Donald Wasylenki & Shelley Brook – Toronto

Our three week vacation at the villa in the spring of 2011 was an extraordinary experience! On arrival, we were greeted by Jillian and Patrice, served a gourmet lunch with copious amounts of Provencal rosé wine and given a colourful orientation to the wonders of the region. The graciousness of the owners was only exceeded by the beauty of the location!

The villa itself, a combination of ancient stone architecture and modern refinements, is magnificent. It has seven or eight bedrooms, several scenic eating areas – both inside and out – and extremely comfortable sitting rooms. The highlight however is the grand kitchen area which is a gourmet chef’s dream-come-true. It is organized to maximize efficiency and creativity. All elements are modern and of extremely high quality and the area functions as a warm, inviting social centre while fantastic meals are being prepared. A generous supply of Pastis and local, excellent wines occupy appropriate storage sites throughout. Views of the surrounding countryside are everywhere in evidence from inside the villa, and especially from several second floor sleeping rooms.

Outside are spectacular fields of lavender, olive trees and a vineyard climbing up to a fabulous lookout point behind the villa. Mount Ventoux is clearly visible and in the evening the sky is filled with bright stars. On one memorable occasion, from the south patio, we witnessed a full moon rising beside Mount Ventoux! There is a sizeable swimming pool on the property too – surrounded by olive and cherry trees.

Nearby, in the village of Roaix, we discovered a Michelin Star restaurant called Le Grand Pré which was superb, and in the town of Vaison La Romaine we attended a choir recital in a medieval church which was unforgettable. The Vaison market, which takes place every Tuesday morning, is the best we have seen anywhere–overflowing with fruit, vegetables, cheeses, meats, fish, hats, clothes, soaps and many artistic delights. Slightly further afield are beautiful Provencal towns such as Gordes, Roussillon, Seguret and Gigondas. And Avignon, Arles and St Remy are close enough for luxurious day trips.

Overall, life at the villa was a dream from which we were sad to awaken. Our three weeks were like three weeks in paradise and we would highly recommend such a sojourn to any and all!

Donald Wasylenki and Shelley Brook