Pretty in Provence, Grignan Village

 Guest blogger, Dian Emery, is the managing editor and publisher of Girls Getaway a website that offers stories, reviews and tips about women-only travel.

Lavender, Grignon, France photo/Dian Emory

Lavender, Grignon, France photo/Dian Emery

The south of France is one of those places that inspire many to try to capture its timeless allure. “This is a fairytale country” wrote the renowned impressionist painter Claude Monet. “I do not know where to look first. It is all extraordinarily beautiful and I want to paint everything.” Peter Mayle, author of A Year in Provence says of the region, there is “nowhere else in the world where one can keep busy doing so little, yet enjoy it so much.”

Provence, with its fields of lavender, sunshine soaked buildings, exquisite cuisine, red roofs and pastel shutters, is a sensual delight. The region is scattered with tiny medieval villages, each distinct but with the same ethos of the south, taking delight in daily life, with plenty of good food and good living.

With its many restaurants, organic foods, pottery, local crafts, and night markets the village of Grignan captures the essence of Provence. Perched high on top of a hill, the village is a maze of twisty, tiny cobblestone laneways, and seemingly around every corner, a white cat suns itself lazily in front of centuries old stone buildings. Surrounded by lavender fields, olive trees, vineyards and truffles the village is a perfect spot to discover how to live life in south of France.

Where to Sleep

Clair de la Plume
This gorgeous little inn was originally built by order of the Count of Grignan to house monks in the 17th century; in later years the building was converted into a truffle house* and more recently served as a Canadian ambassador’s country residence.

Nestled against the walls of the village, and fronted by a lovely garden, the ancient house is now a ten-room hotel. The owner Jean Luc Valadeau and his staff of eager, young and mostly bilingual employees work hard to make guests happy and are always willing to give of suggestions where to visit in the surrounding area. Across the street, the hotel also offers suites with a little more privacy in a renovated 18th-century house, the Grand Faubourg.
Favorite: Breakfast in the walled garden fragrant with climbing roses and the surrounding lavender fields. An excellent buffet is laid out in the magnificent old kitchen, which dates back to the time when monks lived in the house over a century ago.

Where to Eat


Clair de la Plume Organic Restaurant (May to September)
Bread, olive oil, vegetables, and cheese. Simple food prepared and presented with such perfection it turns individuals into drooling fools, moaning with exquisite pleasure at each mouthful.
Favorite: Gazpacho made with tomatoes and watermelon.
Poeme de Grignan
This unassuming little restaurant creates superb food; it’s amazing to think that you can get this kind of quality in a tiny little village. These people take their food seriously.
Favorite: Chocolate mousse layered with Florentines, topped with caramelized sugar and finely chopped almonds. Divine.

Where to Play

Chateau de Grignan: a grand Renaissance castle made famous by letters the Marquise de Sévigné wrote to her daughter, Madame de Grignan, in the 17th century. Daily self-directed tours are available.
Musee et Atelier livre et typographie: typography museum
Grignan Village: sweet little boutiques offering local crafts, soaps and food, a twelfth century tower, summer night markets, Christmas market in December, art galleries, Writing Festival (2nd week-end of July), and a Jazz Festival in November.

* A truffle house is a place that was used to store black truffles.



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4 Responses to “Pretty in Provence, Grignan Village”

  1. Jeff Titelius
    March 10, 2019 at 5:15 pm #

    Dian conveys the essence of Provence so perfectly in her beautifully written article!
    Jeff Titelius recently posted..Postcards from the Loire Valley in FranceMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      March 11, 2019 at 8:42 am #

      Thanks, Jeff. Coming from you with you love and knowledge of the area, that’s a high compliment. We are so glad that Dian wrote it for us. It was our first guest post when we started the blog over a year ago. Love these pieces that are timeless.

  2. Jeff Dobbins
    March 10, 2019 at 6:06 pm #

    I LOVE Provence. Haven’t been there in years, but this made me long to return ASAP.
    Jeff Dobbins recently posted..Great NYC Irish Pubs for St. Patrick’s DayMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      March 11, 2019 at 8:46 am #

      It’s on my bucket list. I have no doubt I will fall in love.

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