When I first arrived in this the U.S. I was a nanny and became very close with the family I cared for. We’ve remained dear friends and they invited Mac and I to celebrate the renewal of their vows on their 10th wedding anniversary. They actually invited all the guests from the original wedding! As the event was located in the South of France – how could we say no?
The journey began with a couple of days in Provence- an area that I have dreamt of visiting forever! The lavender the region is famous for was not yet in bloom, but the vistas, the olive trees and beautiful towns did not disappoint. We stayed at Baumaniere les Baux de Provence which is a delightful hotel set in the Alpilles Mountains at the base of Baux de Provence -a medieval village on a rocky outcrop featuring a chateau and breathtaking views.
The highlight of our first day was a visit to Carrieres de Lumieres an innovative multi-media show which left us speechless. Images of famous paintings are projected onto the walls, floors and ceiling of a former quarry to a backdrop of dramatic classical music. It was stunning and definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
Our second day was spent at the street market in St Remy. We walked the narrow streets of the old town for hours sampling the food, enjoying live music and local wares. Van Gogh spent a year at the Saint Paul Asylum here. It was at that time that he created many of his important paintings including The Irises and we were lucky enough to be visiting while the irises were in bloom.
It was then time to join our friends who were based in Eze, just outside Monaco. We returned to the same fabulous hotel we stayed at –Chateau la Chèvre D’Or -ten years to the day of our friends’ wedding. Every window had views of the Mediterranean and the smell of jasmine was in the air. If you are looking for a romantic destination, consider this location!
What followed was a three day whirlwind of festivities. We had champagne followed by dinner at the famous Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat – I was thrilled to be making a pilgrimage to one of the most famous hotels in the world and insisted that Mac take my photo there.
Day two included a trip to the vineyard Chateau Rasque for a lunch paired with their fantastic wine. We did our best after a wine-filled lunch to suit up for dinner at a very unique restaurant — Mas Provencal, a glass ceilinged dining experience filled with exotic trees and flowers. The venue features pendulous floral arrangements hang from the ceiling in lieu of chandeliers. The flowers were interspersed with dangling grapes and tomatoes that we were able to pluck and eat. I could not have imagined such imaginative arrangements but seeing is believing!
Our last day included a trip to the glamorous city of Cannes, lunch on the beach and concluded with a very romantic renewal of vows in the botanical gardens alongside the village of Eze followed by dinner at the hotel’s two Michelin star restaurant. It truly was the trip of a lifetime and precious time spent with dear friends.