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Concierge

We are happy and proud to unveil The Luberon Concierge website, developed with love and attention to detail by our team of experts. Thank you to Aries, my wonderful husband, for believing in me, and to Natacha, my lifelong friend, dedicated and imaginative, for her insight and unparalleled sense of humour. What would I have done without your incredible work?

I am a French girl originally from Provence. However, I left my dear country when I was in my twenties, to travel and explore the planet.

After a year of trekking around the world with my British husband, I realised that the only place where I wanted to spend my life and where I felt at home was Provence. And more particularly the Luberon, which we fell in love with for its bohemian atmosphere and its incredible quality of life.

I am now very happy to share my passion for this little piece of paradise and what it has to offer, with people wanting to discover the Luberon.

This project was conceived and developed over the years, having held various positions in the Luberon, which helped me build a solid professional network of artists and local operators.

The last twenty years have given me a clear understanding of what can be expected in terms of services. My international experience, coupled with a perfect knowledge of Anglo-Saxon culture, allows me to respond adequately and precisely to the requests I receive.

On our website, you will find a wide range of services and advice that we have ready for our international visitors, eager to discover our beautiful region and the secrets it hides behind old stones and fields of lavender and olive trees.

My sense of communication, my reactivity, but also my passion for multicultural exchanges have led me to what I do now. My goal is to help you spend a wonderful time in the Luberon, by providing immediate and effective solutions/suggestions.
 

I know what it feels like to be in a foreign country, and how overwhelming it can be when you don’t know the language or the local customs: my role is to ensure that everything goes smoothly, and that your holiday is stress-free.

The Luberon Concierge brings together local players pre-selected for their skills, ready to give you a feel of the Luberon at its finest.
 

From wine tasting to cooking lessons, from beautiful bike rides to exciting canoeing trips, you will leave the Luberon feeling mesmerised. Admiring the magnificent provençal sunsets while sipping a glass of wine by the pool, or from the summit of Mont Ventoux after a day of hiking, is something to remember for a lifetime. 

Love what you do, and do what you love!

Yours sincerely, 

Sandrine.

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Villages/Cities

Our first blog post for Luberon villages has to start with Gordes. It is reached after having crossed a landscape made of olive trees, almond trees, fig trees, dry stone walls, pretty farmhouses…

At sunset, its old stone houses are set ablaze.

Peter Mayle’s book A Year in Provence brought fame to this little village perched precariously on a cliff of limestone rock. The Chateau, Village des Bories, and nearby Abbaye de Senanque makes Gordes one of the most visited villages in the Luberon.


The famous look out site on the right as you drive into the village might be one of the most Instagrammed places where we live. I drive past the lookout nearly every day and it still takes my breath away, even with the coaches parked and dozens of visitors queuing to take a photograph. Try visiting the lookout at night when there are less people, the dry stoned walls entering the village are now lit up, and you can view the Bastide de Gordes, while cool night time breezes make this one of the most magical places you can visit.


You can also visit the Cercle Républicain in the center of town for a coffee. Try going in the mornings, it’s where the locals are, and it’s a good moment to get lost walking around the little paths that wind around the village.There are the narrow streets lined with shops, with their vaulted passages and stone staircases, the Renaissance castle, the cellars of an old oil mill.


Parking can be difficult, you can either stop at the mobile home parking and use the cycle path to walk into town. Or one of 2 parking areas before and after the village center. If you are using a local registered car, pretend to be a local with the policeman and park near the Post office.


Try the renowned buffet at the Bastide de Gordes, or the very good truffle pizzas at Casa Rosario.

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Concierge

The Luberon Concierge guarantees you an offer tailored to your need, whether you call for occasional or regular services. This is why a first telephone appointment is essential to discuss your expectations and find out how we can help you.


As soon as we have that information, we will establish a detailed quote, which we will submit to you by email.If you approve it, The Luberon Concierge can get to work.

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Concierge

Concierge service is an art and not a means. It needs to be unforgettable,  to make an impact on people’s minds by addressing the senses and emotions. Delivering a service of excellence,  totally personalized, giving total satisfaction and anticipating the customer’s expectations : such is our mission.


The Luberon Concierge will find you that delightful provençal villa you had in mind, or the upmarket hotel that will blow your mind.

If you fancy wine tasting, rock climbing, bike riding and fine dining – all before the sun goes down (and not necessarily in that order)… The Luberon Concierge will make your day. And book it for you. The possibilities are endless. The hardest part is deciding where to start.


Whatever the issue, Sandrine can help you. She knows her way around the Luberon, and has carefully selected her favorite people and places to introduce you to. Florists, chefs, tennis coaches, pet-sitters, child-minders, massage therapists, local artists, hairdressers, canoeing instructors… You name it. Sandrine makes the phone call.

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Flora & Fauna

The emblematic flower of Provence attracts people from all over the world. It covers the Luberon fields from June onwards, much to everybody’s delight. It is not uncommon to see cars parked on the side of the road, and a few heads sticking out of these large deep blue carpets in the distance. Couples in search of the romantic cliché that they will frame when the holidays are over, Chinese newlyweds, mothers with their baby in their arms… Everyone dreams of taking the perfect photo with this amazing blue as a backdrop.

The intense smell of lavender is recognized worldwide. The one that emanates directly from the flower is incomparable, very far from the synthetic smell of sprays. Its calming and medicinal properties are well known, but do you know the difference between the different types of lavender?

Fine lavender grows in Provence, on the heights, in arid areas above 800 meters of altitude. It can be found on the Sault Plateau and the Albion Plateau. Fine lavender is small, with only one flower per stem. Its reproduction is ensured by its seeds. Fine lavender or population lavender has always been used for its medicinal virtues, the greatest perfumers have composed with the “blue gold”.  Its very delicate smell explains the name, “fine lavender”. To obtain 1 litre of essential oil, 130 kilos of flowers are required. One hectare of plantations can produce up to 25 litres of essential oil.

Aspic lavender, another type of lavender, grows up to 600 metres above sea level, in the middle of the Provençal scrubland. Large in size, it has several small flowers on each stem. It also reproduces by seeds. Not very popular in France – its perfume is quite strong and camphorated -, it is used in Spain and in Portugal, as a thinner for oil and porcelain paint.

Lavandin is found up to 800 metres above sea level all around the planet. Large, with two branches, it grows in a ball-shaped tuft. It is a cross between fine lavender and aspic lavender. Created by humans, it cannot reproduce without the intervention of the latter, by cutting. It is a kind of hybrid version of its two cousins. Grown since the 1950s, it could be confused with fine lavender. But its fragrance is stronger, much less subtle. It cannot be used for medicinal purposes. It can be used in cleaning products and detergents. It is this same flower that is found in the small lavender sachets you will see everywhere. Only 40 kilos of flowers are needed to obtain 1 litre of lavandin essential oil: much more profitable than fine lavender!

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Food and Wine

True Provençal cuisine is a very simple cuisine, which emphasizes the preservation of the taste and texture of fresh seasonal ingredients such as tomatoes, garlic, saffron, peppers, anchovies, olives, olive oil and wild herbs.

Provençal cuisine remains a world reference, along with locally produced olive oil, local truffles and all the tasty fruit and vegetables, thanks to the beautiful Mediterranean sun. Below is a list of the most traditional dishes, but keep in mind that most menus respect the seasons. In early autumn, the first game and wild mushrooms arrive. In January and February, truffles are in season, bringing their inimitable flavour to omelettes and pasta.

Winter is also the season for stews – beef or lamb cooked slowly in a wine and vegetable sauce. In April, asparagus appears, followed by beans, Cavaillon melons and Carpentras strawberries. Cherries follow in May and June, followed by peaches, nectarines, apricots and, possibly, figs, apples, pears and table grapes.

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Info

Provence enjoys a Mediterranean climate, characterized by a dry and hot summer, low rainfall (less than 60 rainy days per year) and therefore a lot of sunshine. Mercury can reach 35°C in summer, although it is more likely to be around 30°C.


The villages of the Vaucluse region are often cooler in winter than near the coast, as they are exposed to the wind around them. April and October are the wettest months, and they experience heavy rainfall and showers that can last for a few days.


Conditions are at their best from late May to late June, when temperatures fluctuate around 26°C and the sun is plentiful. Plants, flowers and fruit trees flourish to their full potential, and roads are generally free of vacationers. September is pleasant and also enjoys a favourable climate; Swimming pools can be enjoyed until October. In contrast, July and August are the high tourist season. Europeans are on vacation this time of year, and it is becoming necessary to book accommodation well in advance. The coast is under attack, and it takes more time and patience to travel by car, the hinterland seems a better option for souls in search of peace and quiet.


The Mistral, this well-known wind, hits Provence all year round. It is a strong wind that can reach 100 km/h and blow for a whole day or even several days in a row.

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Food and Wine

The beauty of Provence is that you can go to any estate, you will always be warmly welcomed, no need to make an appointment or pay for your tasting. The atmosphere is always friendly and informal. 

That said, if you wish, The Luberon Concierge can organize a guided tour for you with the owner or cellar manager, who will be happy to reveal some of its trade secrets and share his anecdotes.

The Luberon has no less than 52 independent cellars, 10 cooperative cellars and a union of producers who produce quality wines in AOC and Vins de Pays. The three colours are represented in the region: 21% white wines, 53% rosé wines and 26% red wines.

White wines of the Luberon:
Refreshing for aperitifs with friends or with cheese at the end of a meal. The grape varieties that contribute to the elegant blend of Luberon white wines are white grenache, clairette blanche, vermentino, bourboulenc, roussanne, marsanne, ugni blanc and viognier. The aromatic diversity of the white wines is wide: the fruity ones range from peach to grapefruit tastes, and for complex blends, from toasted bread to honey.

Rosé wines of the Luberon:
The “pool wine”, the rosé, is the wine of conviviality par excellence.  Like the reds, the rosé wines of the Luberon AOC are mainly blended with syrah and black grenache, and a complement of mourvèdre and cinsault. With a beautiful freshness, their colour ranges from a very pale pink to a deep pink. The aromas range from fairly strong red berries, such as strawberry or redcurrant, to more exotic flavours.

Red wines of the Luberon:
Same blends for the red wines of the Luberon AOC as for the rosé wines. The reds are fruity, with aromas of red berries, and round on the palate. Some wines have peppery notes, but keep their characteristic freshness.

For those who cannot tolerate rosé in the evening, a proven solution is fresh red wine, a real marvel. But be careful to choose it carefully: it is best to seek advice from a professional before sticking your bottle of red in the fridge!

Over the years, the quality of red wines has improved, much to the delight of fine wine lovers.

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Shopping

Maison Empereur is a DIY and household goods store located in Marseille, a few hundred meters north of the Old Port. An institution, opened in 1827. And a paradise for all lovers of household items, DIY and vintage French objects!

It is the ideal place to stroll before reaching Marseilles airport. The Mucem (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations) is not far away: It is best to park there, enter the museum and reach the café terrace on the first floor. Cross Fort Saint Jean and go down to the Old Port. Take the opportunity to try our favourite restaurant, Le Poulpe. The Emperor House is not far from there.

Enter this department store with its old-fashioned atmosphere, where time seems to have stopped… and wander around. The staff is there to advise you in all areas.

The aisles are narrow, customers often find themselves chatting to each other. It’s the kind of place where you end up buying things you didn’t know you needed. Don’t be surprised to leave with a metal meat grinder. Or maybe a cake tin in the shape of an Eiffel Tower?

Consider defining a rallying point, because the person you came here with will follow their own path. The store offers a selection of fabrics, Marseilles soaps, DIY, lighting and cooking  items, toys, knives, a museum and a tea room.

You can find all the classic French brands, and the selection of products is deliciously retro: you can easily imagine them having been used by your grandparents. Some objects are perplexing: it is sometimes difficult to guess their use.

Why not take the experience a step further and book their Airbnb apartment in the same building? Treat yourself to a timeless night, a candlelit bath, behind the blinds of this old, typically Marseilles-style building…

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Activities

The Tour de France will be passing near the Luberon on July 24 traveling from the Pont du Gard to Gap. For those interested in a visit to Orange and seeing the Roman Theatre, it might be an idea to arrive early and choose a good spot to watch the Tour go by.

Most cycle fanatics will choose a steep hill to prolong the joy of watching your cyclist heroes up close. Choose a flat part of the stage and the spectacle will be over in a matter of seconds.

This year that place will be in La Sentinelle with 10 kilometers to go before the finish in Gap. It’s a fun day out, take the kids and make the most of the trucks passing that throw out Haribo sweets and really useful Tour de France sponsorship key rings and hats.

La Sentinelle is around a 2 hour drive from the Luberon, with Vaison La Romaine only one hour away.

Will this be the year that Team Sky under the new name Team Ineos releases its stranglehold on cycling? Sir Jim Ratcliff has a personal fortune of £21 billion…maybe not!

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