Please login to vote.
Wednesday, 01 September 2010

Honeymoon in Provence and Cote d'Azur - Page 2

Written by Christina Kay Bolton
  • Print
  • Email
  • AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Our two-and-a-half-week honeymoon in Provence and Cote d’Azur afforded us with the time to really relax and experience life in France. It was the perfect antidote to the extremely stressful time before our do-it-yourself wedding, when everything had to be done all at once just before the event, as well as the typical stresses of two very different families meeting for the first time.

Honeymoon in Provence and Cote d’Azur, Honeymoon Nice, MOMA, travel St Paul de Vence, Le Hameau, La Cocarde, Fragonard Perfumerie tour, Canadol-sur-Mer, Le Plageron, Domaine du Rayol botanical gardens, Montfort sur Argens, Le Chat Luthier B&B, Abbaye du Thoronet, Aix-en-Provence, L’Epicerie, travel Arles, La Gueule du Loupe, Hotel Porte de Camargue, Graveson hotel, Le Cadran Solaire, Mas de Gourgonnier Winery, Velleron, Villa Velleron, travel Apt, Le Couvent, Honeymoon Avignon, La Banasterie, La Cantina Avignon, Christina Kay BoltonThe next morning we went to the outdoor market in the main square of Vence. Farmers from the area were selling cheese, wine, olives, baked goods, vegetables and perfectly ripe fruits. We couldn’t help buying a few things, and then we walked around Vence’s polished cobblestone streets in its historic old town. It had a multitude of tourist shops and restaurants, and we had a nice lunch at one of them, Bistro du Peyra, just inside the old city walls.

 

 

Honeymoon in Provence and Cote d’Azur, Honeymoon Nice, MOMA, travel St Paul de Vence, Le Hameau, La Cocarde, Fragonard Perfumerie tour, Canadol-sur-Mer, Le Plageron, Domaine du Rayol botanical gardens, Montfort sur Argens, Le Chat Luthier B&B, Abbaye du Thoronet, Aix-en-Provence, L’Epicerie, travel Arles, La Gueule du Loupe, Hotel Porte de Camargue, Graveson hotel, Le Cadran Solaire, Mas de Gourgonnier Winery, Velleron, Villa Velleron, travel Apt, Le Couvent, Honeymoon Avignon, La Banasterie, La Cantina Avignon, Christina Kay Bolton

 

 

 

 

After Vence we went to Tourrettes-sur-Loup, a typical French village nearby. It was much smaller, but the old city streets were pristine. We continued on a beautiful drive through Gourdon to Grasse where we went to Fragonard Perfumerie to tour the factory and learn about the process of making perfume, something very important in France. We learned there are only three perfumery schools worldwide (all in France!), where they teach the art of becoming a “nose” (someone who combines essences into new perfumes). There are only about 50 “noses” in the entire world! After seeing the whole process and smelling so many fragrances, we headed down to Cannes, a glitzy seaside city famous for its film festival.

 

 

 

 

Honeymoon in Provence and Cote d’Azur, Honeymoon Nice, MOMA, travel St Paul de Vence, Le Hameau, La Cocarde, Fragonard Perfumerie tour, Canadol-sur-Mer, Le Plageron, Domaine du Rayol botanical gardens, Montfort sur Argens, Le Chat Luthier B&B, Abbaye du Thoronet, Aix-en-Provence, L’Epicerie, travel Arles, La Gueule du Loupe, Hotel Porte de Camargue, Graveson hotel, Le Cadran Solaire, Mas de Gourgonnier Winery, Velleron, Villa Velleron, travel Apt, Le Couvent, Honeymoon Avignon, La Banasterie, La Cantina Avignon, Christina Kay Bolton

We walked Cannes’ boardwalk along the sandy beach, where the renting of beach chairs and umbrellas is a big business – with little plots laid out by various hotels and beach bars. There is also a public beach at one end which is free, but without the privileged real estate of a reserved chair. We walked around the city as well, had gelato, and then continued on to Antibes, a college town also on the coast but with a younger vibe. There were plenty of cafes, bars, and restaurants to choose from, and we had dinner at one of them, Chez Marguerite et Vincent, before heading back to St Paul de Vence for a restful nights sleep.

 

 

Honeymoon in Provence and Cote d’Azur, Honeymoon Nice, MOMA, travel St Paul de Vence, Le Hameau, La Cocarde, Fragonard Perfumerie tour, Canadol-sur-Mer, Le Plageron, Domaine du Rayol botanical gardens, Montfort sur Argens, Le Chat Luthier B&B, Abbaye du Thoronet, Aix-en-Provence, L’Epicerie, travel Arles, La Gueule du Loupe, Hotel Porte de Camargue, Graveson hotel, Le Cadran Solaire, Mas de Gourgonnier Winery, Velleron, Villa Velleron, travel Apt, Le Couvent, Honeymoon Avignon, La Banasterie, La Cantina Avignon, Christina Kay BoltonIn the morning we went to the pool and had a lovely swim in the cool water before our breakfast and departure. Breakfast was an absolute feast with fresh fruit, croissants, bread, jam, yogurt and cakes. They will also prepare eggs or it is possible to boil them yourself to the desired degree of perfection.

We had quite a long drive to our next destination, Le Plageron in Canadel-sur-Mer. The coastal road was slow and then the mountain road we took was barely wide enough for two cars to pass at low speed, and a few daredevil drivers who whipped around the turns heading strait for us made the trip incredibly nerve-wracking (there is a much easier way to get here – ask the owners).

Honeymoon in Provence and Cote d’Azur, Honeymoon Nice, MOMA, travel St Paul de Vence, Le Hameau, La Cocarde, Fragonard Perfumerie tour, Canadol-sur-Mer, Le Plageron, Domaine du Rayol botanical gardens, Montfort sur Argens, Le Chat Luthier B&B, Abbaye du Thoronet, Aix-en-Provence, L’Epicerie, travel Arles, La Gueule du Loupe, Hotel Porte de Camargue, Graveson hotel, Le Cadran Solaire, Mas de Gourgonnier Winery, Velleron, Villa Velleron, travel Apt, Le Couvent, Honeymoon Avignon, La Banasterie, La Cantina Avignon, Christina Kay BoltonOnce we arrived at Le Plageron we were ready to relax. Virginie, one of the owners, showed us around the property and to our suite, which had a gorgeous view of the sea and the neighboring islands. The furnishings were polished dark wood with perfectly placed accessories. There was a beautiful chandelier and very nice antiques, including a lounge chair built for two and a couple of Buddha statues. Everything was done to the utmost degree of perfection. The windows and doors were custom made to fit the house perfectly and the woodwork was carved around each of the stones individually – obviously a labor of love. In order to promote relaxation, the hotel does not have TVs, and each room has a private outdoor area. Our balcony had the best view because it was on the second floor. At night, the stars are bright and fill the sky, as there is less light pollution in this area. Also, the mini-bar was stocked with very good local wines.

 

Honeymoon in Provence and Cote d’Azur, Honeymoon Nice, MOMA, travel St Paul de Vence, Le Hameau, La Cocarde, Fragonard Perfumerie tour, Canadol-sur-Mer, Le Plageron, Domaine du Rayol botanical gardens, Montfort sur Argens, Le Chat Luthier B&B, Abbaye du Thoronet, Aix-en-Provence, L’Epicerie, travel Arles, La Gueule du Loupe, Hotel Porte de Camargue, Graveson hotel, Le Cadran Solaire, Mas de Gourgonnier Winery, Velleron, Villa Velleron, travel Apt, Le Couvent, Honeymoon Avignon, La Banasterie, La Cantina Avignon, Christina Kay BoltonBruno, Virginie’s husband, was very helpful, honest, and opinionated – the perfect combination for a hotel owner. He told us what to visit and what not to visit. We laughed when he told us his opinion of St. Tropez. He said that people want to be seen as rich so much that they’ll spend 50,000 euro ($63,500) to charter a yacht for a week docked in St. Tropez so they can be admired by all the “stupid people” who gather on the shore. We really enjoyed talking with him as he was so animated and funny.

 

Breakfast was a delicious affair with excellent bread and croissants served with local jams, fresh fruit, juice, coffee and the thickest, creamiest yogurt you can imagine – all served outdoors on our terrace. Le Plageron has a sandy area with beach loungers Honeymoon in Provence and Cote d’Azur, Honeymoon Nice, MOMA, travel St Paul de Vence, Le Hameau, La Cocarde, Fragonard Perfumerie tour, Canadol-sur-Mer, Le Plageron, Domaine du Rayol botanical gardens, Montfort sur Argens, Le Chat Luthier B&B, Abbaye du Thoronet, Aix-en-Provence, L’Epicerie, travel Arles, La Gueule du Loupe, Hotel Porte de Camargue, Graveson hotel, Le Cadran Solaire, Mas de Gourgonnier Winery, Velleron, Villa Velleron, travel Apt, Le Couvent, Honeymoon Avignon, La Banasterie, La Cantina Avignon, Christina Kay Boltonoverlooking the rocky beach a flight of stairs below – it is a very private and comfortable place to hangout and sunbathe. The water was quite cold in June, though, especially because the south of France had been experiencing a lot of storms. We spent two nights, but would have been happy to just come here for a week for our honeymoon.

 

We went to the very nice Domaine du Rayol botanical gardens on Bruno’s suggestion, Honeymoon in Provence and Cote d’Azur, Honeymoon Nice, MOMA, travel St Paul de Vence, Le Hameau, La Cocarde, Fragonard Perfumerie tour, Canadol-sur-Mer, Le Plageron, Domaine du Rayol botanical gardens, Montfort sur Argens, Le Chat Luthier B&B, Abbaye du Thoronet, Aix-en-Provence, L’Epicerie, travel Arles, La Gueule du Loupe, Hotel Porte de Camargue, Graveson hotel, Le Cadran Solaire, Mas de Gourgonnier Winery, Velleron, Villa Velleron, travel Apt, Le Couvent, Honeymoon Avignon, La Banasterie, La Cantina Avignon, Christina Kay Boltonand then did make it up to St. Tropez, which was the glitz and glamour. However, in addition to Hermes and Louis Vuitton, there are small streets with bakeries and cafes and many choices for dinner. We tried La Ponche, where we had goat cheese tart with salad, seafood cassoullet, and an apple tart smothered with a delicious caramel sauce.

 

 

Honeymoon in Provence and Cote d’Azur, Honeymoon Nice, MOMA, travel St Paul de Vence, Le Hameau, La Cocarde, Fragonard Perfumerie tour, Canadol-sur-Mer, Le Plageron, Domaine du Rayol botanical gardens, Montfort sur Argens, Le Chat Luthier B&B, Abbaye du Thoronet, Aix-en-Provence, L’Epicerie, travel Arles, La Gueule du Loupe, Hotel Porte de Camargue, Graveson hotel, Le Cadran Solaire, Mas de Gourgonnier Winery, Velleron, Villa Velleron, travel Apt, Le Couvent, Honeymoon Avignon, La Banasterie, La Cantina Avignon, Christina Kay Bolton

 

Honeymoon in Provence and Cote d’Azur, Honeymoon Nice, MOMA, travel St Paul de Vence, Le Hameau, La Cocarde, Fragonard Perfumerie tour, Canadol-sur-Mer, Le Plageron, Domaine du Rayol botanical gardens, Montfort sur Argens, Le Chat Luthier B&B, Abbaye du Thoronet, Aix-en-Provence, L’Epicerie, travel Arles, La Gueule du Loupe, Hotel Porte de Camargue, Graveson hotel, Le Cadran Solaire, Mas de Gourgonnier Winery, Velleron, Villa Velleron, travel Apt, Le Couvent, Honeymoon Avignon, La Banasterie, La Cantina Avignon, Christina Kay BoltonThe next morning we drove to Cassis, a beautiful seaside village where the water is a clear aquamarine blue. Cassis is a great place to take a boat trip to the cliffs and beautiful hidden coves that abound in the area. It was our intention to take one of the trips, but unfortunately my husband was feeling nauseous and didn’t feel well enough to go. Instead we lounged on the beautiful beach right in town and marveled at the electric blue water. The water was cold, though, so very few people ventured in. We had a drink at a café on the colorful docks and stopped for a tasting at Domaine du Bagnol winery on our way out of town, as Cassis is famous for its white wine.

We bought a bottle of wine and then embarked on the long ride through the countryside to Le Chat Luthier B&B in Montfort-sur-Argens. We thought we had made a wrong turn because the narrow street became one-way, so we stopped to look at the map. Pierre, one of the Honeymoon in Provence and Cote d’Azur, Honeymoon Nice, MOMA, travel St Paul de Vence, Le Hameau, La Cocarde, Fragonard Perfumerie tour, Canadol-sur-Mer, Le Plageron, Domaine du Rayol botanical gardens, Montfort sur Argens, Le Chat Luthier B&B, Abbaye du Thoronet, Aix-en-Provence, L’Epicerie, travel Arles, La Gueule du Loupe, Hotel Porte de Camargue, Graveson hotel, Le Cadran Solaire, Mas de Gourgonnier Winery, Velleron, Villa Velleron, travel Apt, Le Couvent, Honeymoon Avignon, La Banasterie, La Cantina Avignon, Christina Kay Boltonowners of the B&B, appeared on the front step, as it turned out we were right in front of the guesthouse. Pierre parked our car for us in their garage and invited us in. He gave us a choice of rooms and we chose La Pompadour, decorated in French classical style and filled with antiques. It looked over the village street with big windows and lots of light.

(Page 2 of 6)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

Search Content by Map

Search

All Rights Reserved ©Copyright 2006-2019 inTravel Magazine®
Published by Christina's Arena, Inc.