Friday, October 17, 2014

When is a Good Time to come in Provence

One of the most common question I get asked is : When is the best time to come to Provence ? 

Well my answer is : There is no best time to come to Provence ! I love my Provence and am so happy to live here all year long I appreciate every month.

Pending on what you are looking for, here are some hints to choose YOUR best time

January & February are the quietest month of the years and when local are taking their vacations so very quiet.

March is the start of spring and the region is filled with fruits trees in blossom, iris and wil flowers popping

April correspond to the start of the season, all restaurants and hotels will be now reopened. Roses are in flowers...

May is gorgeous with longer days, wild flowers in the field (Poppies !!!), température are usually around the 80s. It is also one of the busiest month with its bank holidays week end (May 1st, May 8th, Thursday of Ascension) so loading with French and locals craving the sun.

JUNE is the month were you can see lavender blooming, start dining outside with no sweater. Temperature can be in the 90s.

JULY is lively with all kinds of festival, Lavender not harvested before the 20th, sun flower field in full bloom... Not to forget the Tour de France who is never far away.

AUGUST is the warmest month of the year and loading with families.....

SEPTEMBER Harvest time, cooler days but still in the high 80s

OCTOBER gets a bit quieter. Temperature can still be nice but uncertain. Olive harvest by mid to end of the month.

NOVEMBER & DECEMBER are obviously colder but reasonnably. A very nice time to visit as quieter and everything is still open. Christmas is a very big thing in Provence with a lot of tradition (plenty of market around).

Poppies and Cissel early May near St Remy de Provence

Jasmin bush in Roussillon mid May

Roses bush early May in the Luberon

Olive tree flowers early May

Lavender and Iris in the background Mid May

Almond in St Paul de Mausole mid May

April in Provence Scottish broom

Poppies field in April

Wild Flowers in April

Busy Bee in Provence

Sun Flower field in Provence mid July

Lavender field in Roussillon early July

Walking in Alpilles in April

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy New Year from Out of Provence

Hello to all.
Not forgetting you but right now on a mission in sking resort of Courchevel and have been very very busy lately.
Am far behind my posts and have to sort out the last pictures I took during my last day trip in October. Will do as soon as possible.

Enjoying myself so far in Courchevel, a fancy resort with all the big labels' own shop (Chanel, Louis Vuiton, Cartier, Dior, Prada, etc).
But missing my dear Provence and cant wait to be back to St Remy Early April.

More soon

And a Happy and Prosperous new year to all my readers and friends

New Year's Eve party at Pralong Hotel Courchevel

Night life in funky Courchevel

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Some more reviews from my clients this fall....

Those feedbacks come from Off the Beaten Path, LLC clients 
following their Best Adventures in Provence Tour

Philippe & David, again thank you for your guidance, intelligence, patience, humor,and organizational skills on our tour of Provence. It was an exceptional 6 days and Sharon and I had a wonderful time. We had a smooth uneventful trip back to KC and are having trouble adjusting to the American way of life. Miss the mid day glasses of wine, the marvelous food, the beautiful vistas and fascinating sites. You French certainly know how to live life. Best regards, Susan H (Kansas)

Thanks for everything - you made the trip a truly memorable one.  Gayle (Arizona)

Bonjour Phillipe! 

Rob and I had an amazing time in Provence.. You and David were great hosts and we can't thank you enough for the personalization of the tours. We hope to be back someday but in the meantime are anxious to see your pics. Jane N D (Nw Jersey)

Bonjour David et Philippe,
Hello from Canada...we had a great time in Provence, thanks to both of you.  You are very informative and entertaining guides and we learned alot of things which we didn't let's hope we can remember, at our advanced ages. Bart & Jean (Canada)

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank you again for your excellent, professional work as a guide on our tour.  We learnt a lot and had a lot of fun. Janet & Richard (Australia)

Great pics. Was hard to leave you and your "slice of heaven" Provence. Thank you for pictures. Great memories. Cheers, Dianne and Bob (New Jersey)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Musee Estrine Saint Remy de Provence. Renovation works underway.

On Tuesday August 27th 2013 I went to our Musée Estrine to check on the state of the renovation works.
The museum will unfortunatelly not reopen this fall as hoped, but is scheduled to reopen in March 2014.

Created in 1989 by the Association Présence Van Gogh (non profit society), this modern art museum aims to promote painters while alive while dedicating a room to the life of Van Gogh.
It  is a national Museum since 2007.

The magnificient Hotel Estrine was built in 1748 by Joseph de Pistole, councellor to the king.  It now belongs to the town hall of St Remy who bought back the "parts" that where sold in the past, restoring this heritage building as it was when built.  A new metal structure has been added in the court yard in order to expand the museum from 578m² to 931 m².

The ground floor will be dedicated to the temporary exhibition and the Van gogh's room (with projection).
The first floor will host the permanent exhibition and you'll be able to wander in the little roof garden overlooking the village's roof tops.

The opening exhibition's theme is to be "Les Paysages des Alpilles au XXéme et XXIéme siécle". 35 artists will be displaying their works. As from the 22nd March 2014.

Musée Estrine
8 rue Estrine
13210 Saint Remy de Provence
Tel : 04 90 92 34 72
Website being rebuilt

Located in the very centre, closeby to the town hall.

Musée Estrine under works

The model of the extension. Existing building in the front, extension in White in the back.

Entrance hall in Spring 2013

Entrance hall in August 2013

Work starting in the court yard

in what is to become the temporary exhibition room.

Heritage patrimony

To be part of The Van Gogh's room

The future roof top Garden terrasse

The Old building from the Terrasse

The roof tops of St Remy de Provenc

Provencal Hotel with Cooking classes under the Olive trees. Le Mas de L'Oulivié

Located just outside of busy village centre of  Les Baux de Provence, The 4 star hotel Mas de l'Oulivié is one of my favourite.

I love (amongst other things)
- The location (admist an olive grove of 110 trees),
- The Provencal touches & decor (not over the top),
- The most friendly welcome and service from Isabelle & Emmanuel Achard the owner, and of course all their friendly staff,
- The comfort and quality of the room (with a view!!!),
- The eco-friendly dedication that they have shown for years,
- The "labelled" herb garden,
- The stunning swimming pool and the Tennis,
- The views from any where in the property over the Apilles mountain range,
- And so much more.....

Isabelle and Emmanuel Achard, the owners (running the hotel for real), are always keen to improve their property in everyway they can. They spend most of their winter renovating their property and finding new services for their guests.

The new "cooking class under the Olive trees" was just created in 2013.
Taking place every wed, Sat & Sun mornings, the chef Gilles will first take you to one of our local market to purchase the produces. Back at the Mas de l'Oulivie, you will head up to the Olive trees garden (weather permitting) where an outside kitchen will await you. You will then be taught how to prepare a traditional Provencal Lunch (one you'll be able to cook by yourself when back home !).
And of course taste and enjoy what you prepared....
Cost of the cooking class is of 85€ per person incl half a bottle of Alpilles wine
Kids under 12yrs 45€
Cooking class only opened to hotel resident (so far...)
Min 2 persons, max 6 persons
Full program available on request

Hotel Mas de l'Oulivie 
Les Arcoules
Route d'arles
13520 Les Baux de Provence
04 90 54 35 78
Web site 
Facebook page 

Cooking class under the olive trees

That what I call Cooking in Provence

Welcome to Mas de l'Oulivie in Les Baux de Provence

A Caracter room

Privilège room giving onto the garden

Prestige room

Private Garden of a Suite

The outside restaurant and bar

Local art in the breakfast room

Rent an electric bike at the hotel

The herb garden