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July 24 – Cool Summer Lifestyle in Provence – Provence is hot at this time of the year, and the pool is calling your name. Although it can be hard to get motivated to do much during the day, don’t let summer slip away without a dose of culture and exercise.
July 3 – Holidays in Provence and School’s Out for Real – The French schools are now officially on a two-month break. In a year where entire families were confined to their homes juggling online assignments and work, these summer holidays are particularly welcome. With the hospitality industry operating at limited capacity, not surprisingly, self-catered accommodation – apartments, camping, cottages (gîtes) and villas – are in high demand this year.
June 19 – The Sounds of summer in Provence – With hot weather, the cicada song marks the summer months in Provence. By the thousands, cicadas emerge from their underground slumber and camouflage in the trees. You either love or loath these insects whose music straddles the daylight and evening hours. If you are lucky enough to have a frog living nearby, they assume the role of the nighttime concert and good luck sleeping.
June 5 – June Emerges Slowly in Provence – Slowly, perhaps with much caution, we are all emerging from the shell shock of the first five months of 2020. After being told to shelter-in-place, and several other terms we had never heard of the restrictions have eased slightly. Since none of us know the answer to what next, this newsletter is focused on what if inspiration.
May 1 – May Flowers in Provence – In France, May 1st is the Fête du Travail (Labour Day) and what a difference a year makes! Twelve months ago, I suggested that the four public holidays, in the next month, were a terrific excuse for road trips. Sadly, this year has delivered a completely different reality around the globe. The restrictions are inconvenient, but the incredible dedication of first responders, medical teams, researchers and leaders is inspiring.
May 15 – Bring Provence a Bit Closer to Home – We entertain a lot, or should I say we used to. Now, our entertaining reality includes Zoom and Houseparty for virtual cocktail parties. However, on the bright side, there are far fewer dishes to clean. Although we miss having guests around our table, we have traded homemade bread and delicious leftovers with neighbours.
April 3 – Images of Spring in Provence – Whether you live in Provence or plan on visiting, enjoy the bounty of local produce in peak season. Perhaps Easter weekend is the time to discover the Mediterranean spice road and our new spring menu curated by David Scott Allen of Cocoa & Lavender.
April 17 – Provence Captured in Images – Every town in Provence has a story. Spend time to discovering the history and the people who live there. The perched stone villages make attractive backdrops for holiday photos, but these towns were elevated and protected by fortified walls for a reason. To “dive” deeper into the history, local tourism offices, guided walking tours and historical societies are terrific resources.
March 3 – Art without the Crowds – Take advantage of a “slower” time of the year to visit the museums and art galleries in the region. Before the big crowds arrive, visit the new multimedia show at Carrières de Lumières, in Les Baux de Provence.
March 20 – Made in Provence by Artisans – The good news is there is a deep culture of quality craftsmanship and artistic talent in Provence. They sell their wares at local markets, in small boutiques and online. If you are in Provence at the moment, look for flyers for local ceramics fairs and marchés artisanal.
February 6 – Pink Drinks and Yellow Flowers -Head to the Côte Bleue seaside town of Carry-le-Rouet for the annual sea urchin festival – les Oursinades. This festival surrounding the “sea chestnut” runs every weekend in February. Take a drive along the French Riviera to see “la Route du Mimosa” a 130 km of golden flowers from Bormes-les-mimosa to the perfume capital of Grasse.
February 20 – No February Blues in Provence – Mid-February is the time for skiing (and a few crowds) in France. However, in Provence, there are other things on the agenda with early signs of spring on the horizon and plenty of family-friendly festivals.
January 9 – Wishing you a Happy New Year – After all the holiday celebrations, what better time than January to take a look at wellness options (spas, yoga, organic food and retreats) in Provence? Whether you are looking for an in-home massage, a wellness retreat or an indulgent day-spa experience, here is our guide to the top spa experiences in the region.
January 23 – New Energy in Provence – You need to look carefully, but there are often tiny buds on the almond trees by the end of January. The hardy almond tree is the first tree to flower, but when exactly depends on Mother Nature’s whim. January is a great time to re-charge for the year ahead, maybe it’s planning your summer vacation, or booking a therapeutic energy session. We’ve collected a few ideas.