When all you smell is lavender, you know it’s going to be one fine weekend. On the last weekend of July, we ventured out on our first weekend away from Paris to the gorgeous region of Provence.
Staying in Avignon, we experienced regional France for the first time and it was just divine. The people are super friendly, the tiny cobble stone streets are oh so charming, and the food is amazing. It also helped arriving during the Avignon festival, so there was no shortage of street art and entertainment.
And then of course, those lavender fields… our main reason for the weekend getaway. While we had heard the lavender fields were not as spectacular as previous years due to the dry weather, they were still breathtaking and the smell… you could smell the lavender even before stepping out of the car!
On our discovery of lavender fields, we also got a chance to visit Gordes, Sault and Luberon – all quintessentially French provincial. Gordes was a special highlight, featuring ancient homes made only of stone.
Where we loved to eat: We loved picking one of the many cafes/restaurants right outside the Palais des Papes (Pope’s Palace) in Avignon. So amazing to dine outside in gorgeous summer weather while admiring such majestic architecture. And the service was wonderful everywhere! One night we realised minutes before bedtime that our little man had left his teddy at one of the restaurants and that too on an outside table. But when we went back, the waitstaff had already carefully put teddy aside, under the counter to keep him safe (phew).
Also, a dear colleague in Paris recommended the cafe O’Petit A Petit, and we’re so glad we tried it. Run by a lovely couple, the cafe has such a great menu catering to vegans, vegetarians and of course meat lovers! My favourite dish was the cold zucchini soup – perfect on a hot summer’s day!
What we loved to do: Walking through lavender fields! It’s so cliché, but once you’re there, it’s hard not to be swept away by the purple sea.
What we loved to buy: So at a lavender distillery we learnt that there are actually tons of species of lavender (all this time I was sure the only one that existed was the one added to your bag when shopping at L’Occitane). So rather than buying the usual lavender, we bought distilled Lavandin which is more medicinal in its properties and can help with healing cuts and wounds, relieve inflammation and ease sinus issues. Currently it’s the best smelling thing in our medicine cabinet!
And so with this weekend getaway, we officially kick off our French summer vacance. In the coming days, we’ll share some of our other holiday destinations as we embrace summer like true Parisians, and flee the city for a change of scenery and a change of pace.