February 8, 2016

Cucuron Market Day Highlights in Provence

Cucuron Market Day Highlights in Provence

Market day in Cucuron is Tuesday. Located in the epic-centre of the Luberon Regional National Park Cucuron displays all the charms of a classic Provençal village. The hamlet, like its closest neighbours Lourmarin, Ansouis and Vaugines is bejewelled with ramparts, bell towers and shady plane trees. (more…)

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November 23, 2015

Massacre in Merindol Provence’s Dark History

Massacre in Merindol Provence’s Dark History

Blinded by the hues of lavender shutters. Gently numbed by a glass or two of chilled local rosé. It would be easy to overlook the hamlet of Mérindol during a visit to Provence. The Luberon region is brimming with villages laying claim to le plus beau village de France (most beautiful village in France) and many of those proudly display Villages Fleuris (flowering villages) emblems on street signs. Mérindol is not one. (more…)

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November 16, 2015

Marseille Bouillabaisse a Provencal Classic

Marseille Bouillabaisse a Provencal Classic

What is your favourite fish soup? Residents of Marseille are adamant that French fishermen eked basic sustenance from their unsightly leftover fish bits concocted this fish broth/soup/stew on the shores of the now sprawling metropolis. The name for this dish is derived from two actions bouillir (to boil) and abaisser (to reduce or simmer). However, in the intense world of “Iron-chef” gastronomy the origins of bouillabaisse are up for debate. (more…)

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September 7, 2015

Jardin de l’Achimiste in Provence

Jardin de l’Achimiste in Provence

In a green maze – that is how your journey starts. Wandering aimlessly through the hedge circuit your footsteps form the letters, as your shoulders rub against the thick shrubbery.  The characters spell Bereishit the first word of the Torah, a Hebrew word that translates to in the beginning of. In this case, it is the beginning of a distinctive garden adjacent to Mas de la Brune, a home that dates from 1572. Le Jardin de l’Achimiste (Garden of the Alchemist) is a public garden located near the village of Eygalières and a short drive from St Remy. This magical place was created in 1997. “It is a philosophical essay in the form of a garden, representing physical and intellectual development, and the development of the senses.” – a well-crafted description is from Wikipedia. (more…)

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August 17, 2015

Van Gogh’s St Remy de Provence

Van Gogh’s St Remy de Provence

Much has been written about Vincent Van Gogh’s life, the famous Dutch painter who led an expressive, tortured life. This statue le voleur de tournesol (the Sunflower Thief) by Gabriel Sterk may just capture the essence of Van Gogh’s work – as you never quite look at sunflowers, irises, olive trees or wheat fields the same way after seeing his paintings. le voleur de tournesol (the Sunflower Thief) by Gabriel Sterk (more…)

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August 3, 2015

5 Provencal Myths

5 Provencal Myths

When Ginger and Nutmeg first ventured to Provence they felt prepared for the adventure. After all, it was not their first trip to France, they had previously biked in the region, and they had read Peter Mayle’s books – so they were confident in their basic understanding of the region. And basic it was! Nutmeg would like to share five Provencal myths for consideration as you pack your bags for the south of France, with visions of purple lavender fields and olive groves dancing in your head. (more…)

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July 13, 2015

La Grande Paella Spanish Influence in Provence

La Grande Paella Spanish Influence in Provence

Bastille Day (La Fête Nationale) commemorates the 1789 storming of the Bastille in Paris. Two years running, our village attempted to host fireworks on the 14th only to be stymied by the wind. Leave it to the Parisians to have their traditional parade on the Champs-Élysées. Eygalières was going to party the night before. 18h: Sounds of the band testing their equipment – CHECK! (more…)

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June 22, 2015

Pétanque Provence’s Other Religion

Pétanque Provence’s Other Religion

The game of pétanque, sometimes called boules is a form of religion in Provence. Most villages have an official or unofficial boules pitch. The more elaborate centres will even have a “club house” offering refreshments. The word pétanque is Provencal in origin from the word petanca, which means “feet anchored”. The game in its’ present day format started in La Ciotat (on the Mediterranean coast) in 1907. Other similar games are bocce, bowls and horseshoes. (more…)

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June 15, 2015

Hiking Les Gorges de Régalon in Provence

Hiking Les Gorges de Régalon in Provence

The idea for this hike came from a friend at the International Hiking group of Provence. The twosome needed to find a short hike that was not too far from the house, so they would have enough time to get the car to the mechanic. Nutmeg consulted her “Must Do” list for Provencal activities; it was February so a day at the beach was not rising to the top of the chart. Not too far down the list, was this walk, les Gorges de Régalon a short, challenging hike that was close to home. (Walking in Provence West Guidebook). (more…)

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May 4, 2015

The Donkey of Provence Le Bourriquet

The Donkey of Provence Le Bourriquet

A.A. Milne may have made Eeyore famous in his Winnie-the-Pooh books, however in reality the hardworking donkey has been helping humans out for thousands of years. (more…)

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