The Provence tour is underway, and we are blessed with sunshine, good food, great company and stunning surroundings.
Our base for the week is the Chateau de Moissac, a beautiful 17th century chateau in Provence, that is home to my friends Marie Christine and Louis Caviglioni. Restoring the chateau was a true labor of love. When they first came across the property (while looking for something small !), half of the roof was missing, along with all the doors, windows and shutters. The grand staircase no longer existed and having stood empty for forty years, the chateau had been stripped of all its finest elements.
Nothing had prepared Louis and Marie Christine for this adventure, but they were drawn to this grande dame, and undertook a ten year renovation, until it was transformed into the flawless home that we know today.
During our week here, my guests have been shown around the whole chateau by Louis, who explained the choices that were made during the renovation.
The tour is designed to include many aspects of French living. We visit markets; take a cooking lesson; enjoy some floral art together; visit a wine cellar at a local chateau vineyard; and of course we have multiple opportunities to shop for antiques, brocante and other home decor.
But most importantly, we get off the beaten tourist track, thanks to privileged invitations into people’s homes; the opening of doors on to a confidential designer store, or a special dinner on the terrace of a restaurant that most people know nothing about. Our aim is always to make the tour effortlessly enjoyable, and breathtaking.
So this week, we have shopped in a tiny farm-store, we have taken a lesson in perfume making and we have taken very many beautiful pictures. Friendships have been made, eyes opened, and we have even shed the occasional tear of joy.