Right about now, when the days are dark, dreary and rainy (January can be completely gorgeous or dreadful here in Atlanta and this year, it’s both), our thoughts begin to turn to all things French: specifically our fun little trips to Provence and Paris. Our fingers start itching to pull up the Air France website to confirm seats on the 9 p.m. flight that leaves from Atlanta (our favorite flight…) and we secretly start packing our bags.
We pine for the scent of lavender in the air and the way the light looks different in Provence. We make mental lists of what we need to stock up on in the Provencal markets: gorgeous linens, espadrilles, olive wood serving pieces, fun jewelry and soaps galore. We fantasize about the cheese platter at a certain restaurant we all love. Seriously.
We daydream of waking up to roosters crowing and the gentle hiss of hot air balloons gliding by the house. Some of us run to our well-worn copies of anything by Provencal celeb Peter Mayle (of “A Year In Provence” fame and a local resident of the Luberon Valley.)
And when we think about the City of Lights, we start obsessing about flakey croissants nibbled while meandering over Le Pont Neuf and mouth-watering and cozy meals at small, charming restaurants bathed in the glow of the Eiffel Tower. Oh and museums galore and sight-seeing like crazy.
Sounding good? So what are you doing May 2-10? We have a couple very rare openings on our May 2013 Paris-Provence trip. Can we entice you? Keep reading…
First question: who goes? Well, we’ve seen trips with grandmothers, mothers and daughters, aunts and nieces. We’ve had delightfully rowdy groups of sorority sisters celebrating forty years or more years of friendship.
We’ve had CEOs, artists, home-makers, frazzled mothers of young-ish children and irrepressible travelers of all ages who just want a taste of the delicious French lifestyle. We very frequently have people who don’t know each other but form deep bonds and friendships around a Paris bistro table or on the terrace at Les Murets. We kiddingly say it’s a little bit like grown-up camp…except in France.
Next question: what do we do? What don’t we do? We’re pretty high-energy which means the agenda is packed full of lots of fun things to do. In Paris, you’ll call an elegant 7th Arrondisement apartment home, complete with views of the Eiffel Tower.
The itinerary is ramped up because the City of Lights waits for no-one and we have a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time. Agenda: Up early. Croissants? Check. Museums? Check. We have some ideas and welcome yours. Ours include L’Orangerie, Musee D’Orsay and a personal favorite, Le Musee du Rodin.
Ready for lunch? We’ve got that covered. Shopping? Ditto (including plenty of places unfrequented by tourists) Antiques? Of course. We’re headed to the famous Puces to explore, covet and drool. (And, if you’ve got your own agenda, we’re happy to help you do that, too.)
We might let you rest for an hour or two before opening a bottle of bubbles pre-dinner.
Our three days in Paris simply fly by and before you know it, it’s off to Provence via the TGV’s spectacular scenery show that illustrates France’s huge range of beauty. One minute you’re staring at the tri-color rooves of Burgundy and the next minute, you’re racing by olive groves.
Home base in Provence is Les Murets, a beautifully set rambling French country house. Ann rebuilt and designed it so it’s got all the little creature comforts you’re used to plus a huge soupcon of Frenchy charm. Did we mention the pool, tennis court and terrace?
And what to do in Provence? Oh my, where do we begin?
We should mention that if sitting by the pool with a chilled wine bucket and War and Peace (or a pile of trashy gossip magazines) sounds like paradise, we are happy to arrange that for you.
And each evening, we congregate back at Les Murets for a catered dinner served al fresco and by candlelight. Has dancing been known to happen? Games played? Maybe even a little midnight dip or two in the pool? Yes, yes and yes.
We’ve had guests crying and clutching the door on the morning they must leave – and we completely understand why. It’s a week in heaven by anyone’s standards and it will leave your heart full of happy memories and a yearning forever for all things French.
In the meantime, give us a call or send us an email. We’ll try to save a spot for you.