Condé Nast Traveler and Vogue both feature Provence in their July issues. Delightful!

Illustration of Luberon Village by James Noel Smith for Conde Nast Traveler

Illustration of Luberon Village by James Noel Smith for Conde Nast Traveler

First, Condé Nast Traveler gives a detailed travel guide for the region, full of suggestions for food, shopping, and where to stay. Usually I give away magazines after I read them, but I think I’ll hold onto this issue to help plan our next trip to France!

Marion Cotillard photographed by Mario Testino in Provence for Vogue

Marion Cotillard photographed by Mario Testino in Provence for Vogue

Vogue interviewed the French actress Marion Cotillard, who appeared in the Johnny Depp move Public Enemies about John Dillinger and has a new film out. They photographed her in a crumbling stone house called La Bastide de Marie in the town of Ménerbes in Provence. Here’s a link to a slideshow where you can see her frolic in pretty clothes in this beautiful setting: http://www.vogue.com/feature/2010_July_Marion_Cotillard/slideshow/horizontal/?loop=0&iphoto=7&play=false&cnt=8

(Trivia time: in the rest of France, “bastide” means a very old fortified city atop a hill, but in Provence, “bastide” refers to a very old manor house built atop a hill. Possibly because Provence remained rural and cut off from the more developed parts of France until the 20th century, they still use some words differently there.)

–Brett

The July-August issue of Veranda magazine has a stunning article about a restored ruin in Provence. My jaw drops in awe.  I keep pausing to read sentences aloud to Jean-Michel, and flipping back and forth among the photos.  (Unfortunately, they don’t have the article online, so I can’t show the pictures here.)  In the hilltop town of Luberon, an American couple bought a ruin that was originally an 11th century rampart tower but was expanded during the following seven centuries, and rebuilt the surviving structure into a usable modern home, while also keeping it as authentic as possible to its origins. It took ten years to complete. Things I love that could easily be adapted into a Stateside home: weathered terracotta floor tiles, patterned ceramic tiles for a kitchen backsplash, Le Cluny range, daybed covered with vintage textiles.

Since I can’t share article photos, how about some new products from I Dream of France instead? We just got in  handpainted ceramic soap dishes with scalloped edges that would add Provençal panache beside any sink. Don’t forget to put some French soap inside.

Oval Ceramic Soap Dish with Lavender Flowers and Honey Soap from I Dream of France

Oval Ceramic Soap Dish with Lavender Flowers and Honey Soap from I Dream of France

Yellow Oval Ceramic Soap Dish with Olives from I Dream of France

Yellow Oval Ceramic Soap Dish with Olives from I Dream of France

Oval Ceramic Soap Dish with Lavender Flowers from I Dream of France

Oval Ceramic Soap Dish with Lavender Flowers from I Dream of France

–Brett