Light and air. These two words embody the essence of Provence. Dazzle with changing games of light and be giddy with clean country air, which has a bit of lavender freshness, wildflower mellowness, and mountain greatness. In spring, also add budding apple trees resembling shy brides, shamelessly red poppies, and root vegetables, which can already be put on the plate.
After a high-speed highway, which seduces with a politely permitted 130 km/h, and a serpentine mountain road, a three-hour drive from Nice, central Provence welcomes just like an elegant grandmother, who allusively promises – here will be everything a winter-tired soul is looking for. The summer feeling, coziness, and the intoxicating fresh taste of rose wine can be surmised.
The best plan is sometimes not to make any plans for yourself. We only know the destination – the guest house Domaine des Andeols (84490 Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt) created by the artist, collector duo Patricia and Olivier, nearby the small village of Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt. After turning from the highway, in less than just 2 km, a picturesque landscape awaits in a field hillock surrounded by vineyards – the combination of typical Provencal architecture and modern features. Domaine des Andeols consists of 10 villas, each interior matched to the guest’s character – from those in love (Amoureux) to creative souls (Artiste).
Mid-April, when the hotel has just opened for the new season is the perfect time for a visit. You will receive both excellent value for your money, and an almost incomprehensible experience of individuality – seemingly, apart from the staff, you are almost the only ones here, and all attention in the best sense is paid to you. A feeling as if you were in a modern art museum, located under the open sky, and everything that it offers remains to be enjoyed with full gulps – from the infinity stretched pool overlooking the vineyards and ending with the gourmet cuisine, which combines the best cooking traditions of Provence with a modern execution. Soon you will discover that everything tastes just fantastic here, and how could it not when the produce has been grown right here in the garden, while the fresh bread and jam is delivered from the nearby villages. The biggest challenge, in a lazy day, is to pull yourself together and poke your nose outside, just like stepping foot outside a peculiar paradise.
Not in vain do I say that it is best not to plan anything in advance. Just once we feel the call, we climb in the car and go to some of the nearby small towns / villages. Everything is within a short drive, and in just a short while it is possible to open your eyes wide in excitement – looking at the majestic town of Gordes on a mountain peak, or listening to the rustling of water – in a mountain spring, which rushes through Fontaine-de-Vaucluse village. Colors, emotions, and colors again – it all mingles in a fantastic hive of emotions. I almost want to fill the smell and feeling in an imaginary bottle, to delight in the memories from it in a while.
In the next blog post I will say more about the most beautiful places of Provence, which are certainly worth visiting. In the meantime – allow me, I will enjoy champagne chosen by my husband and in the real French spirit quench my thirst for the art of enjoying life.