ARCHIVE LWSY Great Gardens at Domaine de Fontenille, Lauris, Provence, France
We’ve never been ones to let a weekend go by without some kind of adventure. Our long distance relationship relied on it before we lived together. A few weeks ago E was working close to Nice, so he said why don’t I fly down from Paris at the end of the week and we can road trip back to Paris via Provence. Why not indeed. You can read about part 1 here, but on day 2 we arrived at the absolutely beautiful Domaine de Fontenille.
It’s become perfectly normal for us to book our hotels 20 minutes before we arrive. Never knowing where we are going to end up, we simply drive manned with a Michelin guide and road map. As soon as we start twitching for a glass of rosé, we pull over and look to see where we can stay. We were planning on heading to Cassis but we drove a little longer and E remembered a hotel he wanted to take me to. We arrived at this country house hotel at around 7pm the heart of Luberon. Domaine de Fontenille is surrounded by their own vineyards with an incredible gastronomic restaurant to boot, the perfect stopover for us.
Our room was beautiful, large and with a bath (some of you will now know how much I miss my bath since moving to Paris). There are just 17 rooms and suites, some facing the Luberon hills with a private terrace, and the rest with views of the gardens.
We dropped our bags and headed straight down to the gardens for a glass of the Domaine de Fontenille rosé (which you can buy at our local Maison Plisson in Paris). There are 2 restaurants at the hotel, Le Champs de Lunes is a contemporary designed gastronomic restaurant (where we had an absolute feast) or you can enjoy a more casual evening at La Cuisine d’Amélie overlooking the gardens downstairs. Both are overseen by Michelin starred Chef Jérome Faure. so either way you’ll eat well.
The following morning we took a walk around the landscaped grounds after breakfast on the terrace. The rose beds were thick with deeply scented blooms, the cedar and plane trees lead the way to various corners of the gardens. The outdoor pool is tucked away enough to have an uninterrupted dip any time of the day.
The new wine estate over the road is working towards its organic status, the first vines were recorded from as early at the 17th century, and the hotel is working towards restoring the Domain to its original size of 35 hectares. Pick up some of the wines to take home from the shop or indulge in a tasting or Oenology course.
This design hotel was the perfect match for us both. A sympathetically restored county house with enough authentic design, Domaine de Fontenille is a fine example in the art of French living, elegant, simple, and the means to stop time.
Domaine de Fontenille84360 Lauris, France
25 minutes from downtown Aix en Provence, 45 minutes from Avignon, 50 minutes from Marseille, 1 hour from Cassis coves, 25 minutes from the Aix TGV train station, 45 minutes from the Avignon TGV train station, 45 minutes from the Marseille Marignane airport
Visit the website here. LWSY visited in June 2016