My maternal grandparents lived in Provence all their life and my grandfather, Paul Amiel, was the first photographer in Aix-en-Provence, then moved on to Salon-de-Provence.
I just found an article in the local newspaper "Le Memorial d'Aix" with a mention that he covered the visit of the French President in May 1922! Reading the whole newspaper is actually hilarious and if you want a copy, let me know and I will email it to you.
My own parents eventually retired to Salon to take care of my grandparents, including my paternal grandmother who was moved to a retirement home near by when she turned 95, having fallen in her own apartment in Paris, and rescued by my sister three days later...She passed away at 102...
You would have understood by then that I have obviously spent an inordinate amount of time in Provence and although I never lived there, I know the place inside out.
And this is the reason why, after many years of procrastination, my wife and I , encouraged by our friends, decided to organise a food, wine and lifestyle tour of Provence in September 2015.
After having organised so many trips and itineraries for friends and acquaintances, the real humans behind Our French Impressions, Patricia and Jean-Marie, have finally done what so many have urge to do - organise a trip to Provence - here it is!
Jean-Marie's family on his mother side have deep roots in Provence having been one of the prominent landowners in the region up until the mid last century producing everything from lavender to rice, olive oil to soap. To this day, the family remains deeply attached to their origins and know "their" Provence intimately. Jean-Marie is also the nominated family cook, whose travails are well documented on this blog and beyond and who learned his trade watching his grandmother and mother cook for decades.
The Auld Alliance was consecrated when Patricia, of Scottish descent, met and married Jean-Marie - after a hair-raising international courtship - some 30 years ago. Her natural curiosity and experience in tourism saw then visit every nook and cranny of the region, discovering the best "tables", sourcing sumptuous wines and uncovering some of the most sought after artisans in the country. Patricia's expertise will ensure the smooth running of the tour, providing the "gear" to put the show on the road.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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