Brocante versus Vide Grenier

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

Falaise des Arts – Spring expo at the Centre d’art la falaise

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

 

Le Mas de Cotignac – accommodation and table d’hôtes

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

Cotignac at Christmas time

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 – hotel, restaurant, and spa

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

Les Baux de Provence

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

New owners at Deco Shop Au Moulin d’Antan

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

 

Domaine Saint Andrieu

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

Moissac Bellevue and Le Bellevue restaurant (bistro)

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)

Restaurant Le Relais Saint Ser in Puyloubier

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

Hike up Ste Victoire Mountain from 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

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