What’s the first thing you do in the morning when on vacation in France? Go to your neighbourhood boulangerie, of course, and pick out your croissants and baguettes for breakfast. And if you do as the locasl do, you should also think ahead and buy bread for lunch and dinner as well since the bakery will close for lunch hour and not re-open until 4pm in villages like Cotignac. Continue reading Cotignac Bakeries (Boulangeries)
What is a kilim? It’s a flat-woven carpet or rug made in Turkey, Kurdistan, and neighbouring areas, and you can find them for sale at Myriam’s shop, Kilims Nomades, in Cotignac on the Grand Rue. Myriam also sells beautiful ethnic bags, jewelry, and accessories for women. A great place to pick out a gift for anyone who loves slightly off-beat hand crafted items from Asia and the Caucasus. Worth a look! www.kilims-nomades.com
Each piece is a work of art, an original, an antique, or something that looks old and expensive! John and Simon welcome you into their treasure chest of furniture, paintings, light fixtures, brocante items etc, all in perfect condition and fair price. They also renovate old furniture. Modes is one of the most beautifull shops in Cotignac and is surrounded by still more picturesque flowers, buildings, and shops. Just out front from MODES is the fountain built in the 1800s for the place de la mairie. It’s worth a visit even if just to admire the art here.
At the bottom of Le Cours Gambetta, closest to the fountain (that is just butting against the old lavatoire) is Le Trois Marches restaurant, our favourite for grilled meats (like duck with honey), pizza, and fresh home made fries that’ll make any child or adult very happy. In fact, I go there just to eat these frites because they are next to extraordinary just by themselves! Continue reading Les Trois Marches Restaurant
Nadine Dehennin and her husband run this gorgeous brocante and decoration shop in Cotignac. Nadine has a knack for finding old objects and furniture and likes to make them look even more beautiful with her magic touch! If you are really nice to her she may even let you see their stock that is elsewhere – it’s like an Alladin’s Cave full of paintings, antiques, treasures… A terrific place to find those little objects that bring a sense of character to your home.
Le Passé, Le Présent can be found just across the street from the Place Neuve on Rue d’Antoine. 9 rue d’Antoine, 83570 Cotignac. Tel 0677 70 22 96. CLOSED MONDAYS.
Cotignac is very very popular as a tourist destination in the Summer, but what’s life like in the Winter time? Well, as an all-season resident, I can tell you: it can get very cold here, unlike the coastal areas (Cote d’Azur’s beach towns like Nice, Cannes, St Laurent du Var, Hyeres, St Tropez etc) and exceptionally this year (2014) we escaped the coldest temps and snow we had seen for at least five years in a row. The cold can bring with it some snow in January or February causing havoc for drivers and those housed in badly insulated houses. If you are thinking of living here, you should be prepared for cold weather well into MINUS 0 degrees centigrade, and invest in good down jackets and cozy boots (and double glazed windows if you can!). The snow never lasts more than a couple of weeks but it does bring with it some excellent photo opportunities and absolutely stunning scenery amongst the trees and cliffs that are white-washed with it. If you insist on seeing this, the best time to visit is mid to late February to chance it. Just make sure you have enough firewood in your house!
On the Grand Rue in Cotignac you’ll find many shops but one that stands out is Frederic’s very popular A l’ombre du Rocher. You’ll find just about anything to please even the most fussy person when gift giving. Very pretty English-Provençale type dishes and silverware, crystal glasses and chandeliers, woven furniture, candles, napkins, table cloths, baskets, and ceramic blown-up chickens that are really beautiful and extremely popular amongst the “in-the-know-decorators” but watch out as they are not cheap. These are symbols of good luck for kitchens in Provence so it’s like, well, you just have to get one!
Others goodies include hand-painted bowls in blue and white from Poland, coffee mugs and creamers, dishes and serving spoons. You’ll also find a very good collection of high-quality stuffed teddybears to thoroughly spoil the little ones in your life.
A l’ombre du Rocher: 8 Grand Rue, 83570 Cotignac Tel:
VERY UNFORTUNATELY this restaurant has closed in 2015. Stay tuned for news on what’s/who’s taking it over in Autumn of 2015!!
In Cotignac, one of the best restaurants (mid to high range prices) affectionately called Chez Loli’s, can be found on the Cours Gambetta, just across the street from the Hotel de Cours. It’s probably the only place for now that offers Lobster for lunch or dinner and the best Prawn ravioli I’ve tried since living in California!
Say hello to Céline, at Pierre de Lune in Cotignac. Céline has some unusual, original, and very pretty Summer dresses for sizes S, M, and L for women who wish to stand out. These are no ordinary dresses – they remind me of how clothing was made many decades ago, when stitch detail counted, and materials were heavier and of better quality. To make the shop even more attractive, it is sandwiched between the lovely Paulette Café (ice creamery, salads, and snacks) and Corinne Hugou’s Atelier Café. So if you get tired from the heat and all that shopping, you have a few choices as to where to catch your breath and enjoy the people watching! -On the Cours Gambetta in Cotignac.
It was sunny and warm on Sunday, the first of June, and the Cotignac Parents’ Committee (AAPE) organised a successful flea market, complete with 4:30am traffic jams at the entry to the village’s Cours Gambetta! Susana was there to see it all, deal with the chaos, and place vendors swiftly and calmly. She then continued as crêpes maker and vendor (alongside other parent-volunteers who helped out) to raise more funds for the association in order to further Continue reading Vide Grenier (flea market) Cotignac
A cute and casual pizza joint where kids can also dine on fries and steak haché exists on the Cours Gambetta in Cotignac. La Tarente’s wooden interior and gingham accents on their table cloths makes for a simple but pleasurable dining experience. Continue reading Pizza at La Tarente
Treats await pretty home-decoration lovers at Marguerite in Cotignac. Marguerite, who is originally Dutch, has had her shop for years now but she is still very active and has a real eye for picking out the type of decorations tourists and residents alike, adore to adorn their homes with. This summer’s colours are very bright; lots of reds, fuscia, pink, and lime-green decorates the exterior of the shop that is located just near the Place de la Mairie, on the Rue des deux places. Inside you’ll find more goodies and perfect gifts for even the fussiest of friends. It’s a great place to find fake flowers, antique reproduction furniture, lampshades, photo frames, candles, and much more. Next time you are in Cotignac, stop by to be enchanted. Closed on Mondays but open all day the rest of the week (without a lunch break!).
COSTS and PRACTICAL INFORMATION:
We get a lot of questions about how much things cost here in Provence, particularly from people living outside of France. Some things are cheaper, other things are MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE. Here are a few general answers for those of you interested in the following:
Here in Provence, WHAT WOULD IT COST TO…. Continue reading Sharing our village & Practical Information
Ever dreamed of moving your young family to the South of France but thought it might be out of your financial sites ? Think again. You could save up to 1,200 euros per month by enrolling your child in the local Maternelle.
Continue reading Free Child Care in France!
Cotignac’s history can be traced back to Roman times but came alive particularly in the 1100s with the building of their very first chapel, the Chapel St Martin which will soon be given a full renovation to show off its one-of-a-kind old painted frescos which will attract tourists world-wide. Continue reading A short history of Cotignac
Denis Bonnay, who runs the local Tapissier here could not be more proud of his work. It’s skilled, it’s beautiful, and most of all, it’s ecological as it recycles our old furniture and gives it a new and better look. Few Tapissiers exist these days as many people prefer to buy cheap new furniture (like the type found at IKEA) to replace old tattered ones but if it can be salvaged, it should be! Continue reading Tapissier, Cotignac (furniture renovation)
So what do Angelina & Brad, Eric Idle, Vanessa Paradis, and David and Victoria Beckham have in common? They all have vacation homes in Provence, and in particular, the VAR department of France. Branjelina’s Chateau Miravale is situated in the all-organic village of Correns. This area is so scarcely populated, it’s rare that we see paparazzi bothering to make the drive out from the busier areas like St Tropez, Cannes and Antibes.
Continue reading Living in Cotignac: Affordable Real Estate
A small but beautiful brocante sale in Cotignac took place on the 8th May 2014. Continue reading Armistice Day Brocante, Cotignac