Murray has suggested that you might be available to show le Muguet to Rob A. and to the H's. (from Australia) on either on the 1st of July or possibly before your departure on the 2nd. If so, merci beaucoup! I hope you are enjoying our home share immensely. Rob and the H’s are francophiles, and like me, yearn for a pied a terre in France. This is their reason for visiting le Muguet this summer.
Hello everyone It will be our great pleasure to show Rob A. and the H. Family Le Muguet any time from 1 pm on the Friday 1st July when we will have been in residence from 25th June, so will be familiar with the beautiful place. We are not there yet and this will be our first time, as guests of our good friends Murray and Lynn.
I speak fluent French (from youth on Lake Geneva) and Peter some, so it will be heaven to be in Vers for that period, soaking in the Provencal atmosphere.
Cheers Gail and Peter Isaac
Gail Isaac to me Later on June 14th
Hi Ginny Most reassuring, all this! In fact Laurence told me she'd have the key ready at le tabac, so hopefully all will go flawlessly. So excited, can't wait, only ten more sleeps! Our souls need refreshing. Cheers Gail and Peter
Hello everyone and I am bcc'ing this to close friends and family too in NZ who want to know all about Le Muguet at Vers, Pont du Gard, en Provence! Run as a fractionalized timeshare situation...
This is just a note to tell you about our amazing arrival in this enchanting little town at lunchtime today Saturday 25 June. We keep feeling we are in a lovely French movie- tiny lanes and winding roads, trees and flowers, sandstone terraces and ancient buildings and surprising little courtyards. Add to this the polite and friendly people…
We came via TER train from Montpellier (09:09) to Avignon. There, following the instructions to turn right at the station exit past the Ibis hotel, we nearly missed the big dark and gloomy large bus station. We found we had a bus at 11:40 and paid the princely sum of 3 euros for two, for our 3/4 hr bus ride. We are too nervous to hire a car and as I speak fluent French, going by public transport is no problem. People are always happy to help if we get lost, we've found.
Then we were left at the large bus shelter (gulp) with instructions to walk uphill about 800m, which we did with a backpack each and Peter hauling the heavy one and me my nice new $50 four-wheeler cabin bag. People on the way guided us to the top, it was just ten minutes or so, where we found the Tabac closed of course as it was 12:30, opening 2 pm.
Lunch called! We ate outside on the little terrace at the bar/restaurant right by the church in Vers. We had beer, white wine in a little pichet which was in a cute plastic ice-filled bag thingie, and the plat du jour which was roast veal with olives and potatoes. and a carrot creation.. jus etc. I had to have the apricot meringue pie homemade by our hostess-(24 euros for 2 substantial plats du jour, 2 beers, a pichet (small carafe) of wine, dessert for one). Well we were chatting about the 500 year old olive tree in the courtyard in front of us and Jean-Marc by way of being a local who spends every Saturday after the Uzes market, propping up this bar/pool room/cafe. Good fun, our new best friend he told us of his years in the foreign legion Peter’s French became rapidly better. At 2 we got the keys from the Tabac and our NBF took us there as we didn't know the address!
The Mistral is gently blowing, it is 30 degrees, and we entered this cool and medieval wonderland of a home. It is large, airy, with windows on all sides, quaint, well furnished and elegant. Four stories! We love it!! We from NZ aren't used to stairs let alone the stone circular turret kind with thick silk rope on the side to hold on to, and we were enchanted by the gracious living areas, the two bedrooms, two bathroom (one enormous) full kitchen layout. I feel Peter should be in doublet and hose and I in a pointy hat and long pointy sleeves! Big comfy sofa and lots of places to sit…
The terrace on the top of the house is sunny and private with a view over the trees and above the town, seems like the perfect place with the barbeque and big table for an all-day lunch.
But all we did was watch a wedding in the town with entire families attending including tiny boys and girls in adult dress up clothes, go into the back of the exquisite old painted church because we were allowed to, listen to the joyous peals of church bells (hope they won't wake us up at dawn but never mind!!) and go back to the bar at 5 for coffee (me after wine at lunch) and beer (him) and lots more chat with the locals. Jean Marc was still there and shouted us and we then shouted him!
So it is early evening and I must download some photos, but just to say this is paradise. Old world mixed with new in the best possible way - even worked out how to connect to the net by simply pushing the go button on the modem/router thingie.
The decor is Vogue Living and exquisite and we have so much room, so many windows and views and yet when it's all closed it's quiet and calm. The kitchen is full of useful staples and just like a real home. The shop was closed (being Sat afternoon) so we will go tomorrow morning when it's open again. However the artisan baker opened at 4:30 so we snaffled bread which she sliced, and 3 big fat pastries.
Cheers Gail and Peter
Peter and Gail in Vers Pont du Gard
Unique wine cooler in a bag
le Muguet looking toward side door
Princesse room and bath
Alors bonjour Rob!
Ce matin de bonne heure before it got as hot as it promises to be, nous nous sommes promenes (no accents on this machine) par les rues et chemins autour de Vers. A 0900 nous sommes alles au petit supermarche ou Agnes et son mari Serge etaient tres gentils. Nous avons fait des achats pour la cuisine. Puis a la boulangerie chercher une baguette pour manger avec le very smelly nice Camembert-style cheese!
Next Friday is the last day of school they say. And this house used to be the fortifications for the town, Serge told me. He noticed us coming in with our wheely suitcases yesterday. This house is amazing - calm and golden in the sun, waking up we noticed no church bells till 0700! Murmurs of French voices from every little and big window - you have such a choice of windows to open in every direction to control the breezes coming in. Lovely polished stone floors in honey colors, yet the spiral staircase is made of less slippery material, stone again honey-colored
The shower was great this morning, huge bath if one was inclined. And it is a beautiful toilet all surrounded by blue and white gleaming tiles. Villeroy and Boche bath no less, and a chandelier in the bathroom, large toile de jouy shower curtains.
And we noticed we can come in to the house from another door which looks like a big window off the little lane straight to the kitchen instead of the other more important entrance via the south-facing fenced little terrace needing two keys.
We plan to invade Avignon by bus in the next few days. The timetable is here at the desk where I sit overlooking the living area. Peter is up on the top terrace 3 floors up in the sun which he loves. A good night's sleep on a nice firm bed with good linen. EXquisite! See you Friday!
Cheers Gail and Peter
June 26th Ginny to Gail et Rob
Chere Gail et Peter,
Your daily news is making us all home sick for France! Your emails are absolutely delightful- so easy to imagine oneself in your shoes having met (and loved) the villagers of Vers and truly being smitten by our monastery fortress home. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to realize that we "scored" such a fantastic home away from home.
I too, with my outgoing personality and delight in speaking French, tend to meet a lot of the locals. Agnes from the wee supermarche immediately set us up with an internet savvy fellow when we first arrived in order to iron out the connection details (his bill a mere 15 euros!). The fellows from the boules court courteously stopped to usher us into our parking places as we awkwardly maneuevered close to the stone walls. Another man on horseback stopped near the water spigot (on the fortress wall underneath le Muguet) and explained when, how and who had access to the water there.
My favorite was the garden vendor who said that if we needed fresh produce during the week when her stall was not open to simply swing by her place adjacent to the cemetery. Life as one imagines it should be, mais non?
The lovely bar you have come to enjoy also hosts a once a month music/fete featuring an international food theme. We have not been around to sign up for one of these events but long to.
One small thing- it appears that we have a real lack of extra keys at le Muguet and I'm not sure how best to communicate to Laurence that it would be super to have at least two more keys made prior to Rob's visit (so that a spare may be left at the tabac and that Laurence can hold onto one herself). I will send along a check to her ASAP if her house funds are low. Would you mind letting her know Gail?
Merci et j'apprecie beaucoup les histoires si sympathiques!
Hi Ginny - Haven't seen Laurence yet, no problem, but we thought we would get extra keys cut ourselves at our own expense for you all, so went by bus to Remoulins. We changed our tickets at la Gare for Saturday for our trip Avignon-Nice and looked around the rather odd town and were told by local chaps in a bar that there are no real shops there as people just race through. We noticed a key cutter who is not open Monday - today - or Tuesday so we hope to go to Nimes on the bus tomorrow. We have figured out that short trips cost the same as long ones on the same bus line (1.50 euros per person whatever the distance). We stopped for a beer and tapas and explored Castillon and came back to bask on the top terrace. Love the working hours setup here - very comfortable. And we got vegetables this a.m. from the stall set up across in the petanque place. Cheers Gail
le Tabac where everyone goes for their morning papers
Hi Ginny I love long responses! We had no luck key-wise yesterday but will go to Remoulins again as he should be open today.
We went to Castillon on the way back from Remoulins the other day and isn't it a jewel! We were not that excited about Nimes, big city with lots of pirate-y looking men straight of the Legion des Etrangers, but I did get a nice shirt from Zara and some wedgy heeled ropesoled shoes in pale mauve very comfy and Provencale!! Peter patiently sitting outside on one of those bollards… At the Arena, would you believe Sting and Supertramp and others were due to play that night so it was shut off but no problem, we got photos of the bullfighter and the outside. We left here at 0930 and got back by 16:30 same nice little toothless bus driver weaving his magic on the tiny roads. Good fun. So easy on those punctual buses but we had to have our wits about it to find the return bus in the large railway/bus station at Nimes at 15:35. (Just 1.50 euros each way and right at the Place de la Fontaine, a few steps from "home" the same stop). Leave the car behind!!
We are so grateful for the internet as we are using it every evening and early morning and sending photos back. My blog idea hasn't worked so I'm just sending pix by email. We using up the tabac's stamps and every day Peter buys Midi Libre from them and reads every word. He knows all about French politics and is very au fait with world events. Have donated a dictionary to Le Muguet!
We have watched the men play petanque but haven't had a go. Funny how the older ones have a magnet on a string to pull the ball up so they don't have to bend down. I think they should be bending down, myself.
We saw the little cartoon-sized tractor go tootling out at daybreak with its sprayer for spr aying the vineyards and heard him come back last night as it got dark about 21:15. What a day. Discovered the old cemetery and I snitched some lavender from a plant sticking out into the chemin, to take back. Appalled they sell lavender at quite a price at the florist in Remoulins. I assume it's ok to leave little bunches lying around on the furniture? Also brought in springs of thyme, rosemary, lemon verbena from the upper terrace where I attempted a watercolor last night in the late afternoon- the view from the rooftops. Bit rusty but at least I'm back on the horse. Bought some tempera/gouache paints and cheap brushes and good paper from the 220 year old librairie in Nimes.
We bought sandwiches and a pastry from a roadside stall and ate them on a park bench where the merry- go- round is. We had two cons tried on us and each time I had the fun of addressing then in their own language making sure in no uncertain terms we knew what he was up to and piss off. The look on their faces!! And Peter's too! Good fun. One guy tried the gold ring on the pavement trick.
We are treading lightly on this beautiful house - handwashing smalls and not using much electricilty and easy on the water. How perfectly it is set up and the kitchen even is a dream. Am taking photos of details for my new kitchen in to come, for ideas. We are still pinching ourselves. And a small tabby was sleeping on the front mat this morning. Cheers
Gail and Peter
Hello everyone! Still loving everything about this wonderful home and its environment. We feel positively regal and cannot believe we have been so fortunate as to have Murray and Lynn as such generous hosts for this most relaxing week.
Well, we tried 3 times to get keys cut and we think now that we will have to ask Laurence to do the job. We had hoped to make this contribution but it didn't work. . Hilariously we went back to Remoulins to see the grill open at the key-cutter, but when we got off the bus we saw the shutter down and a notice from the electricity dept to say the electricity had been cut off! Argh! Nothing for it than to buy a Sandwich and yet another tarte aux framboises and sit in a shady spot and eat them. Walk around some more, have a coffee and, by fate, pause for a moment to let some chaps get by us on the pavement, and in that two second pause, witness a terracotta roof tile fall four storeys to the spot we would have been in. Huge crash. Guys on the roof were pretty mortified - I hope!
Tomorrow, we will go to Uzes on the bus and be back by 1:30 or so. We will be all ready to welcome Rob and the Howells, any time from 3. I've ordered little miniature pastries today from le boulanger, and we will get them before we take the bus trip. Tea and rose wine will be the order of the day! We will keep an eye out on the Place de la Fontaine and the doorway on Rue de la Calade. I am sure we will recognize each other.
I think I will ring Laurence tonight and if she wants to come over at the same time tomorrow that could be good. In any case we will leave the house at 08:45 Sat for Avignon-Nice, and will leave it tidy for her. And her 66 euros and a gift if we don't see her.
We have contributed a French English dictionary to the house and left some consumables (not fresh) in the kitchen, and will try to find a pasta server or tongs in Uzes as well. We have not touched any of the other alcohol but strangely apart from beer, we feel too hot really to enjoy the wine, more's the pity! But we make an attempt!
Is that all good with you? Cheers Gail et Pierre
Hi Gail and Peter,
Your story of the near miss in Remoulins was scary- such a close call! Too bad about the keys but it clearly was not meant to be. I know that Laurence is headed to make some once she gets your key and so we'll be stocked up agin. Many thanks for all the concerted efforts.
I wish that I could be there to enjoy your lovely rose wine and tea- very sweet and welcoming. I'm guessing that our guest viewers will be charmed. Hope so!
If ever you decide to explore New England in the fall and/or Ontario Canada, we would love to have you be our guests. Feel like we kind of know you already!
Cheers et bon voyage,
Dear Ginny and Murray
Well what a busy afternoon! After our bus trip to and from delightful Uzes where we actually saw and then introduced ourselves to the (in NZ) terribly famous Peta Mathias of cookbook, tv cooking and Uzes cooking classes fame, we got out glasses, filled the kettle, put out the miniature local pastries we bought that morning, put out cheeses and baguette slices, and opened the door to the terrace over the place de la Fontaine. A manly yoo hoo introduced a very keen Rob, who although having had probably no sleep for 24 hours, came in bottle in hand, and we did the Grand Tour. Opened everything up to show it was a real live home, even the fridge by the bbq, and the oohs and aahs were flowing. We showed him everything we could about this glorious place, and the old guys were playing boules so the noise was romantic, and the wind was a little strong but with that door open it gave the place a nice breeze, plus the little window over the stairs ventilated well.
By now becoming quite an expert on the extolling of virtues and the displaying and the "but wait - there's more" routine, and cameras seriously flashing.... Just as well, because by now everyone had refreshments of one sort or another, and along came the nice T and T from Sydney!
After a while we all sat down by the fireplace and chatted as travellers do, a chatty and laughing group, but the one thing in common was how deeply impressed they were with it and how the photos (no offence) did not do justice to the size and the height and the sheer glamour yet practicality of the place. A real "cuisine americaine" is a treat over here, isn't it? And we had a peek at the excellent matteess situation, more approval there.
All in all a good group of sophisticated people and I hope it will all bear fruit. Just as Rob left, he crossed in the street Laurence who said hello and he back, she little knowing it was him! I invited her in and she had a little glass of wine and left for her other work.
Off tomorrow early so this is all from here, so sad to leave it, but what a perfect interval, and thank you for that.
Thank you and we would love to meet you too, and New England in the fall sounds divine. Who knows? But we have the bug now, and the prospect of public transport now holds no fears for us. We had left a hat on the bus - next day, not taking a bus ride, the lovely little toothless driver passed us, stopped, and asked if we had lost our hat!! How delightful!!
Many good wishes to you all, and let us know one day if things worked out for these nice people. I hope so. Gail and Peter
Dear T and T - it was our pleasure and you gave us as great hint about the 1 euro trip to Monaco which we did today - in fact one can travel four hours on one euro from Cannes to Menton if one wished! We were there the day after the royal wedding and saw the younger prince of Denmark, Joachim and his wife who strongly resembles Mary of Denmark and also the king and princess of Thailand, all leaving the Hotel de Paris with great pomp on the part of the immaculate police on foot and on motorbikes escorting them with unnecessary fuss - one dark car of Important Persons was preceded by a motorcycling policeman waving his arm, blowing his whistle, siren going and lights flashing. Probably one of the European royal families - today's paper was full of the glory of the outfits and the wedding itself.
We enjoyed meeting you and hope your travels go well, too.
We believe the hidden michelin-starred restaurant is in the Place de la Madonne, just going north through the village just through the archway from Les Voutes. It seems to be "Table Remarquable" on its bronze sign and another sign Lisa M. Rob you must investigate!! Thanks for the wine, and it was a lovely interlude for us. Cheers Gail et Pierre
PS Gail is working on a retrospective block so keep tuned for future details. Isn’t she marvelous?
Le Muguet- a great kitchen
le Muguet from the East
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