FRENCH CON­NEC­TION

In­te­rior de­signer LEYLA ULUHANLI packs for the pretty vil­lages of Provence

Condé Nast Traveller Middle East - - How To Pack -

STAY

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.

EAT

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.

SHOP

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).

DO

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

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