After spending a few days in Paris last week, I met my two French best friends Aude and Cendrine for a long weekend in the ‘Drôme Provençale’.
The Drôme Provençale is a beautiful region located in the South of France, just on the edge of Provence. Cendrine’s mother, Patricia, owns a gorgeous guest house in the area and I always look forward to staying with her. Built on a hill and nestled amongst vineyards and olive trees, ‘La Fontaine au Loup‘ is a little slice of Provence paradise – complete with pool and panoramic views.
Patricia always treats us like queens whenever we visit (she likes to think of us as her ‘extended’ daughters-) and this time was no different. Every meal was a feast with yummy regional dishes, home-made desserts and plenty of local wines. The sun also shone every day which made it very hard for us to leave the pool at times. However, we did manage to break away from our sun-tan sessions long enough to visit a castle, discover some nearby villages and attend a few wine tastings. It’s a hard life!
Here are a few pics I took during my stay:
1. La Fontaine au Loup (literally translated: ‘the fountain where wolves once drank‘)
Besides the great company and sunny pool side, what I loved the most about our guesthouse was the fact that we could walk amongst the surrounding vineyards. It was the perfect way to wind down after a day of sight seeing. The grapes, which were just about to be harvested, also made for the perfect afternoon snack! It’s so lovely to think that soon they will be made into a beautiful ‘Gigondas’ wine.
2. Le Chateau de Suze-Larousse
One of the highlights of our trip was a guided tour of the castle of Suze-Larousse. The castle dates back from the 11th century but it was recently fully renovated by the local council. It is a great example of medieval architecture and both its exterior and interior have been brought back to their original glory. I particularly loved the castle’s internal courtyard and its beautiful entrance way. I’m not usually a huge fan of guided tours but our guide was really great and she made our visit all the more interesting.
Suze-Larousse is now home to a wine university so we also learned a lot about wine during our visit. We even got to test our ‘nose’ skills by trying to guess various scents found in wines. We weren’t very successful but it did inspire us to continue our wine education at a nearby bistro…
3. Suzette, Seguret and other villages
The Drome region is famous for its historic villages so my friends and I made sure to visit a few of them before heading home. Each of them had its own identity and unique charm but my personal favorite was the village of ‘Suzette’. It’s a tiny but oh-so-cute village of less than 150 inhabitants; with only a few houses and a gorgeous little stone chapel. I also loved the fact that the local council shared the same building as the local bistro. Only in France!
After Suzette, we visited Seguret which is officially recognized as one of ‘the prettiest villages in France’. Perched on a hilltop, the village is truly one-of-a-kind and features narrow cobbled streets, medieval stone houses and many historical treasures. The restaurant we ate at (Le Meslun) was also fabulous and I couldn’t recommend it enough. In fact, I’m still dreaming about their chocolate dessert…take me back!