A weekend hideaway at La Bastide de Marie in Provence, France.
Oh, how I admire the French for their sweet way of life. After spending over a month in France touring castles
in the Loire Valley, basking in the azure waters
of the French Riviera and savoring the Parisian lifestyle, I felt like I had a good handle on the infamous French art de vivre
. Coming from the Cote d’Azur, I was more than relaxed and eager to experience country living at my final destination—a small boutique hotel in Provence called La Bastide de Marie. Located in the Lubéron region, named after its nearby mountain range, this area is known for its numerous charming villages, vineyards, lavender fields and traditional Provence living.
Driving up to the 57-acre wine estate, I immediately felt relaxed being surrounded by beautiful vineyards on all sides and a gorgeous vine-covered mansion. Stepping into this restored 18th-century stone farmhouse decorated with the most unique French pieces I imagine you can only find in traditional French antique markets was an absolute delight. The experience feels like you’re visiting an old friend who happens to have immaculate taste—chic and sophisticated yet inviting and approachable. If you’re from New York City, think ABC Kitchen meets Blue Hill Farm with vineyards and the Lubéron mountains in the distance. Yes, it was that idyllic.
In this case, that old friend is the Sibuet family, who began creating authentic hotel experiences over 30 years ago. Their first venture began in the French Alps, and they now have over 11 properties of hotels, mansions and private villas spanning 9 locations including Saint Tropez, Lyon, Megève and Saint-Barth. If La Bastide de Marie is any reference for their design sensibilities and attention to detail, I’m sure the 10 other properties are just as thoughtfully chic in an understated way.
The estate is set up in a manner that encourages slowing down and relaxing in true art de vivre style. The main area convenes around a large living room complete with cozy sofas, a large fireplace and library. Outside on the terrace facing the vineyard are tables for enjoying breakfast or a good book from the collection. Scattered throughout the grounds are comfortable lounge chairs that face the vineyards and mountains to relish over. In addition, there are two swimming pools on site—one used to be an ancient pond which they converted into a two-tier pool. As if that’s not enough, they offer complimentary wine tastings for hotel guests at the wine cellar that’s within walking distance.
If you tasted these grapes, you’d understand the smile on my face. They were quite possibly the most fragrant grapes I’ve ever had in my life! Could it be because I was staying on a vineyard in Provence? I’m not definite, but the staff at La Bastide de Marie made sure I had my fair share. One afternoon, a staff member was carrying a basket of them to the kitchen, and I asked if I could have one. Next thing I knew, she brought an entire plate out for me as I relished in each sweet, juicy goodness.
Every morning, there was an elaborate country breakfast spread that included farm fresh eggs, meats, bread, butter, yogurt and other French breakfast staples which were laid out in the loveliest traditional kitchen area. Meals were then enjoyed in the main dining room—a glass covered terrace overlooking the vineyards. Like I said, every space was set up to slow down and enjoy the view.
What a beautiful way to end my art de vivre tour of France. I have gotten a taste of the sweet life and cannot wait to experience more in the future. A sweet merci to the Sibuet family for sharing your delectable taste—rustic elegance meets cozy comfort at its finest.
La Bastide de Marie
Open from April to November and for Christmas holidays.
64 path Peirelles
84560 Ménerbes, France
Thank you to La Bastide de Marie for hosting me in your elegant estate.
All opinions and photos are my own.