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.
The Domaine du Fos, is part of the Guest and House group of charming B&B’s all around France. Each property is selected with care, and their selection covers Paris, Normandy, Provence and much more..
It’s very pretty. Uzès is such a lovely town, too. Not far from the Pont du Gard–a must-see. As you head west, the south does get less touristy and more “authentic.”
Well, the Domaine du Fos does, indeed, look wonderful. Yet another reason to visit Uzes.
Fun fact about Uzes: The current Duke’s grandmother (the heiress to the Veuve Cliquot fortune) was a suffragette, poet, sculptor (not a bad one, actually)…..and the first woman in France to fly a plane, and the first woman in France to get a driver’s license…..and, predictably enough, the first to get a speeding-ticket.
As I recall, the Duchy of Uzes is the senior peerage in France (equivalent to the Duke of Norfolk in England). Occupying this rank is, obviously, a matter of never having had ALL the male heads in the family chopped-off simultaneously (Can you say “Lancaster” and/or “York?). This means that, if the French ever get around to crowning another king, the Duke of Uzes gets to walk immediately behind the king at the coronation procession.
I doubt that the current Duke (who seems a very practical sort of man) lies awake too many nights, pondering this possibility.
In any case, Uzes is surprisingly lovely….and it is, indeed, surprising that so few (relatively speaking) tourists think/know to go there. I suppose they simply don’t know about it.
This is such a gorgeous & charming place to stay Sharon. Their vast selection of guesthouses are incredible.Thank you for sharing this exquisite place to stay.X
P.S. And, having mentioned one remarkable French woman?……here’s my advice: Buy and read Tilar Mazzeo’s “The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire & The Woman who created It”. I read it a couple of years ago (it was a gift which I stupidly assumed would bore me) and was really fascinated….one of the world’s first great businesswomen and eventually one of the richest women of her time (and all of this over a seventy-year course of political and financial upheavals, disasters, and general mayhem (welcome to 1790-1890).
She was tenacious, wily, indomitable, ferociously determined, imaginative, and plain-out stubborn when it came achieving her goals and protecting her business.
A very interesting book…..that could have been greatly condensed. It was too apparent (to me) that the author had to dig hard to pad out “filler” to the facts of Madame Clicquot’s amazing brand and product pioneering. I would have enjoyed it more were it not so stretched. Still, I liked your addition to facts about Uzes!
Oh…I know,Jeanne…Your instincts are good…I reacted to the book in the same way, thinking “This would have been FABULOUS as one of those 50-page-long articles the New Yorker used to publish…..back before Tina Brown and back when they used to publish articles-posing-as-novellas.
Still?….when one’s signed a book-or-record-contract, one has to cough up a semblance of a full-length book or album.
That said, I’m glad this over-“filler”-ed book exists, rather than nothing at all bout the Not Remarkably Merry (but VERY businesslike) Widow….
It looks remarkable… Very inviting,
I hope that someday I will be able to visit France and Paris… and the southern regions, it is on my to do list.
Looks like a lovely place to stay!
your blog is a real treasure grove …..if only I could get younger again … thank you for starting me dreaming …..
I’m moving to Uzès from the US next month, thanks for this timely and lovely post!
Sharron now that you have been living in Uzes for about a year, how do you like it? Have you met any other Americans living there? My husband and I visited there about 1 1/2 years ago and fell in love with this beautiful place.
We visited charming Uzes this past April and brought many lovely memories home with us. We were there on Easter and enjoyed the church services in their Cathedral. Such beautiful music.
Good Morning Sharon, this looks like a dreamy place to visit, just what I needed this morning. Thank you for sharing beauty. Till next time, regards Esther from Sydney.
Such a beautiful place! Looks so dreamy!
You are having a wonderful holiday, for sure! Your photos, while always good, are outstanding! You have captured not only the glorious light, but also, I think, the warm, embracing atmosphere that I recall from my visit to Arles long ago.
I eagerly await your nexy blog.
There is a biography of this amazing woman, the current Duke’s grandmother, but at the time we visited it was apparently only published in French. Nor was it available to buy even in French at the chateau or the town bookshops. Uzes is a magical place, so beautiful! The charming re-created old herbal garden in the old town is also worth a visit. Best wishes, Pamela
Love the simple tie rods above the lanterns but my OCD shadow-self would always be trying to mentally move one slightly up, or the other slightly down
You say that there are not so many tourists in Uzès, but over the 15 years I have been spending summers nearby, the number of tourists to Uzès are increasing by leaps and bounds. Truly a magical place, but may I suggest a visit in the early spring or later fall when the crowds will be less? It is very crowded in the summer, and the Saturday market is next to impossible. The market on Wednesday is still do-able, though.