Our 10-day journey via the Luberon and the Côte d’Azur was excellently organized in all its particulars—lodges, eating places, museums, and extra—by France-based journey adviser Philip Haslett, of Kairos Journey—the person to contact ([email protected]). The lodges had been impeccably hospitable, every with what the French name an acceuil chaleureux—not only a heat welcome however one which, in keeping with a French dictionary, manifests “de l’enthousiasme, de l’ardeur.” Nor did we’ve got a nasty meal, a reassuring reality for these of us who generally doubt, and infrequently pray for, the continuities of French civilization.
The Bastide de Gordes, which hangs over the rock face of the little city of that identify, is beautiful for its rooms, service, and Parisian-superintended restaurant, Clover Gordes. The servers are native and have a gravity we acknowledge from French custom. The city itself, which has one other positive small restaurant (with the peculiar identify of L’Outsider), is unimprovable and might deliver tears to the eyes of any Francophile who wanders inside it at night time. (Native coloration is greatest seen in darkness.)
On a winery between Arles and Aix-en-Provence, the extraordinary Villa La Coste is one in every of Europe’s nice unique, eccentric developments, crammed with first-rate jewel-box exemplars of the work of what looks like each main up to date architect, from a brand new artwork gallery by Oscar Niemeyer to a music pavilion designed by Frank Gehry. It additionally homes everlasting and non permanent exhibitions of recent and new artwork. Our go to coincided with an arresting present of sculpture by the British artist Annie Morris, who in some way makes of her summary, polished, brightly coloured ovals stacked in unbelievable pillars a remark, eloquent and light-weight, on the precariousness of enjoyment.
Close to St.-Tropez, we stayed first on the Philippe Stark–designed Lily of the Valley, which has soothing outside terraces and a vacation spot spa with a top-notch hammam (one check of spa superiority), a most charming view of the water, and a terrific seafood-based restaurant. We delighted additionally in its Form Membership, that includes elegant Frenchwomen understandably exhausted after a fast run up some stone steps.
On the Château Saint Martin & Spa, the views of your entire Côte d’Azur saved us in our room for supper, so unwilling had been we to overlook any of the moments of sundown. Amongst many great close by meals, the one we had at L’Amandier de Mougins, within the city of that identify, stood out; we ate on a terrace bathed in amber autumn mild and violet shadows.
Lastly, in Antibes, we alighted on the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, made well-known by Gerald and Sara Murphy. It retains among the taste of the melancholy and defiantly materialistic Twenties and never solely stays probably the most well-known resort within the area, if not all of France, however lives as much as that billing. Its restaurant, Louroc, a Michelin one-star, served a poulet poché for 2 with verbena that this grasping residence chef has been attempting to breed ever since. And the grave and useful sommelier took our request for a half bottle of pink burgundy (by that time within the journey we may handle no extra) as significantly as if we had been ordering a tasting of Domaine de la Romanée Conti.
This story seems within the March 2023 challenge of City & Nation. SUBSCRIBE NOW