One of my biggest travel fantasies was to rent a villa in southern France, visit the village market on the weekend, and cook delicious homemade dinners for my husband while drinking the best of French rosé. Since we had four days to fill before having to be in Paris, we knew of the perfect place we wanted to fulfill this fantasy at in Provence. We booked the most quaint looking Provençal villa through Haven In, and for four blissful nights we enjoyed a little taste of French country life. After weeks and weeks of nonstop travel, hotel hopping, long road trips, and too much alarm setting, Tor and I could not wait to unwind someplace romantic and beautiful. As we pulled up to our charming villa that we would have all to ourselves for a few days, we knew we found that special place we were looking for.
No staff. No other guests. No itinerary planned. It was just the two of us and enough bottles of wine to last us a month. Our 7-bedroom villa provided by Haven Inimmediately felt like the Provençal home you have always imagined in your mind – exposed stone walls, luxurious furnishings, a modern kitchen with the grandest stove I’ve ever cooked on and all the necessities needed to throw a grand dinner party, and plenty of outdoor seating that invites you to spend more time outside than in. Despite the outside yearning for our attention 24/7, we still brought our travel Apple TV with us to watch some movies and TV shows each night after dinner as the evening thunderstorms rolled through.
On our first morning, we woke up early to get to the Sunday outdoor village market in Coustellet. It had been my dream to visit a French weekend market, and luckily we were in town on the right days to make that happen. As soon as we parked our car, I beelined straight for the flower stand selling the freshest peonies. I wasn’t even sure if our villa had any vases stocked in the pantry (luckily they had plenty!), but I was determined to buy a large batch of one of my favorite flowers. As we walked through the busy market, peonies in hand, I enjoyed getting a look at all the incredible local items for sale.
Besides the flowers, we also stocked up on fresh loaves of French bread, different kinds of goat cheese (much to Tor’s chagrin – he’s not a goat cheese lover like me), different kinds of jams, fresh vegetables, and some gourmet sweets. Basically, we left this market with our hands completely full. We immediately returned back to the villa and cooked ourselves a delicious Sunday brunch of brioche French toast, eggs, and fresh squeezed orange juice and dined outside underneath the large tree in the front courtyard.
As I mentioned earlier, we had no itinerary planned for these four days except the large Sunday market. Our villa was located just 5 minutes outside of the hilltop town of Bonnieux, which we visited one day for a hearty lunch and a sweet crêpe snack. It’s also located under an hour from the towns of Gordes and Avignon. While it was just the two of us for our visit, we immediately began planning another trip back to bring our friends.
Our stunning villa had 7 bedrooms (we occupied the master suite) that we could easily fill with our friends next time. But since Tor and I wanted to take it easy, we spent plenty of time by the private pool to beat the southern France heat and catch up on some reading. I didn’t even work on the blog during this trip, since we had found the perfect spot to unwind, unplug, and unleash.
Saying goodbye to French country life was hard to do, since this villa had been such a dream to indulge in for a few days before we returned to the hustle and bustle of our crazy lives. While we cannot wait to return again with friends, for now we will relish in the romantic memories we made at this Bonnieux villa and look back on our week as Provençal residents with many thanks.
Thank you to Haven In for partnering with us on our trip (we received a media discount for our stay). As always, opinions are my own.
Photos by Torrance Coombs.
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