Wish you were here.
Finally in Provence! And it’s back to our project: refining the itineraries for our new line of Live-Like-a-Local Sojourns.
As I mentioned earlier, we are in the last stage of finalizing our new Provence sojourn which we decided to base in a local manor house so our guests can get a taste of what it’s like living in France. Usually at this point we are just fine-tuning the details… but the Provence sojourn is different. Up until now we’ve created sojourns in areas where we, ourselves, have spent a lot of time and have a lot of personal experience. In Provence, we’ve been working from the recommendations of friends who either live in the area or travel or work extensively here.
This time, our research in Provence took us to the home of my partner Francis’s best-friend from high school, whose wife is from the area.
They promptly introduced us to Château de la Barben …and we were instantly seduced! Among the small castles that I have visited, this is the most delightful. Architecturally it is charming, the interior is furnished… the guide even wears period costume. The tour of the castle ends with a grande finale: a medieval kitchen bursting with shiny copper pots and pans. I was really dazzled by the kitchen. (Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside –they really want you to see it for yourself 😉 .)
Now, we are in a conundrum… can we fit this castle in the itinerary? Is it too far from the other fabulous places we plan to take our guests? What can we take out of the current itinerary to make time for it? (You know life is good when your problem is having too many wonderful places where you want to take your guests!)
TIP: The castle is also a bed and breakfast. Those of you visiting the area around Aix-en-Provence on your own might enjoy staying here –you can eat in the fabulous kitchen, in the dinning room or on the terrace. There was a wedding there when we visited and I got a peek at one of the rooms when the newly-weds popped out –it looked sumptuous. Since they only have five rooms, I recommend booking early so you can have your pick!
-Lisa (Sojourner Tours owner)