November 27, 2017

Roussillon, Village of Ochre

The Luberon region of Provence is a patchwork landscape of lush green vineyards; fields of lavender and sunflowers; and charming villages perchés, perched villages. One of the most colourful is the village of Roussillon, which owes the warm hues of its buildings to the world's largest known deposit of ochre. This natural earth pigment ranges in shade from yellow and orange to red and deep rusty brown, and has been used by painters since prehistoric man began decorating the walls of his cave.

The Luberon Village of Roussillon

November 20, 2017

The Lavender Museum

One of the many attractions for visitors to Provence is lavender, a flower beloved for its tranquil purple hues as well as its long-established medicinal properties and calming scent. Its tiny florets can also be used to enhance the flavour of foods like baked goods, chocolate and lemonade. During our outing to the Luberon I visited the Musée de la Lavande, Lavender Museum, in Coustellet to learn more about this iconic symbol of Provence.

Luberon Lavender Field

November 13, 2017

The Luberon: Peter Mayle's Provence

With his 1991 memoir A Year in Provence, Peter Mayle put this picturesque region in southeastern France on the radar of travellers. Once I began reading his books I too dreamed of visiting Provence, and all the beautiful photos I saw of endless rows of lavender stretching away to the horizon only reinforced my dream. So the day we journeyed into the Luberon countryside was the most anticipated day of our tour.

The Luberon Countryside

November 06, 2017

St. Rémy de Provence: Van Gogh's Asylum

One of the most productive periods of Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh’s life was the time he spent in the south of France. He’d hoped to establish a community of artists in the town of Arles with his friend, Paul Gauguin. Following an absinthe-fuelled argument with Gauguin, van Gogh sliced off his left earlobe with a razor blade. He then sought refuge from his inner demons at Saint Paul de Mausole Monastery in St. Rémy de Provence.

Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, Vincent van Gogh (1889)
Courtauld Gallery, London