The inside track on the best of France comes from our co-founder, Monica Chambers. Having lived in the South of France for a year, Monica frequently reminds us “there’s arguably no place more achingly picturesque than my old haunting grounds”. (We get it… you loved your study abroad experience).
Check out some of her recommendations for living slow in the South of France : At Present.
Southern France strikes the perfect balance of feeling dressed down but utterly special– the same energy that I’m going for when I buy a piece of jewelry. You should get a car and take a leisurely road trip, picking two to three spots as home bases to explore the area. Don’t rush. Don’t try to see it all. Adopt the vibe.
I lived in Aix-en-Provence and it is one of the most beautiful and lively southern towns. Known for its approximately 8 billion fountains (precision!) scattered throughout its intimate streets, the city is meant to be explored by foot.
Make sure that you head to the Cours Mirabeau soon after your arrival. The super wide, tree lined, so pretty you’ll double take, main thoroughfare in Aix. Find the perfect table “en terrasse” at Les Deux Garcons. Get an “apero”. Eat. Don’t eat. Your job for the next 90 minutes (minimum) is to just sit there and marinate. Les Deux Garcons or “Les 2 G” as the locals call it has been around since 1792 and used to be the spot where Cezanne and Emile Zola used to meet every afternoon. Churchill, Cocteau, Delon, Belmondo, Picasso and Piaf made it a regular stop, and I have definitely seen Malcovitch there on a number of occasions.
It’s just cool.
Essentials for Strolling
Make sure to catch the market in Aix. It’s beyond. Like so good you’ll question your life choices.
Go to the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque for a day trip.
I mean…just look at it. An order of monks still lives here, harvesting lavender and welcoming visitors. Bring a picnic. (See previously referenced transcendent market for provisions.) Walk the grounds. And please, if you like lavender, buy the lavender perfume the monks make. Buy an extra for me because it’s absolutely divine. Eat dinner in the neighboring medieval village of Gordes. Also stunning (shocking).