Have you ever heard someone say “living like god in France”? Well, there is definitely a good reason for this term. I had the opportunity to spend a perfect week in the South of France, in the heart of the Provence. One week of amazing food, polite people and absolutely idyllic places. More after the jump.
One of the most beautiful villages in the Provence is Saignon, situated on a mountain overlooking the beautiful landscape and lavender fields. The village was build in the 8th century; it is a very calm, idyllic and romantic place to spend your holidays.
We also found a lovely and quite extraordinary place to stay in Saignon. The Chambre avec vue is actually not a typical hotel. It is a gallery and art space that only has three rooms for guests. When you stay there, you kind of live together with the owners. The whole house is full of modern art works, and each of the guest rooms is designed in a different way.
The Chambre avec vue also has a huge garden, in which you not only find sculptures and other art works, but also fresh vegetables and herbs, flowers, cherry trees and – surprise, surprise – lavender. I had a splendid breakfast there, made of fresh fruits, cereals, baguette, lavender honey and coffee.
Saignon is a perfect spot to go “village hopping”: to discover all the other lovely villages in the Provence, like Bonnieux or Lacoste, where the Marquis de Sade spent his scandalous life in a castle on a mountain – if he was not in prison. All these villages are charming in their own way. And to me the most amazing thing was that a tiny village like Bonnieux actually has two restaurants with a Michelin star. Just compare that to a random German village!
The South of France is definitely one of the most beautiful areas in Europe, especially during the period when the lavender is growing (which is by the end of June and beginning of July). Unfortunately, the Provence is quite expensive! The best way to actually save some money is to hitch hike, which I did. Sounds retro, right? It actually is. However, it works very easily in the Provence. And that way you get to meet some locals – and they can give you great advice on where to go and what to see.
The only downside to my time in the Provence was getting used to German food when I came back. It is just so different! A boulangerie in Aix-en-Provence and a Bäckerei in Friedrichshain that sells Sterni for 60 Cents – these are just two different worlds….