Couleur Nature Founder, Gaura Tibbitts, is traveling throughout Europe this autumn and spent some time in Provence to visit friend-to-the-brand, Emilie Johnson. The days Gaura spent in Provence were packed with beautiful vistas, villages, markets, a visit to the sea, and a bit of cruising among the vineyards in a classic car. Gaura was excited to discover new inspiration for the brand’s beautiful prints, which all have their creative birthplace in this region.
During Gaura’s visit, Emilie wanted to showcase some of the most picturesque parts of Provence. In Part 1 they visit the turquoise bays of Cassis, and the cliffs that run between Cassis in Marseille and much more. In this blog post, she outlines what they did and provides addresses and links for not-to-miss spots on a trip to Provence.
MARKET DAY: LOURMARIN
We woke up the next morning and headed to one of Provence’s best local markets: Lourmarin. A quaint and picturesque Provence village, Lourmarin is nestled in vineyards and olive groves. Its cobblestone streets are adorned with ivy-covered buildings. One can get lost in its maze of streets with their twists and turns.
Lourmarin’s market takes place on Friday mornings and it is truly a performance to behold. Olives, cheeses, spices, fruits and vegetables, hats, dresses, soaps, knives, flowers - you name it, the market has a stall and a charming vendor.
Here, Gaura is purchasing a variety of cheeses.
ONE OF FRANCE’S MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES: GORDES
After a tour of the market, we ventured deeper into the Luberon Valley, the location of the most bewitching Provence villages. Each is built up into the hills of the Luberon topography. It is as if the mountain and hills gave birth to the stone villages themselves. We drove north to the famous village of Gordes. A historic gem, this village looks like it was carved out of the honey-colored stone it rests on (some of it indeed was).
We had a beautiful lunch at the elegant Airelles Gordes, La Bastide, the restaurant l’Orangerie. The Bastide is built on the terracing of the village; its gardens are stacked one on top of the other, with the Luberon valley unfolding and stretching out endlessly below. Staff at the restaurant/hotel are dressed in traditional Provençal attire. The food is some of the best in the region, committed to the seasonal approach to Provence cuisine (a second harvest of artichokes in late September meant they were featured heavily on the menu the day we went). Be sure to book a table on the terrace (and on a lovely day, although that is not hard to catch in Provence, with 300+ days of sun a year).
A CLASSIC CAR IN PROVENCE
Punctuating the visit was a very fun treat: Provence Classics made renting a little 1960 MGA Roadster very easy. The car was the perfect vehicle for taking in the matchless light that shines on Provence, the vineyards, the towering cypress trees, the cerulean sky.