Just arrived!

Proudly situated in the third level of Bastide les Amis…..our new Gazebo.

Early this year, but Madame’s eagle eye spotted a lone poppy in the fields.

Bastide les Amis

 

A review from New York City:

You feel the enthousiasm felt by the owners for Maison Blanc as soon as you enter the home.  Placed prominently on the table in the kitchen/dining room is a wonderful hard bound cover of the most detailed informative traveller’s guidebook to the are that you will ever encounter.  Cleverly penned by Maison Blanc owner, Simon Burrow, it became my Bible.  The guidebook describes half day tours from Maison Blanc, full day tours and overnight tours if you can drag yourself away from the Maison. 
 
I was fascinated to discover that the mountainous roads around Menerbes helped to conceal a very active French Resistance in the area.  The area also hosted fleeing Huguenots seeking reprieve from religious persecution during the 17th century, as Simon relates.  He also details John Malkovich’s various legal squabbles with the local municipalities.  All good stuff.
 
When you roam the grounds of Maison Blanc you are bathing in history.  The site is build on top of the ruins of a French Monastery and at the pool, you can see the sarcophagus of the early 5th Century Catholic Saint during the waning days of the Roman Empire.
 
The interior of the house seems designed for exquisite French country living.   The kitchen is super size and contains all the necessary conveniences for cooking the local delicacies.  The bedrooms are comfortable and more than did the trick.  I travelled to Maison Blanc with my wife, 1 year old daughter, 3 year old mini dachsund Zelda and my mother in law flew in from Istanbul to meet us.  We were all delighted to find the house spotless  and containing all the conveniences of modern life—dishwasher, Hi fi stereo and Wi Fi connection.  But that’s not why we were there. 
 
As usual, the dog and the kid had the best time.  Zelda ran like a devil throughout the lovely back fields and thankfully stayed away from the roads although hardly a car ever came our way.  Sibel, my two year old, loved sitting in the back grounds, beautiful Provencal light streaming through the pines.   That’s what I remember the most, the beautiful light filtering through the greenery into the back garden.  That and the faint odor of lavender from where we sat.  You cannot wrap and package that up.
 
We took our meals out on the back patio. We travelled to dozens of beautiful villages in the area (thanks to the wonderful guide book), we ate like the French Aristocracy, we wandered throughout the town and came to know the proprietors of the charming little shops, but the highlight took place after the child went ot bed and we enlisted my mother in law as sitter for Sibel.  We took hold of the dog and strolled the 5 minute walk to the liveliest, most enthralling bar that we have ever seen.  And we live in NYC!  We came to know the folks at Café du Progres as true long time friends—Denis, Carmen, Patrick and many of the patrons.  Zelda took turns chasing and getting chased by the Village Cats. 
 
I loved the guys playing petanque in the auxiliary parking lot near our house.  Next time, I will play with them.
 
It has been a few years, but we all think back to Maison Blanc and Menerbes as the most thrilling holiday we have ever taken in our collective lives.  We dream of the day of going back.  I need to get a few college tuitions out of the way first. 
 
 
 

The images roll on…

 

 

Look at that sky!

The indoor show – orchids and other exotics.

 

 

Even though there was a howling Mistral this year, the colours were superb and the people enjoyed the sights and sounds

 

Gaily clad volunteers and schoolchildren help the patrons pack their purchases and wheel them off into their cars

 

Old Maubec village in the background

 

And, what would a Provençal market be if there were no topiaries and buxeses?

 

 

The cactuses. We have a little stand outside our back door, and Madame enjoys filling this with cactuses each year. Miniature, of course.

 

 

Springtime in Provence is all about colour, colour and brightness after the dullness of winter

 

A local highlight – Maubec Hortifleurs in the Luberon. The second last Sunday in March. The community comes out in force and the local gardeners, nurseries and ancillary providers put on a great show. It’s also a great social occasion – probably the only place in Provence where you will find a beer tent, too. All the favourites are there: wineries, frites, pizza, spit lamb etc.

 

Rows and rows of seedlings

 

You can have them in gold…….

 

……….or in yellow

 

 

Even though the Mistral is still blowing away, spring is definitely in the air and the annual Maubec Flower Carnival is one of our annual highlights.

A little appetiser – much more to follw!

20th May first day of Spring – 21st May, our first irises. On cue.

 

Spring blossoms

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