I can’t stop thinking about our Provence trip and thought it might be fun to share a list of my favorite things about our Provence trip.
It wasn’t easy coming up with this list of my favorite things. That is because I easily could have included twenty-five favorite things! Some of my favorite things are ones that everyone who has visited this magical spot love also, and some are very nuanced and specific. Just thinking about the trip brings a smile to my face. I hope that you enjoy them and that they make you smile too!
My Top Ten List of Favorite Things
Thank you to all of you who followed along to experience the magic of Provence. When I first began thinking about this trip, I knew it would be special. This is definitely one of those times when the experience far outweighed the expectation.
My suitcases are emptied. The laundry is done. All of my treasures are unpacked and I am super excited that everything made it home safely and in one piece!
I thought it would be fun to share my favorite things that I loved about our Provence trip. If you have been, I would love to hear what your favorite things were. If you are thinking about planning a trip to Provence, GOOO! Buy the ticket. Book the tour. You will be so grateful you were able to experience this spectacular slice of heaven!
And my list of favorite things is not in any particular order!
#1 – Baguettes Must be Sold for One Euro or Less
It’s true! When you buy a baguette at a boulangerie, the price is always one euro (or less)! Baguettes are subsidized by the government to allow everyone an affordable and tasty option for fresh bread. It is also a wonderful way to support small businesses. I mean, let’s keep the boulangeries in business. I was more than happy to do my part!
#2 – Colored Shutters and Charming Small Villages
I had seen pictures of the Provence region. You know the photos of sun-bleached buildings with ice cream-colored shutters. What I had not anticipated is that when walking on the cobblestones of these small villages, you could actually feel the collision of the past mixed with the present. Unlike our homes in the United States, the facades of the buildings in Provence are not picture perfect which makes them perfect for pictures! Each crack or chip in the exterior tells a story. We wandered through villages that had been built in the 14th century. Not much had changed on the outside. The insides had been updated with electricity and running water, but there are no mini-mansions in these villages, which just added to their charm.
The shutters, in muted colors of the rainbow, are not just pretty to look at, they actually opened and closed several times each day. They are closed in the mornings to keep the heat out and then opened in the evenings to let the cooler air in.
The shutters on our home are decorative. I have never, ever used them! Do you use yours?
#3 – The Aroma of Lavender Everywhere
We were very lucky to have booked our trip at the height of the lavender season. There are fields and fields and fields of gorgeous purple flowers. Depending on the elevation of the village, the color was deeper, (closer to cutting), or lighter shades of purple (still ripening).
What I had not anticipated was that not only were the fields beautiful to look at, they also smelled heavenly and they literally buzzed. Bees are critical to lavender production and the fields buzzed with bees drunk on lavender. The bees had no interest in us as we gingerly passed them to get a photo. How glorious is that?!
#4 – Fresh Croissants Every Morning
Each evening, before we locked our door and went to bed, we would hang a beautiful linen bread bag on the door to our apartment. Each morning, as soon as the local boulangerie opened, Tracey, who leads the French Larkspur tours, would be there to buy fresh croissants for us. Once we woke up, we would open our apartment door and find the linen bag filled with a freshly baked croissant for each of us. It was such a thoughtful gesture and such a decadent way to begin each day. This is truly one of my favorite memories.
#5 – Great Prices Everywhere (and we were surprised!)
When we were in France, the exchange rate was $1.06 which means that one US dollar is about €0.95, and because inflation is so high here in the US, everything in France was less expensive. I shared that I found a small-ish chandelier for only $32 US dollars! Now, I think I am a pretty savvy flea market shopper, but I didn’t even negotiate, the prices were that good!
#6 – Dinner in our Apartment Every Night with a Baguette, Cheese, Fig Jam, and Fruit
I cook dinner every night for me and my husband Dave. Every single night. But dinners were so different in Provence!
Our daily walks over the bridge to the fromagerie to pick up some freshly made cheese and a quick stop at the boulangerie for a baguette were our daily needs for our nightly dinner. We dined on baguettes, cheese, french fig jam, and fruit every single night! Some evenings, we added items we had picked up at the farmer’s market that day. Fresh strawberries for me and fresh olives for Maryliz. (I detest olives, but she was so excited about the ones she had found at the market! )
#7 – Light Skies Until 10pm
We were up early every morning and after we finished our daily croissant, we were out the door by 8am. We visited the markets and brocante each day followed by a lunch reservation at 1pm. It was very hot the week were there, so we would head back to the apartment each day around 4pm.
Maryliz and I would work in the afternoons, responding to messages and write the blog post for the following day. Around 8pm we would take a break for our nightly feast of bread and cheese and because the air began to chill and the light began to soften around this time, it was a very natural calming end to the day. We would put the finishing touches on the post for the next day and head to bed just as dark was beginning to settle in. At 10:00 pm!
#8 – The Great Inexpensive French Wine. Rose!
The french rosé wine was not only gorgeous in its blush color, but so bright and fresh. It was perfectly light and refreshing, especially given the temperature. I was shocked to learn that some of the rosé wine we tried was as inexpensive as €9. I had never really had a lot of rosé before our trip to France, but I will definitely be adding it to my favorite summer wine list!
#9 – The Amazing Flea Market and Brocante Shopping
I went to France hoping that I would find a chandelier for the beach house. I thought it would be so special to walk through a hallway and look up and see the memories of France. The soft light emitted by the light would remind me of the soft light of the summer evenings spent in Provence in search of this treasure.
I actually found two chandeliers!
There are some photos above of the wonderful treasures I brought home from Provence. I cannot wait to get them styled in our home very soon.
There were so many incredible linens and glass items that I found. I am excited to get started trying to recreate the linen bread bags with some of the linens I found at the flea market.
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#10 – Traveling with My Best Friend
I usually travel with my husband/family and it was such a special treat to travel with my best friend Maryliz. I can’t imagine Dave or my family wanting to spend so many days at vintage flea markets and antique shops, so it was extra fun to just sink into the experience.
We are so similar that we traveled really well together which was also so nice!
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If you have any trips planned you are going to want to watch my show, Everything You Need for Summer Travel. The items shared in this Live are my favorite items I took on our trip to Provence!
Links to my Posts About the Provence Trip
- Traveling to the French Countryside for Antiques
- Settling Into Our Home in Provence
- Brocante Shopping in Provence
- French Lavender and a Brocante Shop
- A Day in Provence
- The Provence Antique Market
- A Wonderful Day and a Beaded Chandelier
- Au Revoir Provence
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