Our Provencal Home Away from Home

Our Provencal Home Away from Home***

With a crisp British accent, the pilot made the customary final announcement before touching down in London, “Attendants, get ready for landing.” I glanced out the window and saw the vast metropolis below with the famous River Thames snaking through the center. I had to snap a picture, because everything blended together in shades of gray. Gray clouds, gray river, gray buildings, gray air, such a contrast to sunny Provence, where we’d spent the last week.

To understand the disparity, check out this image from my Instagram feed, it makes me laugh…

Provence vs London
Goodbye Provence, Hello London!

But you know what? Despite quintessentially dreary English fall skies and gray drizzle, we were thrilled to arrive back in London. There were four little rays of sunshine to enthusiastically greet us on our return, so it didn’t matter how contrary the weather was.


It’s funny how quickly a trip fades into merely a pleasant memory. Life has a way of rushing past, doesn’t it? Before we close the books on our time in Provence though, we wanted to share another post, actually two – this one, on our accommodations in Provence and the second (tomorrow) sharing some practical and money-saving tips we’ve gleaned on our travels. We decided to break it into two posts as the topics are quite different.

I still can’t believe we stayed in this delightful apartment in Apt France. I booked it last summer through Airbnb. If you’re not familiar with Airbnb, and you enjoy traveling, it’s a wonderful alternative to expensive hotels, and has gained crazy popularity all over the world in recent years.

Before we decided to use Airbnb, I checked it out online. It was started in 2008 and it’s basically an organization that helps people list, find and rent lodging. Their byline is “Local destinations for a global community”. In other words, if I have an extra room, spare apartment, house, igloo or castle and you need a place to stay, Airbnb helps coordinate that. Airbnb is the go-between, they screen both owners and renters, confirm travel dates, post reviews from previous travelers and take care of lots of other details.

We were very pleased with our first Airbnb experience in Provence and wanted to show the lovely apartment we were able to rent for less than $1100. That comes out to right around$157 per night, the price of an average, very ordinary hotel room in Provence. Check out the pics below and see what you think.

Our Provencal Home Away from Home
Nathalie, one of the owners met us to give us the keys, as well as a tour of the apartment. We were shocked at the spaciousness of our new home. We loved it right away. It made us feel like we had stepped back in time, yet in a modern, very nice way! You’ll understand that better as you make your way through our pictorial tour.

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Our Provencal Home Away from Home (6)
Talk about stepping back in time!
Our Provencal Home Away from Home
The flat was simply, but very tastefully decorated, Provencal-style!
Our Provencal Home Away from Home
If we’re staying somewhere more than a few days, I love to purchase flowers to personalize our little space. I found these at the market in Apt and they were still gorgeous the day we left!
Our Provencal Home Away from Home
I love the way old and modern are combined in our Provencal apartment. This is the lock on the bathroom door. How cool is that!
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The kitchen was modern, spacious and had everything we needed: complete with a nice gas range, oven, microwave, espresso machine and a dishwasher. I don’t do any complicated cooking while we’re on vacation but we do eat in frequently. We purchase croissants for breakfast or prepared entrees for lunch or dinner at a local deli or patisserie and then I throw together a simple green salad or roasted veggies for a healthy dinner. Of course in France we have to have a baguette from the local boulangerie at every meal!
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Our Provencal Home Away from Home (12)
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Our Provencal Home Away from Home (21) Our Provencal Home Away from Home (20)

Our Provencal Home Away from Home
The living room is sunny, bright and comfortable. This is where we’d sit in the evening and write our posts for you!
Our Provencal Home Away from Home
Although the evenings were cool and crisp in Provence, we enjoyed lunch in the sunny private courtyard.

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Our Provencal Home Away from Home
Scott always says that I must have loved to play house as a child – because I still do! I love to set a pretty table with whatever I can find. We had to laugh – although this courtyard is purely for the use of those renting the apartment, there were several other stories of apartments above us. While we were eating this lunch, two adorable teenage girls several floors up noticed our table below all set up for lunch. They opened the window, shouted, “Bon Appétit!” and played some French music for our dining experience!

So that’s our fun Provencal Home Away from Home. Like I said, it seems like a lovely dream now. We’re both so happy to have the pictures to relive our experience. They call Provence “A little corner under the olive tree.”. It’s a lovely corner indeed! Hope you’ve enjoyed it. We’ll be back with one last post about travel tips.

Important P.S.! If you live in the U. S. and haven’t visited our post about the KitchenAid Torrent Blender Giveaway, check it out! Don’t miss this one!

24 thoughts on “Our Provencal Home Away from Home”

  • Wow simpl,y gorgeous apartment how lovely and quaint. I Love to set a beautiful table afterall we eat with our eyes first. All the wonderful markets,. Patisseries, and boulangeries offering so many tasty treats to try how fun a feast for the tastebuds. I love a meal at a restaurant too wig my sweetheart but I also love the markets and picking out fresh ingredients to make a delicious meal to,share with those I love too. The ambience how cute with the French music how lovely these are the moments you cherish.

  • What a gorgeous place, tastefully decorated. What an experience, right? With so much to see and do — and eat– who would need to cook? I’d be visiting every single bakery in town, exploring all the wonderful food they have and bringing notes to try my faves at home.

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us — and make us dream. Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  • I, too. loved the place you stayed and how you mix with the locals. So much nicer than going on planned tours. From what I can gather from friends who take these tours, they also take you to the touristy shops. Not my cup of tea. I like to mix and blend in with locals on all our travels.

    Airbnb, will, in time be making changes, There have been so many complaints from hotels, restaurants, and other places in the tourist business about them. It is being looked into and rules are beginning to take shape. Personally I think it is a great idea. Several homes in our town do it, and just recently City Hall had a meeting regarding them. Changes are in the works at least in the USA.

  • My son swears by Air BnB and we have yet to use it but by the looks of your accommodation it’s a winner! Such a beautiful place to spend time in, I love it. I’m afraid we are used to grey skies here and sunshine is a big bonus for us. I love all your photos and recipes from your trip this visit. Thank you and enjoy the rest of your trip xoxo

  • Hi Chris, your apartment is wonderful, we have never used airbnb but have used vrbo (vacation rental by owner) and were very pleased. Will have to check it out.

  • My daughter and I are planning a trip to England and France Fall 2016. (I was in both countries this past Spring with my Granddaughter) We are planning on staying in Airbnb the entire time. I’ve heard both good and not-so-good reviews. However, this year while in both countries, the hotels were awful. We’re very excited to stay in homes where we can cook our own meals if we choose to. I also like that most homes are in near the best sites! Well done Chris. As usual, stunning photos!

  • Chris, your vacation apartment is wonderful. I could live there full-time. I would struggle with London’s gloomy skies on a full-time basis, yet I would still like to go there too. I think I would welcome the rain.

  • Oh wow! What a charming home! It must have been so hard to leave Provence and must have been so costly as well! Wow , a taste of heaven I must say,

  • Thanks for sharing your lovely apartment in France. Really enjoyed reading about your trip as well as all the fabulous photos!

  • Unfortunately I don’t share your enthusiasm for Airb&b. They do not pay taxes, have health inspections, safety measures , insurance or follow codes. There are also many situations that you read about in the paper, where there were wild parties or danger to people. Please post this as the public has a right to hear both sides.

    • Thanks Barb,it’s always good to look at all aspects of an organization. This was our first experience with Airbnb and it was wonderful. I’m sure, as in everything, people have had negative experiences in Airbnbs. We have had also unpleasant and difficult situations in hotels. I think you have to be careful and wary in everything you do. Thanks for your input.

  • I’ve enjoyed your posts and lovely pictures so much. Highlights of a few things I loved: the joy you find in your four rays of sunshine; your smile when you bought the flowers at the market and then seeing them later on your table; imagining biking through Provence; your cooking class; the extraordinary market…etc., I could go on. So happy for you, couldn’t happen for a nicer couple.

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