When you leave a place for several months, however much you love it, even somewhere as special as Lourmarin, you find yourself wondering. Wondering if it it really is as magical as the images you have so firmly imprinted in your mind. Wondering whether you’ll feel the same when you return. And then you do and wonder why you ever left.
As I’ve often said, life is a journey, full of crossroads and decisions, some we chose, others we’d rather not. Along the way we pass by many doors, some we leave closed but some we open…..
There were many reasons not to open this door, but I’m so glad we did.
It’s a year since we made the decision to buy our little village house in Lourmarin and framed by the cherry blossoms, we’ve been reminded why we named it Maison des Cerises. (House of the Cherry Trees)
From our terrace looking up my street, all just as we’d left it, now kissed with the promise of spring, my heart skipped a beat.
Gazing across the roof tops of my fairy tale village, beckoning me once more to step within its embrace, it felt good to be here.
Nearby, Mount Ventoux, at 1912m (6270feet) the highest mountain in the region, technically part of the Alps, is still kissed with snow. I stared in wonder at the views across the Luberon, fields of fruits trees, the gnarly fists of vines and clumpy rows of lavender like sleeping hedgehogs, all lying dormant about to burst.
Which they’ve begun to do.
The weather is still erratic allowing for occasional el-fresco dining, although we were more than happy to eat inside under the stone arches of this charming former sheep fold, Le Bergerie, in nearby Bonnieux.
And how could anyone be anything but captivated by the views, the enchanting ‘village-perché’ of Bonnieux.
With Easter visitors our market in Lourmarin is back in all its resplendence.
A little quieter at this time of year but still full of temptations.
Surrounded by wineries, we have been discovering some of the local vintages and love the stunning Le Château Constantin just along the road in Lourmarin.
Here they use terracotta barrels, an ancient 8000 year old method, one we’d never seen. Having sampled and splurged, it’s set to be a regular favorite!
We’re still on a quest to fill the house with treasures from the local brocantes. Many of which require some TLC.
So I just spent a wonderful day perfecting my techniques with Annie Sloan chalk paint and wax. In a cave like workshop, along a cobbled street in the delightful ‘village-perché’, Ménerbes, another of the Luberon’s ‘plus beaux villages de France, is Artelier de Color. Here the talented and delightful Liz shared her secrets with me, it was such a thrill!
Many of you have been kindly asking me about my book, it’ still a work in progress. I’ve been talking to agents and this weekend am visiting the current owner of Château des Fouzes in Uzès where the Poles who first cracked the Enigma Code, lived during World War II. It’s very exciting!
I know this is a long overdue update to my blog, life gets busy but despite all that’s going on we’ve truly made this special corner of France, Lourmarin, a part of our lives.
Maybe not forever but for now, for this part of our journey. And isn’t that the point; life, the journey, isn’t about the destination, what you’re going to do when you get there, wherever ‘there’ is, it’s about the now and for us that now is spending some of our time here, lucky us…………..
Click here if you’d like to rent our village house in Lourmarin, Provence.
Beautiful photos!! Wish I was there!
We wish you were too!
Lovely! You have a gift of words and photography!
Thank you Carol it means a lot!
Great photos and can’t wait to get there in June. I see you visited Le Chateau Constantin and we were lucky to be taken there by our friends about 6 years ago to have a drink and some snacks with the then owner. Unfortunately I can’t remember her name but forever known to us as “Madam” abdcshecwas utterly charming and gracious.. The Chateau was on the market at the time and I know it was sold some time after our visit. If only we had 3 or 4 million Euros and it could have been ours!!! Before we get to Lourmarin on the 16th we going to stay in St Remy de Provence for a few days. Will I find anything on your blog about the village?
Hi Sarah hope you get to return to Chateau Constantin do tell them we’ve chatted, maybe you saw my post about it this.http://bit.ly/2qSFzbV
I haven’t a specific blog about St Remy, its Wednesday market is fantastic, there is a lovely Van Gogh self guided walking tour and I like to eat in Gus http://gussaintremy.com/ and La Gousse d’Ail but there’s lotos of good choices. If you haven’t been to Les Carrieres Lumieres at nearby Les Baux de Provence its not to be missed, lots on my blog about it http://bit.ly/2irYudk http://bit.ly/2GdR57b Have a wonderful trip!
Hi again! Thanks for the info you’ve given and will definitely try out Gus and/or La Gousse. We arrive on Wed 13th June so might get to see the market which would be great. We may well try and fit a visit in to Chateau Constantine once we arrive in Lourmarin and yes, I saw your detailed post on it just after reading this one. Very interesting and it’s nice to see that they are making a real go of it. Roll on France!
Hi Caroline, just to say thanks for the recommendation to eat at “Gus” whilst we were staying in St Remy de Provence. We had a lovely evening there. We’ve now arrived in Lourmarin and staying at our usual house, a 5 min walk from the centre. You thought you might be around at the same time so if you are, and want to say hello over a coffee or even a glass of wine, just say and we can meet at Café Gaby!
Hi Sarah Thank you for getting in touch and yes I’d love to see you just let me know a good time. Im busy the next 2 days but free after that. Will look forward to hearing from you!
Hi Caroline, nice to hear back. How about tomorrow (Thursday)? We’re usually at Café Gaby in the morning anyway, watching the world go by! We’ll probably be there between 10.15 ish and midday – would that suit? Otherwise Fri am is also ok. I’ll keep an eye out for your reply or contact me direct on my email address! Sarah
I’ve recently been receiving your emails. My husband and I are planning a trip to France in April and it was interesting to read this post to get a feel for Spring in Provence, as we’ve only ever visited in Summer. We will probably be there in the last week of April and hopefully we will enjoy some nice weather.
Thanks for sharing your Provençal life.
Best wishes, Carole
Hi Carol Thank you so much for reaching out. Spring time is a beautiful time to visit with the cherry blossoms and vines popping! I was here last April and wrote abut it http://bit.ly/2yFpgUe Do let me know if I can be of any help in planning your trip or indeed if you’d like to rent our house! So glad you enjoyed my post Caroline
[…] – the différence being in the colors used. For exemple, Lourmarin is famous for its blue shutters while other villages in southern France boast sea green or lavande shutters. There’s no better […]