At home in Provence


During the week you will be staying in small French houses (called ‘gites’) built round a central grassy area in the hamlet of Hautes Courennes, which is near the two small hilltop villages of Viens and St Martin de Castillon, both situated in the Luberon National Park.

Each gîte has two or three bedrooms, a bathroom, fully-equipped kitchen and sitting room, and outside terrace, where you can relax with a drink in the evening before dinner, or on your free evenings you can sample the regional specialities you bought at the local markets. You can relax by the large swimming pool or take an early morning dip, and you have free time to explore the surrounding countryside.

The accommodation is carefully arranged so that not more than two people share a gîte, which means you have a lot of space to relax and make yourself at home, and enjoy the welcome bottle of rose wine waiting in the fridge. We provide a maid service to make up your rooms each day and laundry facilities are available for a small fee.

These gîtes, which have been recently renovated, were originally built by Linda's ex-husband Claude with the money Linda earned selling her cheese at the local Apt market and famous restaurants, and you can still see the barn where she raised the goats. As you walk round the grounds you will see several of Claude’s metal sculptures, which he made while living at Hautes Courennes.

Your hosts

Daphne & Linda

Your main hosts are Linda Lorentz and Daphne Davies. Linda, a Californian by birth, has lived in France for 40 years, having raised a family and run a local smallholding in Hautes Courennes. She was reputed to be one of Provence's best cheese makers. Daphne travelled and lived in South America and then spent 20 years in Brussels working on European social policy. She has lived in Provence for the last ten years. Linda’s daughter Manon, who was brought up at Hautes Courennes, where she now runs a smallholding and sells her produce in the local market, will be preparing the meals at Hautes Courennes. Simon Burton, Daphne’s partner will be our driver for the week.