Summer mornings in Provence are unlike any other. I wake to the first light of the day beginning to stream in through our French doors, and quietly get dressed, grab my camera, and head outside on foot to capture the beauty of the day. In those early hours of the morning, I feel like I have the entire countryside to myself. I wander through the dew covered grass, and watch, in awe, as the light changes from a twilight blue to the palest of pinks to a warm, golden glow. As a Provence film photographer, these experiences have an almost otherworldly quality to them—like stepping back in time.
This past summer I spent a glorious week traveling through the Provençal countryside with my dear friend, Jennifer Fox. We explored some of the region’s most beautiful villages and landscapes and below you will find my favorite places to stay, dine, and explore.
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- La Mirande: A gastronomy and decorative arts-lover’s dream, La Mirande is an exquisite boutique hotel set in a palatial mansion in the town of Avignon. Staying at La Mirande is a journey back in time where interiors are resplendent with Pierre Fray fabrics, papers, museum-grade antiques, and objects d’art.
- La Bastide de Gordes: Perched above the bucolic Luberon countryside in the Disney-charming village of Gordes, La Bastide de Gordes is a chic retreat in one of France’s most enviable addresses. A true jewel of Provence, this historic hotel features stunning suites, a Michelin-starred restaurant, 18th-century decor, and panoramic views as far as the eye can see.
- La Table d’Estoublon: A dream country retreat located in one of France’s most stunning wedding venues—Château d’Estoublon—this lovely al fresco restaurant is a tranquil slice of Provençal heaven. Enjoy freshly grilled cuisine while sitting under the shade of ancient plane trees.
- Bastide de Gordes: A trip to Provence is simply not complete without enjoying a sunset cocktail from the sublime terrace of Bastide de Gordes. The property features several wonderful restaurants depending on your preference. My personal favorite is their gastronomic gem, L’Orangerie.
- La Bastide de Marie: Nestled deep within the vineyards, La Bastide de Marie is a luxury hotel with a charming al fresco restaurant. Enjoy a lunch of haute cuisine while soaking up the beautiful views of the terrace.
- Picnic: My absolute favorite way to eat in Provence is to pick up fresh bread, fruit, and cheese while strolling through one of its countless charming villages and head out into the country for a picnic.
- L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue: The famed Provençal market town is an absolute must-visit, both for its weekend markets and its incredible antique stores. I recommend going early, enjoying a café creme in the cinematically beautiful town square, and collecting fruits, cheeses, breads, and sweets for the dream French country picnic.
- Oppede: The hill towns of Provence are as beautiful as a postcard, and the postage-stamp sized Oppede is one of my favorites. Perched high on a rocky outcrop and surrounded by lush vegetation, it has retained much of it’s traditional charm.
- Mererbes: Named one of the most beautiful villages in Provence, Menerbes is my personal favorite of the hill towns. It feels as though you have stepped onto a movie set and the views are truly extraordinary.
Images by Provence Film Photographer Molly Carr Fine Art Photography | Contax 645 and Minolta CLE | Fuji 400h