Tourists often confuse these two outdoor sales events but basically a Brocante is run by professionals and a Vide Grenier by either a local municipality and/or an association.
At a Brocante one can typically find lots of antiques in the form of cutlery, decoration, furniture, and jewelry. You’ll also find art in the form of sculptures, framed paintings, old posters, and textiles. The people behind the stands are professional buyer-sellers who spend much of their time collecting and then selling their treasured items at regular brocante markets around the region. Some travel from as far away as the North of France. My personal experience in shopping at Brocantes is that they often over-price items but if you tell the seller you are local and that you’d like to negotiate the price, they are mostly open to this. It helps if your French is very good, of course. Continue reading Brocante versus Vide Grenier
There’s a new exposition in town and it opened today at the Centre d’Art La Falaise, in Cotignac. The current collection features regional fine artists, sculptors and photographers (in alphabetical order): Elian Bachini, Jean Marie Cartereau, Chantal Casefont, Martine Doll, Michel Dufresne, Alain Francois, Vonick Laubreton, Stéphane Lovighi-Brougogne, Manuel Pontarelli, Eric Principaud and Carla Van Der Werf.
The centre is a beautiful renovated old chapel and was once a cinema from the 1930s until the early ’60s. It was then turned into a restaurant until ten years ago when it became a garage until Mirabeau Wine turned the lower floor into its headquarters and boutique two years ago. Anyone can enter the Centre d’Art on the first floor for a very reasonable fee of just two euros, benefiting the privately run non-profit foundation. If you are a local or live here most of the year, I highly recommend getting a “Pass Privilège” for just 5 euros with access to all the expositions (not counting other events such as concerts or conferences) throughout the year. For more information and announcements, follow their facebook page here.
Opening hours from 15th April – 14th May: Tuesdays and Fridays 10h00-12h30 15h00-17h30, Thursdays (from 27th April) 10h – 12h30 and
weekends (Saturdays and Sundays):
11h00-12h30 & 15h00-17:30
-mardi – 10h à 12h30
– jeudi – 10h à 12h30
– vendredi – 10h à 12h30 et 15h à 17h30
– samedi – 11h à 12h30 et 15h à 17h30
– dimanche – 11h à 12h30 et 15h à 17h30
Follow their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/centredartlafalaise/?fref=ts
This year’s Cotignac Trail Challenge will take place on the 4th of June and if last year’s event is anything to go by, it’ll be another smashing day full of excitement and participation from the entire village. Continue reading Cotignac Trail Challenge – the best annual sports event
Recently written up in our local newspaper the Var Matin, Le Mas de Cotignac offers Michelin standard “voluptuous” accommodation for even the fussiest of guests. If you are looking for a romantic break, a tranquil vacation, or a weekend getaway without the kids, this is the place to unwind and be luxuriously pampered. They are located just outside the village. Le Mas de Cotignac is an exceptional bed and breakfast with table d’hôtes (possibility to book lunches and dinners) with swimming pool and jacuzzi. And their service is also top notch and attentive to guests’ every need. Continue reading Le Mas de Cotignac – accommodation and table d’hôtes
What could be more fun than visiting your local open-air market for fresh regional organic vegetables and fruits, dried sausages, nougat, a roasted chicken with potatoes to take home for an easy lunch, some pretty clothing or sandals, local truffles or tapenades, and the list goes on! Continue reading Markets in and around Cotignac
It’s the most wonderful time of year, or so the song goes, but the build-up to Christmas in Cotignac is indeed quite special! All the local merchants do their best at decorating their shop fronts and just before the big day there is always an annual Marché de Noël on a Sunday where all the locals and even many people from other villages come to enjoy the free entertainment (music, museums, mulled wine, local delicacies, etc) and this year was exceptional with our warm sun that decided to make dining on the terrace of the Cours Gambetta a real pleasure. We helped ourselves to some soup made by the international association Club 28, at the bottom of the Cours. For just 2 euros we had hot, scrumptious pumpkin soup and/or split pea with lardons (it really was good) home made by one of the association members. Then we bought a bottle of Mirabeau wine and drank it in the sunshine with treats like fresh apple beignets from a nearby stand. Continue reading Cotignac at Christmas time
Chateau de Berne used to be a small upscale auberge tucked into the middle of their vast property but nowadays boasts five stars for its hotel and spa facilities. They have invested heavily in making the resort top-notch with super equipment and amenities to excite and attract even the fussiest of upscale visitors. Continue reading Chateau de Berne – hotel, restaurant, and spa
Tourists from all over the world who visit the South of France flock to Les Baux and it’s not surprising; the region is already stunning but what makes Les Baux stand out is its dominant stone chateau and the white rocky hills that surround it. From the top there are sweeping views across Arles, Camargues and the Alpilles. Les Baux is in the department of Bouches-du-Rhone (13) and about one hour and a half’s drive from Cotignac in the Var. Continue reading Les Baux de Provence
If you find yourself looking for an easy, casual, good lunch during the week in Cotignac, look no further than the restaurant at the landmark Hotel du Cours. For just 14 euros you can have a lovely starter, main, AND dessert! There are other choices à la carte too, of course, but this is the deal of the month, for sure. Continue reading Lunch at Restaurant du Cours in Cotignac
Cotignac’s first Summer Rosé Festival took place on the 20th of July 2016. It was a typically gorgeous sultry evening and the mix of great rosé, wonderful music (by British DJ Nick Boot), and the beautiful backdrop of the limescale cliffs and Medieval forts made for a memorable evening full of very happy people. Continue reading Cotignac’s first annual Rosé Festival
Here in Cotignac there will be no less than five bars and restaurants that will offer entertainment in the form of live music or DJs throughout this Summer so don’t miss out on the fun and make your table reservations early 🙂 Continue reading Cotignac’s restaurant entertainment (Summer 2016)
I have lived here for almost seven years now and have seen the owners of this shop change three times. The good news is that I found this collection of gift items, decorations, boutis, art, and dishware MUCH better compared to the previous collections there. There is so much choice and even a gallery with local artists’ displays that are really good. The shop front has good parking space and the products are reasonably priced. A detour must for anyone who loves tasteful Provençale gifts and kitchenware.
Au Moulin d’Antan is just a 12 mins’ drive from Cotignac, in our neighbouring village of Montfort and just next to the Commandeur wine caves. It’s located just off the Route de Brignoles (18 bis, rue du Moulin) in Montfort sur Argens. Telephone: 04 94 59 98 21
In Correns and tucked in between the borders of Ponteves and Chateauvert, is the 600-plus hectares of forest and vineyards belonging to the understated beauty and high quality wine domaine of Saint Andrieu.
The lovely Mme Susan Huet, the Sales and Marketing representative, gave us a little tour of the grounds (about 4 km drive from the centre of Correns) and best of all, tastings of their 2015 rosés, reds, and whites. Continue reading Domaine Saint Andrieu
Just 23 minutes’ drive from Cotignac just passed Aups and on the way to Regusse is the quaint, tiny, and off-the-beaten-path Medieval village of Moissac Bellevue.
What struck me most at first was how clean the place was. Not a piece of trash nor dog doo doo on the streets could be found, well manicured (but not obsessively neat) gardens, sculptured art decorating some exterior walls, and warm cosy feeling to the village that is home to not more than about 160 people. The centre is host to a beautiful, large fountain and the bistro called Le Bellevue which almost always sells out of spaces for lunch diners. Continue reading Moissac Bellevue and Le Bellevue restaurant (bistro)
Saint Maximin is just a 30 minutes’ drive from Cotignac and a nice half-day visit combined with lunch at one of its numerous restaurants. With a population of around 16,000, Saint Maximin is considered a medium-sized town in the Var and is also popular to tourists from around Europe that more than triple its population in the Summer. Continue reading Saint Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume
It’s always great to report on the opening of a new shop in our village, especially if it’s a nice one! In Cotignac, on the rue Léon Gérard just down the road from the Bar de L’Union, you’ll find this new shop full of really pretty deco items: lamps, small furniture, towels, bed spreads, cushions, candles and dishes, etc. Continue reading New deco shop L’INTEMPOREL
Just 20 minutes’ drive from Cotignac is the town of Lorgues (it’s called a town (“ville”)rather than a “village” because of it’s over 3,000 population). Lorgues is a medium sized town in the region with 9,200 inhabitants and several middle schools to cope with the proportionately higher number of children. Continue reading Village Visit: Lorgues
Off the beaten path of the Ste Victoire mountain (Bouches du Rhone) lies this gem of a semi-gastronomic restaurant-inn with pool and gobsmackingly beautiful panoramic views facing south and stretching across the Ste Baume and Aurelian mountains. The service was just a little slow (due to being FULLY booked up on a Sunday) but the food was worth the wait. We arrived at 12pm and ended our meal at 2pm. Continue reading Restaurant Le Relais Saint Ser in Puyloubier
Just past the village of Puyloubier, this breathtakingly beautiful walk up to a tiny chapel hidden in the cliffs in a MUST DO if you’re a nature-walk-lover! It’s not long nor too difficult – about 30 minutes climb up to the chapel (technically an “ermitage”) and the same amount of time back (it’s important to pay attention to your footing as there are a lot of little rocks but it’s not too steep). Continue reading Hike up Ste Victoire Mountain from Puyloubier
Just a 20 minutes’ drive from Cotignac and a nestled between Aups and Regusse, is the hilltop village of Moissac Bellevue. Just before you get to the village, you will not miss the big Bastide du Calalou just on your left with its imposing entrance and large sign. Continue reading Bastide du Calalou, Moissac Bellevue