That’s it for now!  Summer in Provence is full of picnics and jazz in vineyards, cinema under the stars, night markets, art trails and this year, lots  of MPG2019 gourmet events.

Enjoy it all – here’s a bit of Ella Fitzgerald with music for the moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlMWW4R1ZBM

See you in September!

This Weekend in Aix

Both PARADES in the cours Mirabeau, which opens the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and Parade Pique-Nique, part of MPG2019, are all booked out, (June 30th), but it’s always nice to wander in town around these events.

It’s very much the beginning of a packed summer of events in town, and also throughout the region, so what you need is a copy of ‘Le Guide de l’Eté’ published by La Provence. Continue Reading »

This title has just been won, in the face of much competition, by Continue Reading »

It’s all kicking off this Friday evening in Marseille with ‘La Nuit Etoilée’.  It’s the latest of the series of events under the umbrella MPG2019, the Year of Gastronomy in Provence.  You can watch 1000 people having a cookery class, see waiters with trays in a race, partake in La Grande Ferme de Provence, and lots more, culminating in the Spectacle Nocturne fireworks from 20:30.  Details here: https://www.mpg2019.com/programme/

Sunday sees the latest in the successful series ‘Les Dimanches de la Canebiere’ where, on the last Sunday of each month, the central avenue is pedestrianised and filled with music, entertainments, street-food-vans – and shops open for business.

It’s all part of an effort by the local Mairie to attract people back to the town centre, where businesses have felt the competition of the big commercial centres, both out of town, but also newly-opened at the docks and at the Velodrome.

If town in very hot over the weekend, you can take the new Colorbus for a tour and hop off at the beaches, or visit a bar on a boat: https://aixcentric.com/2019/05/12/two-new-experiences-in-marseille/

Or take one of the boats from the Vieux Port out to the islands, along to the calanques, or simply down to Les Goudes: https://aixcentric.com/2019/06/23/a-day-trip-to-les-goudes/

Enjoy this very special weekend in Marseille!


Fabienne Verdier likes to paint en plein air, which as you know is a big challenge in Provence: swirling winds, rain in deluges, Mistral, baking sun – she’s battled through it all, standing in the middle of massive canvases or balancing up step-ladders. Continue Reading »

It’s incredible to think that Princess Grace would have been 90 years old this year.  To celebrate, the palace has put on an exhibition based around the brief meeting between Grace, then a well-known actress visiting Cannes, and Rainier, a prince in search of a bride.  At the same time, you get a tour of the palace.  The exhibition closes on October 15th, as does the palace as far as visits are concerned until next spring.

Monaco is a long drive from Aix, but do-able in a day, and a fascinating place to visit.  More on visiting the palace here:  https://www.palais.mc/en/visits-of-the-palace-online-booking-1-31.html

Afterwards, you can wander down to the Cathedral where the marriage took place, and where they are buried.

Lots to do in town of course: https://www.monte-carlo.mc/fr/visites/office-tourisme-monaco/



Unlike a trip to Les Goudes (see last post) which isn’t particularly child-friendly, some days you just want a bucket-and-spade day where little ones can scoot their scooters, pedal their trikes or ride along in prams. Suddenly the stunning Calanque d’En Vau doesn’t seem such a good idea…..

Les Lecques is on a sweeping (mainly) sandy bay with a wide esplanade, a little port and a footpath on the jetty leading out to sea.  It has cafés, ice-cream or waffle stalls, a very shady playground, shops selling flipflops, snorkels, lilos; and parallel to the esplanade is a main street with a Spar and very good boulangerie.  All set for a family day by the sea. Continue Reading »