This year, we are thrilled to be able to offer our MFCH Tours again! I recently came back from Provence, having spent a week with our guests in a gorgeous boutique hotel in the heart of the beautiful village of Lourmarin.
Today I leave for the Dordogne, in preparation for our very first Dordogne Tour. This trip will be all about gardens, and we’ll visit some truly amazing properties in the region. As well as the larger, well-known gardens, we will also get to see some private homes, exploring the grounds in the company of the actual owner and garden creator.
During our MFCH Tours, we tend to unite some really fascinating women. Often they arrive as single travellers, without having met any of the other guests before the start of the trip. I’m always very admiring of our clients, especially those travelling alone. They often read about the MFCH Tours via this blog or hear about them on social media, or sometimes they join via one of our Tour partners, such as Sandra Sigman of Les Fleurs in Andover, MA, but it is still an act of faith to get on a plane and join a group of other travellers. They trust us to create a beautiful and interesting tour, and we aim to live up to their expectations… and then some!
And frankly, it has to be said, there is something special about a group of women – hitherto strangers – coming together for a week of pure indulgence in a common joie de vivre. We are here to discover, to learn and to enjoy every minute. While touring together we talk a lot, we listen to each other without judgement. We ask for advice, we share our dreams, our hopes and our realities in a way that never fails to surprise me. Real friendships are forged during these tours, and to my huge delight, we regularly see clients returning again and again.
When I create the itineraries for our different tours, I dig deep into my address book and arrange for private visits of exceptional homes and gardens, as well as the occasional class in floral art, cooking or perfume creation. I work on the principal that anywhere we visit can be made even more interesting when guided by an expert. A beautiful garden is always a joy, but when you walk around the property in the company of an owner – one who has chosen and planted each and every single rose and clipped every box topiary – who shares a vision for the year to come… that is when the magic happens.
We plan our tours always looking for the right balance in the choice of activities. In fact, I create tours based on what I would love to do if I was travelling with a girlfriend. It has to remain unique and interesting while feeling luxurious; our clients simply sit back and enjoy. The MFCH Provence Tour was our first tour of the season, one of a total of six on the schedule this year, some led by myself and others led by Stéphanie and Natalie (who are on the MFCH team and well used to making sure that everything goes swimmingly)>
In today’s world of instant gratification and busy schedules, I like to think that the MFCH Tours provide an interlude to our fast living. A moment when to-do lists are forgotten as we explore and learn and discover. Slow living … in France .. in good company and often with a glass of champagne. Days well filled without feeling rushed. Time to enjoy without ever getting bored.
A final word about Covid. It is the MFCH policy to request that our clients are fully vaccinated in order to join a tour. The best way to keep up with rules and regulations for travelling to France is via the governmental site here.
Our upcoming tours to Dordogne and Provence in May and June are fully booked, but we are already taking bookings for 2023. Alternatively we have a couple of places remaining on our MFCH Brocante Tour in September, which takes place in Normandy and Paris.