At this moment, I am reflecting on the sound of trees dancing in the wind, the feeling of the warm sun touching my skin, the smell of the freshest, most colorful florals just recently in bloom, and the taste of the most sinfully delicious red wine on my lips. This was all that awaited us and more for our weekend at La Verrière in Provence, giving us the chance to feel like we could disappear from the world for a few days and just immerse ourselves in Provençal luxury. So when Tor received a phone call while we were in Tuscany inviting him to attend a convention in Paris, he couldn’t say no.
Mostly in part because I wouldn’t let him, if I’m being honest! We had initially tried to find a way to extend our latest European trip to include France, and now we had the perfect excuse. Since there would be about a week in between our London visit and when we were needed in Paris, there was only one destination on our mind – Provence. And not just any destination, but a destination set in the heart of Provence that had been on my wish list for some time – La Verrière.
Hotel: La Verrière
Like Deplar Farm in Iceland, this villa is not your regular hotel. There is no check-in desk. As soon as we pulled up, our bags (all seven of them, hah!) were taken of and brought straight to our room. There are only 7 rooms at La Verrière, and not one looks the same from the other. We stayed in Tournesol, also known as the “Sunflower Suite.” The one-bedroom suite had it’s own private door that staff could quietly enter and leave to make the room ready, leave us some surprises, and turn down our room at night. It also had it’s own large private patio that was completely surrounded by florals and greenery. It was also mere steps from the picturesque pool, where we conveniently found ourselves spending most of our time.
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What drew us to La Verrière the most was how much it reminded us of our wedding venue, which was coincidentally modeled and designed to resemble a Provençal villa. Creamy, beige stone walls with baby blue shutters surrounding gorgeous French doors are just the start to how dreamy this villa is. Located about an hour north of Avignon, we took the Eurostar from London and connected in Paris to the TGV straight to Avignon (about 5 hours total of travel).
We then picked up our rental car outside of the TGV station and headed towards Provençal paradise. It was a bit of an adventure getting to the villa, since it’s surrounded by luscious rolling hills of vineyards for miles. A dirt road leads you through the woods before you find yourself staring at La Verrière in the distance, perched on a hill overlooking the stunning valley and vineyards of Chêne Bleu winery.
Each evening, Tor and I would dress ourselves up and head inside the main villa. After you walk up the stairs from the entryway, you’re greeted by a grand welcome of a large cavernous room with exposed stone. I felt like I had stepped out of 2018 and into a fairytale castle. The furniture seemed to match how I felt, with the regal red chairs giving this royal history lover a taste of sitting on a throne. To our left, a magnificent dining room table was perfectly set for four. We were introduced to the two other guests staying at the villa that night, and the four of us immediately began to bond on the outdoor patio while sipping Chene Bleu rosé and nibbling on French hors d’oeuvres. At 8 pm, we were summoned back inside to the grand dining room table where we had a fantastic 3-course meal prepared for us by the in-house chef.
There was no menu. Instead, we all had submitted any allergies we had in the days leading up to our visit and the chef created a meal that suited to everyone’s desires. In fact, the meal was so good on our first night that on our second night, we asked the chef if he didn’t mind making the same starter dish again for us. Since La Verrière is connected with Chêne Bleu winery, we indulged on several different bottles of red wine throughout our dinner trying to pick out the Syrah and Grenache in each one. While I was already a Syrah lover, I ended up becoming a big fan of the Grenache grape. With that said, I’m pretty sure we became wine connoisseurs on this trip…
After spending weeks on the go, relaxing was all we had in mind while at La Verrière. Apparently they had the same notion for us. On our second day, Chene Bleu prepared a delicious picnic lunch for us in a basket, including more rosé wine, fruit, fresh goat cheese from the farm next door, a freshly baked French loaf, and freshly baked madeleines. They then sent us off to a romantic pond down the hill where for an hour, Tor and I felt like the only two people in the world as the sun shined down on us.
After our picnic lunch, Tor and I had a tour of the vineyards and winery at Chêne Bleu before ending the afternoon with a private wine tasting. Chêne Bleu’s chemical-free vineyards are 40-years old, and there’s a lot more to wine making than just growing grapes. Weather and even the positioning of the sun influence each and every grape, which thus influences the taste of the wines. We ended up buying several bottles of wine that we were very optimistic about fitting into our already overweight suitcases.
For one weekend, we got to escape the world and hide out in the most romantic Provençal villa. La Verrière had been a place we had been eager to visit for months, and we were so excited we could make it happen on this visit. It’s the perfect spot for couples looking to get away, but it’s also the perfect spot for friends who want to call a place to themselves for a short while. Tor and I are already talking about bringing friends to this hidden spot where Provençal luxury awaits.