Google knows a lot about us, A LOT. We ask it billions of questions and it keeps track of every one of them, constantly tallying what we really want to know. For example, a few of the top questions that Americans asked last year were, “Where is my refund?” (tax day), “Can dogs eat apples?” (yes), and “Is Europe a country?” (time to go back to school!)
Google uses its vast database to aid us when we pose a question, using auto-fill to complete what it thinks we are going to ask. So when we type “Why is”, Google might complete our question with “the sky blue?”—another of last year’s most popular queries.
This means we can use auto-fill to find out what people really think about a subject. As an American who lives part-time in Provence, I was curious what my fellow citizens ask about this magnificent corner of the world.
Find out what I learned at Perfectly Provence!
I was asked recently by Taste of France Magazine to name my favorite restaurants in Provence. “Well, that’s easy,” I thought, until they told me to limit my list to five. But there are so many wonderful places to eat! Even in my village of St-Rémy I can easily come up with more than five.
But rules are rules so my wife Val and I put our heads together and came up with our list. It’s a mix of styles and prices and you might want to check it out for your next visit to beautiful Provence.
You can read all about it at Taste of France.
My wife Val and I live part of the year in Provence and we love all the great local wines. They come in any color you like—red, white, and pink—and range from inexpensive quaffers to bottles you’d be proud to serve to anyone.
Over time we’ve visited many of the local wineries and some of them we go back to year after year. I’ve put together a list of our favorites, all of which have nice tasting rooms and (usually) English-speaking staff. If you are looking for some tasty bottles and a fun experience, check out my recommendations at Perfectly Provence.
Just west of Provence, across the mighty Rhône River, lays the Gard Department of France. Gard and Provence share a deep Roman history, from the days when both were part of the Roman region of Gallia.
Because it is so close to Provence, a visit to Gard makes for a nice day trip from Avignon or St-Rémy-de-Provence or wherever you might be staying. And one of the highlights of a visit is the city of Nîmes, once called Nemauses and known as “the most Roman city outside of Italy.” Emperor Augustus made Nemauses his local capital and today Nîmes is filled with sites and monuments that make it a must-see for any lover of Roman history.
Read all about it at Perfectly Provence!
Let’s say you are staying in St-Rémy-de-Provence and expecting beautiful weather, only to discover that it’s raining buckets. Or maybe it’s one of those days that is just so hot you can’t move. What to do? Here’s an idea—go to the movies!
St-Rémy has a delightful little theater that shows first-run movies, including some in English. And there are several nearby towns with movie theaters as well. Read all about them, and how to find the English-language movies, at Perfectly Provence!
France is full of gorgeous wine regions. They range from Alsace, with its fairy tale villages, to Cassis, with vineyards that nearly touch the sea. And then there’s Beaujolais. Its vine-covered hillsides are as pretty as any in France. You’ll find it in the south of Burgundy, a region that’s world famous for its wines.
My wife and I recently spent some time in Beaujolais and it was wonderful. If you are curious about what it’s like to visit there, read my article in The Good Life France!
One of the hottest shows in Paris in Olivier Giraud’s How to Become a Parisian in One Hour. Over half a million people have seen it…and even the Parisians love it!
If you can’t make it to Paris, Giraud has written a funny book that covers the same material. Ready to try your hand at some French reading? The French version is an easy place to start (there are lots of pictures!)
Read all about the book and the show (including a video clip!) at My French Life.
Caroline Longstaffe is a British lady who lives in California and owns a house in Provence. Talk about an international life! A few years ago she and her husband fell in love with the village of Lourmarin, one of the prettiest in France, and bought a place there.
Caroline has a website, Shutters and Sunflowers, where she writes about all things Provence. I love her wonderful photos–they make you want to be there so badly! If you haven’t seen her website before, I encourage you to check it out. I’ve included a couple of her photos here.
Caroline recently reviewed my book so I’ll include a link to that as well. As someone who, like me, splits her time between California and Provence she has a special appreciation for what each has to offer.
Here’s her website and here’s the link to her book review. Happy reading!
It’s an oasis of serenity in the heart of Provence. The Auberge la Fenière lies at the foot of a forest-covered hillside, just beyond the charming village of Lourmarin. It’s a hotel and restaurant that have been welcoming guests for decades, with beautiful old buildings made of golden stone. Next to them is a broad, inviting lawn bordered by olive and cherry trees and a large herb garden. You can feel yourself relax the moment you walk in.
The main attraction of the auberge is undoubtedly its restaurant, the proud holder of a Michelin star since 1995. It draws food lovers from all over the world for its refined and creative cuisine. And, remarkably, there’s not a speck of gluten to be found anywhere, even in its many homemade breads.
Why no gluten? Let’s find out—it’s a fascinating story.
Read all about it in France Today!
If you’ve spent time around the Alpilles, the small mountain range near St-Rémy-de-Provence, you’ve probably spotted a medieval chateau or two. Some are hard to miss, like the one above the fortified city of Les Baux. Others are little more than piles of rubble.
The Alpilles were once dense with chateaux of all shapes and sizes. But why so many? And what happened to them? Here’s some history, plus a guide to the chateaux that you can still visit today.
Read all about it at Perfectly Provence!