Slower starts to the morning are certainly the way to go, we are all loving being able to linger over breakfast and coffee before heading out the door each morning although there was just a little bit of excitment among the ladies knowing they were going to what is touted to be the best of all the markets in the Luberon Valley, the Friday morning market in Lourmarin. It is always interesting to see our ladies reaction to this market as even the ones who are not fond of markets at all seem to fall in love and exclaim loudly at how much there is to look at. And today, there was not only plenty to look at but people as well to look at, the market was in full swing due to the long weekend.
In all reality you could spend an entire day at this market but alas we had other plans and were on our way for a very special treat, invited to dine at a friend’s home, what could be more realistic and Provençal in experience than dining in true French style in the most amazing of homes.
Pulling up outside the high wall with its wrought iron gates there is nothing much to give away what is to be seen on the inside until we walked through them where we were warmly greeted by Eric who then introduced us to his wife Laurence.
We were then ushered around the back of the house passing glorious bushes of roses and any number of blooms exclaiming wouldn’t it be great if we knew what they all were, luckily we had Rosalind to help us out with this as she has an award winning garden of her own at home.
The garden resembled falling down the rabbit hole, there was just too much to take in and too much to look at whether it be as I said the many varieties of roses and flowers, to the sculptures placed throughout the gardens made by Eric himself, the bric and brac placed in what appeared to be a haphazard manner but had really been placed with just the greatest of care to create the illusion.
We were all in rapture at what we were seeing and we hadn’t even entered the house at this stage!! Oh my, that was a whole other set of experiences set to amaze, large gilt framed mirrors, paintings galore on the walls, artefacts from collections everywhere and all placed to create the perfect effect. What an absolutely magnificent home, one that we were lucky enough to have been invited in to, it doesn’t really get any better than this something that the ladies exclaimed many times during the next few hours as we devoured course after sumptuous course of the most delicious food sitting outside on the terrace surrounded by this beauty, serene and tranquil behind the locked gates of the outside world. A true Provençal feast cooked to perfection. I think we all thought we had died and gone to heaven such was our experiences of today.
Before heading home Eric treated us to a glimpse of his workshop where he paints, works with metal, wood and a number of other mediums, sculptures in the making, paintings both finished and in the process of completion adorned the workshop, it was such a privilege to see behind the scenes of a very accomplished artist. One of his most stunning accomplishments hung in the dining room, a very unique work of art in the form of an exquisite chandelier only a photo will do this justice.
It was extremely hard to tear ourselves away from such gracious hosts that had opened their home to us and given us such a wonderful glimpse in to the french way of life, la vie est belle. As I said, it’s a little hard to put this experience in to words sufficient to describe what truly was a day that surpasses all others in epitomising what life really should all be about, good times, good food, good fun and good friendships with experiences we will never forget.
And it wasn’t quite over, driving home we took the opportunity to roll among the poppies in one of the most stunning poppy fields I have ever seen here…I think being so mellow and happy from our superb luncheon experience we were all a little more adventurous than normal making the most of this once in a lifetime photo shoot opportunity but boy was it worth it, the photo’s really tell the story.
Our day finished off with Jo working her magic with an fabulous light supper in our very own paradise sitting under the plane trees next to the pond listening to the frog talking to us… perhaps he was asking us to quieten down but whatever he was saying, it fell on deaf ears as everyone unbelievable filled their plates and devoured lavender infused, fig infused, roquefort infused saucisson, jambon wrapped fresh asparagus, vert salade drizzled with Jo’s special dressing, cheese, olives and of course fresh bread. What a magical day!!