Sharing A Real Taste Of Provence

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Sharing a Real Taste of Provence We at Only Provence don’t spend all of our time on the phone or booking luxury villa rentals in the South of France. Knowing the region first-hand and spending quality time with the owners of our listed luxury properties is a big part of being able to deliver the best experience to families and groups pf friends choosing to spend their holiday in Provence. A couple of weeks ago, some of our staff (Stan, Ingrid, Louise and I), had the pleasure of passing a fresh Spring morning with Bernard Roussel, the owner of villa Pierres des Luberon, traversing his magnificent 120 acre property on the edge of the Luberon National Park near Bonnieux. It is during moments like these that we are reminded of how much joy our owners receive from simply sharing what they believe makes their property so special. The desire to open their homes goes well beyond the need for...

Trading in a Life for One in Provence

in What To Do In Provence

Trading in a Life for One in Provence….Jumping The Picket Fence   Lydia Dean (co-founder of Only Provence) writes about leaving their lives in the US for a simpler one nestled in a quiet village in the South of France.  In this beautifully balanced mixture of travel memoir, business-building and soul searching, she shares high and lows as they tend grape vines, renovate Mas de Gancel, build a small villa business and raise a young family in Provence. Neither of them knew in the moment, that the lessons they would learn during these years would offer the foundation for so much more…   In 2000, Lydia Dean finds herself at the top of her game professionally, yet on the verge of an emotional breakdown. Quitting her job and convincing her husband John to join her on a more meaningful path, the family takes a leap of faith, moving to the South of France where they rediscover...

Chef Services

in Villa Rentals Provence, What To Do In Provence

Chef Services In Provence One of the absolute pleasures of renting a luxury villa in the South of France is having a gourmet meal prepared in the comfort of your private villa by a talented chef. Together with the chef, design a fantastic meal incorporating fresh, local ingredients from the village markets. Opt for simple or elegant, celebratory or casual, either way, this tremendous dining experience will be one of the highlights of your stay in Provence. To learn even more about the wonders of Provençal cuisine, consider a cooking course with one of our gifted chefs in the privacy of your villa rental. We asked one of our exclusive chefs, Chef Ronald, to describe his history, what brought him to cook privately for clients renting villas in Provence, and what a typical day is like doing what he loves to do: I am Ronald Guillaume the son of Chef Elie Guillaume. My father was a private...

Christmas Traditions in Provence

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Provençal Christmas traditions are rooted in both charming local customs and historical religious rituals. During this festive season, called Calendale, villages throughout Provence host Christmas Markets, Santons Fairs, Lighting Festivals and Tours of Nativity Scenes leading up to Le Gros Souper on Christmas Eve and Les Treize desserts following Midnight Mass. Rent a luxury villa the south of France with family and friends for the holidays and delight in the regional mores. The season officially kicks off on December 4, Saint Barbara’s, or St. Barbe’s, Day, when wheat and lentil seeds are planted into small dishes. Once the shoots grow, symbolizing a good harvest and prosperity for the new year, they are decorated with ribbon and are used as part of the Christmas Eve table decorations. The Christmas crib, or crèche, is an important part of the nativity scene in Provence, dating back...

11 Fun Things About Gordes

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11 Fun Things About Gordes While Renting Your Luxury Villa Designated one of the most beautiful villages in France, Gordes resides on a giant cal-careous rock from the monts de Vaucluse in Provence. An inspiration to artists such as Marc Chagall, the panoramic views of the Luberon valley from this hilltop village are nothing short of spectacular. There’s much to see and enjoy in and around Gordes and while each of these could stand on their own, here are 11 reasons to visit this special Provencal village. 1. You won’t find a wooden building in Gordes (or fences for that matter). All buildings are required to be made of the beautiful stone Provence is known for and use terra cotta roof tiles. 2. The castle, located in the center of the village, dates back to 1031 and was partially rebuilt in Renaissance style in 1525. 3. Locals and visitors love the vibrant, weekly Tuesday Market. Fresh...

Winter Festivals in Provence

in What To Do In Provence

Is there anything better than sitting around the fireplace with family and friends on a brisk, winter’s evening? Yes, yes there is —sitting around the fireplace at a luxury vacation villa in Provence. Consider visiting Provence in the off season. The weather may be a bit crisp, but it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy winter festivals and celebrations in a region so full of tradition and culture. Whether you opt to rent a villa in the Luberon or the Alpilles, in Gordes or St Rémy, you’ll be near fun festivities and never too far from local specialty vin chaud, or hot mulled wine. From mid-October through all of November, villages throughout Provence host the Festival des Soupes, when locals prepare delicious soups from traditional recipes handed down from generation to generation. During the event, the soups are evaluated by a jury and then visitors are invited to taste. Truffle fans...