Today we explore a little village in the Provence region of France, Menerbes. And our enchanting hotel hideaway, La Bastide de Marie. Its number four of five for the honeymoon diaries (Check some of these: for other adventure stories here, here, and here ).
A quick anecdote for all of you. I had no clue that the entire South Eastern coast (including Nice and Cannes) was considered Provence! I thought Provence was a much smaller region in the country. My husband and I kept telling people we were heading to Provence next. We would get wide eyed stares followed by “yes, but where?”. Finally someone explained to us that the whole Southern France area was considered the Provence region. The little town’s name we were specifically staying in is how we should address our location. Lesson Learned!
Menerbes was a little town about 2 hours west and a little north from Nice. It is considered part of the Luberon Valley made up of other beautiful towns and villages like Rousillion, Isle Sur la Sorgue, Gordes, etc.
All geography aside I really wanted to share our hotel stay. This is because it was a very different experience from any of our other honeymoon locations, or anywhere I have traveled in the past for that matter! Tucked into the windy vineyard roads of Menerbes was a renovated cottage style villa, La Bastide de Marie. This is where we stayed for our duration in this area. La Bastide de Marie is an 18th century stone mansion on a wine estate that has been converted into an enchanting hotel.
Everything from the stone interior to the canopy beds, footed tubs, and floor to ceiling book shelves construct the image of fairytale living quarters. The grounds of the hotel are nothing short of magical either. Tall European style trees line the driveways, string lights hang from the back courtyard trees, the views of the expansive vineyard and flowers are popping up throughout all the greenery. When we arrived we both instantly turned to eachother and said that this place had to have been the prettiest place we had ever seen. La Bastide de Marie does everything right when it comes to setting the scene for romance.
The other arena that La Bastide de Marie has clearly mastered is the art of culinary. The hotel is half board. This means the Inn’s guests are all entitled to breakfast and one meal of their choice (Lunch or Dinner) as part of the hotel price. As a big hint to everyone, get your money’s worth and use it for dinner! We ate dinner at the hotel all four nights of our stay.
It started with a leisurely cocktail hour that guests could arrive at any time between 7PM and 9PM. During this portion of dinner a pre-dinner aperitif was supplied. In our case that was champagne, aperol spritzers, and often a negroni but, there were a handful of delicious options. This was paired with a farmers table of fresh vegetables, tapedes, and crackers. There was also a fresh leg of cured prosciutto that you could shave bites of meat off of (talk about farm to table!). This food display stood next to the open air kitchen where chefs scurried outside to pick fresh herbs off their potted plants. We sat in the cocktail hour designated section of the courtyard. With drinks and plates in hand we sipped and crunched until a member of the small waitstaff came over with tonights dinner options.
Each evening there were 2 appetizers, 3 entrees, and 2 desserts to select from. There was always a fish of vegetarian option and everything was seasonal, local, and truly farm fresh. We had array of fresh produce, seafood, meats and pastries throughout our stay. I can’t say enough great things about the culinary delights we were presented with. Each course was also always paired with your selection from the estates own wines. All of this was included in your room and board. Not a bad deal! Breakfast also had a huge spread that was set out each morning with fresh fruits, pastries, cereal, eggs, cured meats, cheeses, and other daily options. We were spoiled and fattened during our stay.
When we weren’t eating or lounging in our very vintage style room we were out exploring the property. There was so much to take in, their two pools, grassy lounge areas, the on-site winery, and even a small spa. Downtown Menerbes is just a short drive away and guided tours can be arranged as well. The staff is very lovely and wants to do everything to make your stay as luxurious and pleasant as possible.
I found the entire area to be charming but the hotel was the true highlight. You don’t go to this region for much more than a relaxing getaway. Believe me, the relaxation at La Bastide de Marie will most likely be the highlight. I truly recommend this hotel for anyone wanting a complete romantic hideaway. But, it would also be a great option for a relaxing girls getaway or even a solo trip to just enjoy some alone time.
Visit the hotel’s website for more details on the area and the estate: http://www.labastidedemarie.com/#!villa-luberon/sejour-luberon-menerbes
…all for the love of the dish