Here’s two hours great escapism for you. Continue Reading »

has been announced.  It will be: Continue Reading »

Just opened at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, the exhibition “Monet – Mitchell” which creates unprecedented “dialogue” between the works of Claude Monet (1840-1926) and Joan Mitchell (1925-1992). Continue Reading »

On 13 November 1872, from the window of his hotel in Le Havre, Claude Monet painted a view of the port through the mist.

When, two years later it was shown under the title ‘Impression, soleil levant’ at the Musée Marmottan Monet, critic Louis Leroy coined the term “Impressionist”, so giving a name to the group formed by Monet and his fellow painters.

Claude Monet
Impression, soleil levant, 1872, Huile sur
toile, 50 × 65 cm. Paris, musée Marmot-
tan Monet © Musée Marmottan Monet,
Paris / Studio Christian Baraja SLB

In 2022, Paris’s Musée Marmottan Monet, celebrates the 150th anniversary of this painting through the exhibition “Facing the Sun”.  

The sun of course has been a motif for artists from Antiquity which is where the show starts.  It goes on to include works by Dürer, Rubens, Joseph Vernet, Turner, Boudin, Camille Pissarro, Paul Signac, André Derain, Maurice Denis, Munch, and Sonia Delaunay. These are just some of the artists shown in this exhibition, in honour of Monet’s illustrious sunrise.

Paul Signac
Le Port au soleil
couchant, opus 236
(Saint-Tropez), 1892,
Huile sur toile, 65
× 81 cm. Potsdam,
Hasso Plattner
© Hasso Plattner
Collection / Recom
Art, Berlin

Details: The show is running in Paris from 21 September 2022 to 29 January 2023 and in Potsdam, from 25 February to 11 June 2023 under the title “Sonne. Die Quelle des Lichts in der Kunst”.  Website: https://www.marmottan.fr/expositions/face-au-soleil/


A ‘One Day, One Chef, One Menu’ event is being held in restaurants throughout the Bouches-du-Rhone on Thursday 20 October. Continue Reading »

The long-awaited exhibition of David Hockney’s work is finally coming to Aix after its pandemic postponement. Continue Reading »

Critics have been predictably sniffy about ‘Ticket to Paradise’, starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts as warring divorcees.  Despite their mutual dislike, they reunite to try to prevent their lawyer daughter from marrying a local seaweed-farmer whom she has met while on an extended holiday in Bali. Continue Reading »

September in Provence, and the grapes are being harvested, processed and transformed into delicious wines famous around the world.

There are lots of opportunities to visit local vineyards or village co-operatives but here is a ‘parcours’ for Puyloubier, a village a short drive east from Aix. Situated on the lower slopes of the Sainte-Victoire, its vineyards are covered by the appellation ‘Cote de Provence – Sainte Victoire’ which was launched some 20 years ago.

C Dutrey, Provence Tourisme

Try a hike:  there’s a 2 hour walk around vineyards whose working practices are ancestral, all the time enjoying superb views of the mountain which Cézanne painted so often. https://www.myprovence.fr/ca-s-agite-dans-le-local/au-grand-air/micro-voyage/bouches-du-rhone/balade-entre-les-cepages-le-sentier-des-vignerons?utm_source=My+Provence&utm_campaign=34f31ca6e4-news-nature-20-septembre-2022&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c72cda0555-34f31ca6e4-192003497&ct=t(news-nature-20-septembre-2022)


Enjoy a meal at Restaurant la Place: shaded by ancient trees, this bistro offers traditional cuisine with a Mediterranean twist.  Dishes are based on fresh produce, including fish, seasonal veg, panisses and desserts gourmands.

It’s a charming place (literally) to eat in the heart of the village and I have happy memories of eating there, especially as it is vegetarian-friendly.  At the moment, they are offering a ‘dernieres saveurs d’eté’ menu with delicious options.  Find out more: https://www.la-place-puyloubier.com/

or at Nico AndCo. Further out of the village, up a twisty road, there’s a restaurant that is perched on the side of the Sainte-Victoire. It’s called Nico AndCo (sic), and is part of the Maison de Sainte-Victoire.  This organisation is the focus of local activities and often has interesting expos on the geology and history of the area.  Thanks to Marilyn for these recommendations.  More here: https://www.instagram.com/restaurant_msv/?hl=en

Become a wine connaisseur:  visit la coopérative vinicole des Vignerons du Mont Sainte-Victoire established back in 1924 by local producers wishing to pool production. Their wines became well known for their quality as they always had been: it’s said that King René would only have rosé from Puyloubier on his table. Here you can learn the secrets of wine production and stock up at their boutique afterwards.

Stay at the Relais de Saint Ser : this 19thc farmhouse has been updated to become a stylish hotel, enjoying terrific views.

Take part in the annual wine rally:

A heads-up for this popular event on Saturday 15th October.  It started some 19 years ago to promote the various vineyards in the Sainte-Victoire area which had just been awarded its AOP.  It’s an attractive area which you will explore as you drive from cave to vineyard following clues – you do need a fluent French-speaker in the car.

Everyone ends up at a central cave or co-op where a cocktail dinatoire will be waiting, together with a bottle of wine for each adult participant.

Details: https://www.vins-sainte-victoire.com/fr/rallye-decouverte-des-vins

Booking essential as it quickly sells out. Apply online.  I may have left this annual reminder a little late this year. If so, apologies, and mark your 2023 calendar…

……………….and enjoy what the autumn in Provence has to offer.

Over 50 years ago, Queen Elizabeth II came to Provence.  Here’s a look-back on what she saw  during her 25 hours in the region. Continue Reading »

Homes for Hens

The condition of hens in factory farms is deplorable. Thankfully, there is a local organisation ‘Champs Libres aux Poules’, dedicated to finding homes for them instead of them going to the abbatoir when their ability to lay eggs diminishes. That’s around 18 months old.  Some stats…

  • Last week 170 hens were adopted at Pertuis by 20 adopters
  • 250 were adopted at Cuge-les-Pins
  • Over the past 2 years, 25,000 hens have found new homes, thanks to this group.

The volunteers also give families post-adoption support plus advice on any problems that arise; and they try to publicise the plight of these birds amongst the general public.

‘Champs libres aux poules’ was created by Heidi Carneau in 2020, with the help of the “British Hen Welfare Trust”.  Her first success was finding homes for 400 hens in two days. Since then, the operation has gone from strength to strength.

‘Saved’ hens can be featherless and aren’t guaranteed to lay eggs any more, but have lots of time ahead to recuperate.  The team examine each carefully and look after hens that are too weak or harmed to offer for adoption.

A charge of 4 euros each helps cover the association’s costs.

Next ‘séances d’adoption’ are at Aix on 24 Sept and Istres 25 Sept.

Details:  www.champslibresauxpoules.com

On a personal note, Aixcentric fils has had hens for some years now and it is quite amazing how they become almost like pets.  Certainly when they see a car turn into the drive, they stop their foraging and rush over to see who has arrived.