Provence Retreats 2024
May 11 - 16, 2024 in Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt
October 12-17, 2024 in Gordes
September 28 - October 3, 2024 in Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt
Who doesn't need 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 and author of JOIE: A Parisian's Guide to Celebrating the Good Life.
In the last twelve 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 you will take away from this experience:
- 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 will we do together?
- 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.
- Want to see our photo album from Provence 2022? Click here.
What past guest have to say about TGL Retreats?
What Mikaela R. had to say about the retreat:
When I read the description of the retreat it was exactly what I’d been looking for. I went into it thinking that even if I got 50% of what was listed I would be happy, but I had no doubt that Ajiri would deliver a full experience and did she ever! Every single thing that was promised was delivered, with style and joie! The group of women were so different yet so similar, and were a wonderful combination that elevated the experience even further. The friendships which grew among us so quickly, were an unexpected but welcomed surprise.
Every day brought a new adventure and experience of the French culture, and with Ajiri’s team taking care of all the details, we were free to just be in the moment. Every meal was delicious. The shopping was a dream. Every town, market, shop, restaurant, cafe or other location we visited was wonderful and enlightening. It’s hard to believe that so many things can be so right, but it was. The host team were exceptional and worked hard to ensure we were comfortable and taken care of. If you are looking for a retreat experience that is full of fun, exploration and new cultural experiences, this is for you. Comfortable shoes and an open mind/heart are the best accessories for this amazing experience.
Depending on the week you book, we will either stay in a villa (mas in French) in Gordes or Saint-Saturnin-Les-Apt in The Luberon region of Provence.
Our base in Gordes is a large private property in a beautiful hilltop village. 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. There is one larger room with exceptional views and a private terrace available for a slightly additional fee.
This beautiful 18th century10 bedroom house is in the charming village of Saint-Saturnin-les-Apts and is run by a family that also operates a bio winery. The house sits on 10 hectars of land with vines, olive trees and wheat fields. There are multiple sitting areas around the house and by the heated pool to take in the Luberon views and relax. (And for those who find the time, there is also a little gym in a separate little bungalow on the property).
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 Good Life Retreat. (This is why the retreat ends on Thursday so you can add on a trip to Paris, the Cote d’Azur, or even discover more of Provence.
- 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.)
- Transportation to/from the house before or after the retreat, although we will help coordinate this.
- 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 based on room type:
Double occupancy room with king bed for two with private bathroom to share €5500 (per person).
Single occupancy room for one guest with private bathroom €6000.
Single occupancy room for one guest with view over the valley, private bathroom and private terrace €6500 (Please inquire for rate if you wish to share this room as it’s a large room and perfect to share.) in Gordes house.
ALL ROOMS COME WITH THEIR OWN EN SUITE BATHROOMS.
Click here to see the photo album from our inaugural trip Fall 2022.