part two - Provence
This post continues with the proposed itinerary of the foodie, flowery Tour de France, 2016.
After a wonderful week in Paris, we say au revoir and head down to the south of France to the simply glorious region of Provence...
Saturday May 5
We’ll take the TGV train down to Avignon – whizzing through France at 200+km an hour. From there we’ll pick up our wheels for the next part of the tour and be transported to our charming bed and breakfast accommodation in the heart of the Vaucluse region of Provence. If you’ve ever seen Jean de Florette you’ll recognise the beautiful countryside of the Luberon and if you like taking photos you’re about to go crazy! We’ll be staying at two different locations, both within minutes of each other, near the beautiful town of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.
Sunday May 6
On Sundays the whole town of Isle-sur-la Sorgue becomes a market. Well almost. We’ll begin our day there before heading to La Fontaine de Vaucluse for lunch. For those people wanting to do another floral workshop, we'll buy some more fresh flowers at the market, forage a little in the countryside and create rustic bouquets to photograph on location in the places we visit.
This is a day of beautiful villages.
After lunch we’re off to the picturesque towns of Gordes and Roussillon. Then, as if the day couldn’t get any better, we’ll dine at the sublime La Camarette. Prepare your taste buds for a veritable gastronomic experience!
Monday May 7
Another lovely relaxing day visiting more gorgeous villages and two castles, one in ruins and the other entire. First we head to the famous wine-producing village of Chateauneuf du Pape for a sample or three of the local specialty before visiting the beautiful gardens of Chateau de Brantes, Italian-style gardens that are regarded as among the prettiest of France. Then to the delightful village of Venasque for a leisurely late lunch and we'll wind our way back to Mas de la Romane for a wine and cheese soirée.
Tuesday May 8
We venture a little further afield – a visit to the lovely gardens of Les Confines, the quaint hillside town of Les Baux de Provence, then to Arles for lunch, following the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh. In the afternoon you’ll be taken on a magical and enchanting journey through the Camargue with its white horses, black bulls and pink flamingoes. We’ll visit Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer and head back to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue for yet another delicious morsel or two.
Wednesday May 9
Today you have the option (+$250) to do a fabulous cooking class in the market town of Uzes with Eric, an English-speaking French chef who will take us around the market, purchase lovely fresh food and show us how to prepare a sumptuous three-course meal which we will then devour! If you decide not to do the class but would stil like to potter around in Uzes, there’s the market to see, a lovely medieval garden and perhaps a leisurely lunch at one of the fabulous local restaurants.
Thursday May 10
AVIGNON TO LONDON
Our dream trip is almost at an end! Just one more sumptuous Provençale breakfast and we head back to Avignon to board our fast train back to London, England. Two countries in one day and we return to the sounds of a more familiar language and cars that drive on the 'right' side of the road! Just one more meal to remember together at Jamie Oliver's Union Jacks restaurant in Covent Garden, we'll bid each other a fond farewell and go our separate ways, For some that might be a taxi to Heathrow and home to NZ, for others it's a chance to travel some more or visit friends and family. I'm happy to help you organise this, with great hotel recommendations and more places to visit.
And so you have it, 11 nights of flowery, foodie wonder. A guide who speaks French. A small group of like-minded people. Lovely accommodation and you only have to share a room if you really want to. Incredible food. Spectacular wine. Gardens galore and a thousand photo opportunities. It's the stuff that dreams are made of. Are you up for an amazing adventure? Think about it and contact me before the end of October if you're keen.