The town of Uzes lies in the department of the Gard, less than an hour west of Avignon. The Gard is the country cousin to the Luberon; the same wonderful light, many breathtaking stone villages, but not so many tourists and summer visitors as the Luberon.
Uzes itself is beautifully preserved and carefully renovated, maintaining the true character of its old stone walls. Here you can shop at the markets, explore the narrow streets and enjoy a wide choice of restaurants.
An exceptional place to stay just outside of the town is the Domaine du Fos, which has just opened for its first season in the sure hands of Marc and Valerie Courivaud. Believe me staying here is a very special experience. From the size of their vast bedrooms and suites, to the beautiful gardens, and the warm welcome, they have mastered the art of making thier guests feel welcome and comfortable.
Marc and Valerie have lived and worked in Paris all their lives, and they knew that once their children were independent, they wanted to change career and move further south towards the sunshine of Provence. A chance invitation to stay with friends in Uzes gave them the true sense of direction for their move, and when they came across this property which was a private home at the time, they knew they could wait no longer.
Among the former occupants to this stunning home was a bishop of Uzes, who like to come here when they weather made the town too hot.
There was no structural work to be done, but they completely redecorated and refurnished the entire house, creating five bedrooms and suites, each with generous ensuite bathrooms.
Having worked with interior designers when they had their business in Paris, this was the moment to test their own design talents, and I’d say it’s a big success! The result is chic and comfortable, and guests feel as if they are staying with good friends who happen to have an amazing house with plenty of spare rooms!
Marc loves to tend the garden, and provide the perfect setting for the chic stone pool. He is also a great cook, and guests can enjoy a delicious breakfast on the patio each morning, and the occasional dinner too! Once or twice a week, Marc and Valérie take reservations for dinner at home.
It seems to me that this dynamic couple are living many people’s’ dream. Giving themselves a new career and a new setting for their everyday life. They are being creative everyday, meeting new people all the time, and enjoying the buzz of a successful new business.
If you are looking to explore this part of France, and visit Uzes, Nimes and Arles, then the Domaine du Fos really would be a great place to stay and drive out from each day, happy in the knowledge that at the end of a day’s touring and visiting you’ll be welcome back to this stunning facade, with time for a dip in the pool, or a drink in the garden before dinner.