Sunday, 25 November 2012

Weekend Life....Christmas in Provence, France

Christmas December 2011, Provence, France. in Menerbes

Last Christmas we rented a lovely house with good friends in Menerbes, a beautiful village in the Luberon region of Provence*. It was a wonderful holiday filled with delicious food sourced from the markets (every second day we would venture out to a different village to do our shopping), long afternoons spent in front of the fire, strolls into the village for coffee at the Cafe du Progres, morning drives along winding country roads (which resulted in some car sickness.....and it wasn't just the little kids that were affected! Plus one memorable drive where our passenger van ended up stuck down a ditch and which resulted in much shrugging of shoulders, oooph ooh-la-la-ing from the French gentleman who stopped to help us), a very special Christmas morning with lots of presents, giggles and champagne, and cold nights tucked up in our pajamas watching Arrested Development and Seinfeld. 

If you are wondering where to spend Christmas, I can highly recommend both Provence and the Dordogne region of France (we spent another Christmas with friends in Tremolat which was brilliant). Markets and supermarkets are open and (other) tourists are few and far between. The weather was beautiful (cold, crisp and clear) and accommodation is much more reasonably priced than in the peak Summer season.

We loved our Christmas in Provence!

*yes, that village made famous by Peter Mayle in his book A Year in Provence.


  1. Sounds magical, apart from being stuck in a ditch of course! Your photographs are really beautiful, the colours are heavenly.

  2. @wildflower - the ditch paled in comparison to the 2nd part of our French trip where we ended up stuck up a mountain during heavy snow fall from about 5pm until after midnight. We put on snow chains (quite the ordeal for our all- Aussie group) as soon as the snow got heavy but unfortunately other drivers didn't which resulted in the mountain pass closing due to cars and trucks sliding/crashing/getting stuck. We arrived at our next destination with fraught nerves, exhausted at almost 1 o'clock in the morning.

  3. This is nothing shy of a dreamland. I've only ever been to Paris, but the French countryside and those small towns seem so humbling and beautiful. I can only imagine how delicious the local food was.


  4. wow it s wonderful, enjoy the food ;)

  5. Such beautiful images. The PROVENCE in fall/winter has such an outstanding charme!!!

    XO, Kat

  6. WOW THIS IS AMAZING. It definitely looks like something I want to experience in my life.

  7. Oh, what a nice post! Peace! Clean! Appeasement!
    I take it as a Christmas story! I envy you, you lucky!

  8. Vanessa, I just wanted to let you know what beautiful blog you have. It is my absolute favourite, I love all your photos, I don't know what it is but they always make me feel happy, inspired and rather enchanted by their beauty.
    It feels different to other blogs, as though there is more substance.
    Thank you for your beautiful work!

  9. Those pictures are a dream. This really is a lovely recommendation for Christmas. We're spending the holidays in Spain, but I guess we could add this beautiful suggestion to our own little bucket list for 2013.

  10. Thanks so much everyone for your very kind comments!

    @Caity - thank you :)

    @Emily - the French countryside is really very beautiful at any time of year. And the food is wonderful (although I am not so good in the butcher shops :)) You definitely must plan a visit.

    @cm - thanks!

    @Kat - Indeed, there is a certain charm associated with the countryside in the depths of winter.

    @Eileenie - thanks Eileenie! I hope you do get to see and experience Provence.

    @tini tani - ahhh thanks Tini. It was a lovely trip.

    @Michelle - That is so kind of you to say Michelle! Thank you for your extremely kind words, it is so nice to hear positive feedback about my photos :) I hope in some little way people find it inspiring....whether it be travel or hair/make-up/clothing inspiration.

    @The Slow Pace- oooo from my perspective Spain sounds wonderful for Christmas! Much better than London if the weather was like today (rainy, grey and almost dark by 2:30pm). Definitely add Provence (or the Dordogne) to future Christmas plans - as I said, accommodation is a lot cheaper during the winter months than in the middle of summer (although I guess there is no lavender, swimming, long days etc but that is replaced with log fires and crisp, cool days).

  11. These need to be printed as a calendar, Vanessa! Impossibly beautiful. Perfect light!