Interior designer LEYLA ULUHANLI packs for the pretty villages of Provence
My last stay in Provence was at La Bastide de Gordes, a historical hotel with superbly decorated rooms, amazing views of the Luberon valley, delicious in-house dining and service beyond anything you can imagine. José, our concierge, made the stay extra special, always ready to give us local advice and ensure all our requests were met.
This region is a culinary heaven, so you can hop from one restaurant to another all day long – and, believe me, I was tempted to. I would suggest Le P’tit Gourmand in Roussillon for lunch. It lacks a view, but the food is exceptional and the service prompt. Try the salade Luberonne, which is perfectly light and crisp. I often enjoyed La Citadelle in my hotel for dinner – the food is inventive and the view breathtaking.
In Luberon you’ll find the streets packed with small souvenir shops selling local lavender and olive oil. If you are looking for something highend, make the trip to Aix-en-Provence, the former capital of the region. There’s a small Hermès boutique as well as some multi-brand stores like L’Atelier (selling Chloé and Vivienne Westwood), Intimoda (Dior and Burberry) and La Grande Boutique (the best place for accessories from brands such as Jérôme Dreyfuss, Linda Farrow and Maison Michel).
For a typical Provençal experience, go to L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. There you’ll find a square surrounded by cafés that radiate mouth-watering smells, little bridges to cross, narrow streets crowded with plane trees and astonishing amounts of ivy. It’s also the capital of antique sales in the region, with some 300 vintage and antique furniture shops scattered around town. I often buy pieces for future projects here. I would also advise abandoning the obviously touristic places for at least a day and just drive around discovering the wonderful small towns and villages in the area.
1 D-Lux 7, AED 4,600, Leica 2 Silk twill foulard, AED 1,320, Prada 3 Straw hat, price on request, Chanel 4 WatermelonAfter-Sun Mask, AED 35, Sephora 5 Strappy sandals, price on request, Chanel 6 Box bag, AED 9,920, Oscar de laRenta 7 Lipstick case, AED 1,380, Miu Miu 8 Serpenteyes sunglasses, AED 1,600, Bulgari 9 Gold necklace, AED 3,100,Dior 10 White dress, AED 8,900, Dolce & Gabbana 11 Four-wheel cabin suitcase, AED 9,930, Fendi for Rimowa