Day 12 - A Fine Feast of a Finale
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 however on our last morning it is always tinged with a little bit of sadness at knowing we will have to say goodbye tomorrow but until then, there is so much still to do!!
So off we headed to take in what is touted as the most exquisite 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.
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 to end what has been a superb tour made even more special by the ladies who joined us this time. 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 was nothing to give away what was to be seen on the inside. A quick buzz and as the gates opened inwards we walked through entering another era in time as the gates shut slowly behind us. Greeted warmly by our host Eric who then introduced us to his wife Laurence we were shown a quick glimpse of Eric’s 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.
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. 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, 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 tantalise, 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 of 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, what an absolutely sublime way to end such a wondrous tour.
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. Bonne nuit and a bientot x