Where to Stay, Eat, and Shop in Provence
Written by: the Editors of goop
Published on: January 19, 2023
When author, artist, and photographer Jamie Beck moved to the French countryside, she anticipated staying a single year: This was just a sabbatical from her life in Manhattan. But village by vineyard by lush field of lavender, she found slow-paced Provence suited her. So she stayed.
Beck’s new pictorial memoir serves as a guide to the region and a cookbook, with local recipes she’s gathered over her five years in France. Below, she shares a short list of her favorite hotels, restaurants, and shops in Provence right now.
Jamie Beck’s Guide to Provence
Set in the hilltop village of Crillon-le-Brave, this full-service luxury hotel boasts unique historic rooms situated in a complex web of old stone structures and terraces with panoramic views of Mont Ventoux. The spa uses clean beauty products by Tata Harper, and the hotel boutique carries luxury gifts, from Trudon candles to pieces from local high-end designer Valentina.
The most luxurious of all the hotels in the area, this five-star property has multiple restaurants, a designer boutique, a Sisley spa and hammam, and a glamorous terrace pool that attracts an aristocratic crowd. Aside from the breathtaking views, brunch at L’Orangerie is an experience not to be missed.
In the 17th century, one of the wealthiest families from Avignon built this stunning hilltop mansion in the style of an Italian palazzo. Later, it became the private residence of Madame Nancy Negley, an American patron of the arts. And recently, it’s been turned into a four-suite boutique hotel with dollhouse-like rooms, charming fireplaces, claw-foot tubs, and a pool with a view. You can book out the entire mansion.
One of my favorite hideaways. This chambre d’hôtes welcomes you with wine (its own) and seasonal dishes made with vegetables harvested from the garden—all in a fountained vineyard terrace. It’s romantic country-chic and the best of Provençal style. Before or after your meal, take a stroll through the rose walk.
A young Parisian couple founded a new watering hole in the heart of Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt: They serve three meals a day using locally sourced seasonal ingredients and a selection of natural wines. There are panoramic views of the Luberon Mountains. Come on Thursdays and experience the village’s farmers’ market before lunch, then take a beautiful 10-minute hike from the village up to the Saint-Sat château.
Situated in my favorite hilltop village of Ménerbes, Progrès features upscale bistro food by two female chefs. The menu changes seasonally and often reflects new takes on classic French dishes. You can stop by any time of day for a drink or to browse the magazine stand for all the latest in French fashion, news, arts, and culture.
A beautiful selection of antique dishes, butterfly cases, petite chandeliers, flax linens, and other home items. This is one of my favorite haunts in my own village.
Boasting a selection of works created by artists from the Maison Dora Maar residency program, images from Dora Maar herself, books, and other handcrafted items, this shop is a must-see if you’re in Ménerbes.
In the heart of Aix-en-Provence, just on the doorstep of the photogenic Place d’Albertas, hairstylist-to-the-stars Frédéric Fékkai and his wife, Shirin, have opened a shop of home and beauty products made in Provence. Before or after your visit, swing around the corner to Mana, an American-style coffee house.
Walk along the canals of France’s second-best antique market (the best is Paris’s Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen) in the charming village of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Here, the streets are lined with stalls featuring antique furniture, art, tableware, and linens, plus flower stalls, soaps, cheese, and fruit vendors. Come in the morning and make a reservation for brunch at La Maison Moga, where an expert sommelier will offer you perfect pairings for a French feast of eggs, bread, pastries, cheese, fruit, and charcuterie.
Walking Tour of Arles
Spend a day strolling the ancient cobblestone streets of Arles, the city famous for being the home and frequent subject matter of painter Vincent van Gogh. It’s a perfect walking city, with many local artisan shops, art galleries, and Roman structures—including a 2,000-year-old amphitheater still in use today. Eat at Chardon, have a drink at L’Arlatan, take a walk along the mighty Rhône, and check out the joyous Fragonard boutique to buy Provençal souvenirs. In the summer, be sure to visit the Rencontres, a photography festival that takes over the galleries and cultural spaces of this special city.
Take a private cooking class with American Jane Satow. She will take you on a walk through the local market to shop for ingredients to cook with back in the kitchen.
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