20 May 2013

Scouting the Chic Provence Design Tour

I love Provence so much; nothing is more fun to me than spending the week before the Chic Provence Design Tour scouting out all my locations, vendors and sights, meeting and greeting old friends and checking out new ones. I want everything to be perfect and to run smoothly for my guests from the minute they arrive until we return them a week later to the TGV in Avignon.

This then is how a typical day of pre-Tour scouting goes for me... come with me next time! 

hmm.... Madame is offering fresh eggs right from her farm... I'll take a half dozen!
 found these on my  morning walk along the banks of the River Sorgue

along with President butter, a fresh croissant
and blood oranges, these eggs made a
fabulous breakfast, giving me lots of energy
for a fully packed day of scouting in Provence!

of course, un petit pause for a fabulous cup of
coffee was in order as the morning went on...
here I am using my wonderful basket from
Andrea at The French Basketeer!  Thanks, Andrea!!

the summer linens in the Provençal markets always delight me...
and this spring I spied this chic little dress and scarf... paired with
a scarf and sandals, the perfect outfit for browsing the markets
in the South of France... and at 34 euro, a real bargain!

Steven and I headed to our favorite boulangerie... the one that makes everything on site, from scratch, using only the finest "bio" (organic) ingredients... we had to make sure everything was acceptable for our guests at the villa the following week... and yes, everything was!

even the baguettes as they rolled out of the ovens, their aroma just begging for un cafe au lait and a large smear of pure butter and jam!

OK, well fortified, it's off to scout les antiquaires... just to be sure nothing has changed drastically in the last year... we found so many gorgeous treasures we were sure our guests would be completely delighted! this small chandelier caught my eye and I could picture it in my guest room chez moi...

peeking into Madame's window, a row of fanciful dining chairs catches my eye, along
with that gorgeous chandelier and mirror...

these garden cloches will surely captivate my wonderful guests... wonder how many of
these will find their way back to the USA ?

a fancy candelabra called a girondole almost made its way into MY suitcase!
isn't it pretty?

the witty fish sculpture in company the otherwise seriously glamourous
objets is a hallmark of French design... don't take things too seriously!

I fell completely for this period oil painting of Louis XVI himself... pompous and
soft, he epitomized all the excesses that eventually got him into serious trouble... aka
the guillotine!  but I really loved this painting, and at 650 euros almost brought
it home to my French-history-loving husband Chris!

OK, back outside, and off to Gordes... just to be sure nothing has changed in this stunning
hilltop village since we were last there... and of course, it is just as gorgeous as always...we need
not have feared!

I always peek into the church in Gordes... this time preparations were underway
for a funeral mass for the oldest firefighter (pompier) in Gordes who had
passed away in his 80's... a procession wove through the village 

side view of the chateau at Gordes... actually that is a very excellent
organic grocer tucked under those eaves...

back to our villa to check things out... the olive
tree basking in the late afternoon sun...

...the outdoor mantel a study in still life....

the breakfast kitchen inviting us in for
un cafe under the wisteria arbor...

still the perfect spot for morning breakfast and lingering...

..and putting the final touches on the gifts for
each of my treasured guests when they arrive...
fine chocolates, pate de fois gras, candle,
lavender oil and a sweet bundle of lavender
to tuck under the pillow for a good night's sleep!


  1. I'm laughing that you are holding that particular basket as it's the exact one I am using recently...love Gordes, and the scouting that you do to make sure every details is perfect for your guests. Can't wait to see more photos of the tour~

  2. Lovely! Wish I was there... love the dining chairs. In my house they'd be repainted a shade of lime green! Oh that I could get you to bring them back for me! :)

  3. Kit I can see how much you put into your tours! Isn't Andrea the best. She has been so good to me during this time!

    Come with me on my adventure in France.
    life, possibilities, grace
    a beautiful dream...

    Art by Karena

  4. Oh Kit! *sigh*

    I love the yellow dress, have examined the construction: I can make that...

  5. This post sends my senses into overdrive!! Wow....just beautiful, what a super fun day!

  6. Your surroundings do you good~ how pretty you look!

    Wish I was there alongside you. Someday soon.

  7. My heart is so full after this gorgeous post. :-) I love all the light and color and pure ingredients. :-) Your guests will feel spoiled rotten. :-)

  8. Such wonderful images! and the dress...well, that's just the kind of thing everyone wants to come upon in the market!
    I'll be there in two weeks: cannot wait!

  9. I can attest that all the preparations were worth it. Thanks for all the scouting to make our trip the best! Hugs to you...

  10. What an amazing host you are!
    One day I would love to join you!!!
    Have a wonderful sojourn.

  11. We've vacationed in Provence twice. I'd love to return. Your trip sounds like a lot of fun. Love that linen dress. I would have snatched one of those up for sure.


I would love to hear what you think! merci!


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