Come to Provence with me!
In need of some joie de vivre and a curated trip to the South of France?
Experience French Joie de Vivre and learn to live the good life for a week in Provence with me, Ajiri Aki, the founder of Madame de la Maison.
In the last eleven years that I have been living in France, I have learned to make joie de vivre my guiding north star just as the French do. Finding a little joy in everyday life and seemingly simple things is something living in this culture has taught me.
I learned to care about the food I eat and drink. I learned that fellowship is life and that connections and conversations with people are vital for joy. I learned that sometimes doing nothing is everything, I learned that pleasure found in food and time spent should never make you feel guilty. I learned that self-care is self-preservation. I learned to surround myself with objects that bring me joy and even better if they have a story. I learned to always use the good china for myself and not to wait for a special occasion.
Several times a year I travel to the South of France and it’s a place that has brought me so much inspiration and healing. I’ve explored many idyllic towns, buzzing markets, cute shops, and delish restaurants. In Provence, life is slower and you find yourself taking time to “just be,” admiring the beauty of seemingly simple things like doors and shutters, and being charmed by narrow streets in quiet villages. I enjoy wandering through lavender fields and searching through tables of antiques looking for my next treasure. Oh but also the food and wine…absolutely magnifique! Provence has influenced my personal life and Madame de la Maison. Now I want to share this knowledge and experience with you.
Five lessons we will focus on:
- Slowing down and learning to find pleasure in just being.
- The importance of looking for the best ingredients in food and wine.
- Gathering that focuses on fellowship and welcoming tables.
- The importance of being in search of beauty through culture and the past like antiques, gardens, history, and art.
- Self-care and self-preservation start underneath the surface.
What kind of things will we do?
- We’ll meet at the top of the breathtaking city of Gordes and spend a week together searching for the best local ingredients at open-air markets, and the prettiest provençal treasures at antique shops.
- We'll start every morning having breakfast at our villa before heading out on adventures in the region, but we'll make sure that every day has a few hours of free time for you to explore or relax.
- We’ll drink wine from the region, share moments and stories over long meals and apéros at cafes as well as at our sprawling villa with a view that overlooks the valley of vineyards and olive trees.
- We’ll have intentional conversations and discussions together with locals and other experts who can guide and inspire us to take these lessons home.
- We’ll set tables together and prepare apéros that are as welcoming as they are beautiful.
- We’ll flâneur (wander) and “just be” in little villages with vine-covered stone houses, and charming town centers. It will be an inspiring and rewarding experience of truly finding joy in life– joie de vivre.
- And we’ll of course enjoy rosé around the pool at our villa and play a few friendly games of pétanque.
Our Villa (pictured below):
Le Mas de Belle Combe is a large private property in the beautiful hilltop village of Gordes. The house offers magnificent views of the Luberon Valley and a 2500m2 garden with an olive grove and stunning rose flowerbeds alongside cypress and oak trees, which provide plenty of shaded areas in which to relax with your tea or a glass of rosé. There is a 13 x 6 meter heated pool with a pool house that has outdoor showers. The outdoor barbecue, dining area, Boulodrome and Garden Retreat are just some of the many gathering areas for gathering and chats. The house has 10 air-conditioned double bedrooms, each with their own en-suite bathrooms.
We promise you will:
- CONNECT with other like-minded bon vivants to share and inspire one another.
- EXPERIENCE the good life as the French do so wonderfully.
- EXPLORE idyllic towns in the Luberon region of Provence.
- MASTER the art of joie de vivre.
Who Is This Experience For?
Anyone who loves the simple pleasures found in good food, wine, antiques, and gathering to share moments around a table in the same region of France that has inspired people for decades. (Some of my favorites include: Julia Child, MFK Fisher, James Baldwin, Peter Mayle, and Nina Simone).
What’s included in the package
- Accommodation for 6 days and 5 nights
- breakfast, lunch, apéro, and dinner
- A curated travel itinerary
- Transportation during the retreat
- Assistance with travel plans getting to France and the house
- Advice and tips for any additional travel plans you want to add on before or after the Joie Experience.
- Memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.
What’s Not Included in the package
- Transportation or food purchases during free time. (However, we will share tips, recommendations, and contact information.)
- Additional trips to Paris or other cities not part of the itinerary. (We have trusted travel planners and guides to help you if you want to add on a trip to Paris.)
Apply* now to be a part of this experience and once you are accepted we will send you a little present and a more detailed itinerary.
*(Why apply? Just as we are curating this experience for you, we also want to make sure you are surrounded by others who will help enhance your experience. So we are asking that everyone apply in advance to ensure we all have similar motivations to be a part of this retreat.)
Rates for a shared room €4500(with one bed)
Rates for a single room €5000