It’s little streets sparkle and inspire. ‘One of the most beautiful villages in Provence’ is a mere 40 minutes drive from Aix en Provence. It lives up to it’s reputation. The minute I found out that Peter Mayle had chosen it as his place to re-settle after a number of years in America, I had to visit. I’m a fan to put it mildly! A year in Provence, Toujours Provence and Hotel Pastis are my favourite books in travel writing. He sums it up so simply and beautifully.
At the foot of the Luberon Massif surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, Lourmarin is a spellbinding little place of 1,000 residents. It charms you immediately and the excitement builds as you explore further into the village. Dreamy provencal architecture housing a perfect balance of cafes, galleries and ‘must buy that’ boutiques. I particularly loved the art gallery of Isirdi which is quirky and full of Provencal joy. There is also the Chateau de Lourmarin which dates back to the 12th century.
I chose Cote Lourmarin to stay and I wasn’t disappointed. In the village, it’s a stylish maison to just STOP and BE. I read recently that Peter Mayle recommends La Feniere in the countryside nearby – it look divine with a highly regarded restaurant so I may try that another time.
Eating is never too much of a conundrum in this area. It is oozing with places to savour all manner of local fare. My recommendation for dinner is L’antiquaire which I adored and there is a decent pizzeria too called Nonni.
Lourmarin is a popular place so if you prefer quiet then come in the winter. I, however, loved the atmosphere every time I visited. Friday market days; summer hot’ tourist trap’ days and a quiet November Tuesday when my coffee partner was a cat stretching across my feet. I never saw Peter Mayle in the cafe. If I had then I would have invited him to share an apero with me……..he’s a busy man but you never know…. he may have said YES!