence reader. Just leave a comment below telling us why you are interested in learning about pétanque. The lucky winner will be chosen via a random draw on March 21st.


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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).


  1. Becky
    March 12, 2017 at 6:26 pm — Reply

    re: Paul Shore giveway. I played petanque with a local club a couple of years back, his story would be of interest to me.

    • March 13, 2017 at 4:28 pm — Reply

      Hi Becky: It sounds like you might have some petanque skill already. Thanks for following perfectly Provence and commenting. We will announce the winner next week.

  2. Jane Dunning
    March 13, 2017 at 4:16 pm — Reply

    I would love to learn about pétanque in case a group of locals ask me to join in…

    • March 13, 2017 at 4:29 pm — Reply

      Thanks Jane good plan to have a bit of prior knowledge on the sport. Thanks for your comment, the winner will be announced next week.

  3. March 14, 2017 at 7:55 am — Reply

    I’d love to learn to be a top pétanque player so I can be better than my hubby! Congrats to Paul on his book!

    • March 14, 2017 at 4:11 pm — Reply

      Haha Jill, your hubby has to better at something!

  4. Liliana
    March 17, 2017 at 3:11 am — Reply

    Hi Paul,
    I lived in Provence for I have part of my family living there and I played pétanque as well. I do adore that region and I’d like to know more about your experience there, what have been your feelings by living in such a magic place…
    Cheers ;)

    • March 19, 2017 at 7:35 am — Reply

      Bonjour Liliana – thank you for your comments on Paul’s book. We agree St Paul de Vence is a village with a unique setting. Good for you for playing pétanque, and thank you for commenting you will now be entered into the giveaway draw. Good-luck!

  5. Johannes Stoffels
    March 17, 2017 at 10:36 am — Reply

    Playing petanque is an actvity close to the heart of the Provencale way of life. Conjures up images of lovely uncomplicated get togethers under the “platanes “

    • March 19, 2017 at 7:33 am — Reply

      Hello Johannes – that is exactly the image that comes to mind when I think of petanque and Provence. Thanks for reading the post and good luck on your chance to win this book giveaway.

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