Located just 20 minutes from Cotignac, and on the way to the Lac St Croix, is the medieval village of Aups, famous for Truffles and their annual Truffle Festival in January. In Summer the village is bustling with life and their twice-weekly markets are really worth going to because it’s cheap and there is an abundance of choice. Aups has their market on Saturdays and Wednesdays. See also http://provence-living.net/aups-truffle-village
If you’re a busy bee like me, you’ll try to fit in a quick brisk walk during the day to keep healthy. This one in Sillans is brilliant because it’s easy but combines clean air with pristine river, a wild path, and some scrambling at the end. Park in the old train station parking lot in Sillans-la-Cascade (the school) then walk across the street to the foot of the bridge. Follow the “panorama de cascade” sign and continue down the river on the left side. Stay on the left the whole way. Eventually you’ll see a floating foot bridge (this is fun to jump on!) but do not cross it, just keep going. The path narrows and you’ll eventually come to a tunnel bridge. Climb up the steep dirt path on its right side and you’ll get to street level. Go over the bridge and continue on the left. Make the next left turn and go down the path going back on the other side of the river. You’ll eventually find yourself behind the castle (you’ll see a couple of picnic tables). Stay left and keep going through the bottom road of the village and you’ll see the old lavoire. Voila, you’ve done your 15 mins circuit walk, bravo!
It was a gorgeous, warm, sunny day in Cotignac and the tourists seemed to come out of the woodwork. The market was bustling and there were so many buying temptations from the roasted chickens to big bunches of lavender. I finally succummed to some pretty cotton clothing at the bottom of the Cours Gambetta but oh, if I had all the money in the world I’d buy up half this market, it was so good! Continue reading Market day in Cotignac, June
Quality of ingredients, good service, and a relaxed atmosphere is what you can expect here at the wonderful La Table de Pol in Lorgues. It’s a little escape, like something we’d find nearer to the coast here or on a beach. Lots of stretching room, super comfy tables and chairs, benches with cushions for your aperitifs, and a cozy wine bar indoors for a more romantic feel; perfect for couples. Continue reading La Table de Pol – wine bar and restaurant in Lorgues
It’s always such a delight to visit Mr Gum at his boutique full of fabulous ceramic necklaces, earrings and bracelets in old Villecroze. Guillaume (owner and creator of the shop) is full of charm too and is always a real pleasure to chat with. What’s best is that his shop is right next to the now famous La Bohème Café with equally charming Liz as owner and hostess. Have a coffee, a piece of cake, a look around at Mr Gum’s then head for the beautiful rose park across the way with its stunning limescale cliffs and cave dwellings (kinda like a miniature Cotignac!!), a beautiful old house, picnic tables, tennis courts, and a great park for younger kids too. All this is just 25 mins’ drive from Cotignac. Worth the detour!! Continue reading Villecroze Park, Café La Bohème, and Mr Gum’s
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
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
Just when we thought the weather was going to turn chillier and less sunny, it was clear blue skies and bright sunshine on October 30th, 2016. It was 23 degrees celcius. Continue reading Bauduen (Lac St Croix) in late October
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
The second most populous city after Paris, Marseille has gone through some very impressive improvements lately.
The old port has always attracted lots of tourists (lots of shopping, fabulous restaurants serving what they are most famous for, the Bouillabaisse – a fish stew, made the right way is just to die for) but the West side now has a stunning new museum called the Mucem (displaying art from civilisations of Eruope and the Mediterranean) located just across from the more traditional arts museum; Regard en Provence. Continue reading Summer day in Marseille
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
About a 25 minutes’ drive from Cotignac and 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