Jeannine Girard-Pearlman, Toronto.

‘A UNIQUE, PRIVILEGED EXPERIENCE…’

The Brets are wonderful hosts who cater to their guests with Gallic charm. We woke up every morning to the smell of coffee brewing and fresh bread from one of the many local boulangeries.  On the days that we ate lunch or dinner at “home” we enjoyed very creative, imaginative and delicious meals paired with the prefect wine. Patrice is a foodie of the highest order so not only is the food delectable, the presentation is inspired and artistic. Jillian’s designer eye has created a sophisticated and comfortable house through her attention to countless details such as the furnishings, the thick fluffy bath robes, luxurious sheets and artistic place settings.

We are seasoned travellers who also cycle frequently and extensively throughout southern France and Spain and stay only in the finest accommodations. The experience at the Bret home is exactly as stated…you are at home, in terms of comfort. However, the value added is the beauty of uninterrupted landscapes surrounding you, and being catered to by a couple who consider you not only their guests but their friends – it is a unique, privileged experience.

The memories of holidays at the beautiful Bret home in Provence are memories we savour. The home is situated on 11 magnificent treed acres with olive groves, vineyards and fields of flowers, including lavender whose smell perfumes the air. Walking and exploring the property provides hours of exercise and enjoyment. One of my favourite memories was of lying by the pool and reaching out to take a fresh fig from one of the fig trees adjacent to the pool. From our beautifully appointed bedroom we had a vista which extended uninterrupted for miles and included views of Mt. Ventoux, one of the routes of the Tour de France.  The house, a mixture of old charm and new facilities, was extremely comfortable and met all of our needs.

The region has much to offer. For the gourmet, there are many restaurants serving the famous mouth watering Provencal cuisine. One of our favourites was a very simple local restaurant in the quaint village of Villedieu which provided not only an exceptional meal but an unforgettable setting.   For those wanting more upscale restaurants, we can vouch that there are many and all are of a high calibre. Needless to say, the wine is plentiful and excellent with a variety to please every palate.

There are many interesting Roman ruins to explore in the vicinity including a Roman theatre in the town of Orange.  The weekly market at Vaison la Romaine is, in our opinion, one of the best markets in Southern France with offerings ranging from gourmet foods, to art, to clothing. An oil painting purchased in this market has a prominent place in our dining room.  As cyclists, we have spent many hours exploring the area and enjoying all of its attractions.

Jeannine Girard-Pearlman , Toronto, Canada