Sunday, July 7, 2013

Aix- en- Provence

 This is me making a picture of our hotel bathroom in Aix-en Provence. I am wearing my newly acquired french clothes bought at  a street market  explained  here.  Shelia, who writes the blog, Note Songs, has inspired me to finish writing  posts about our trip to Provence.  Her bathroom Diva's fun got me going today.

 We stayed in a fabulous hotel in Aix named La Maison d'Aix. It  is in the Mazarin quarter of Aix-en-Provence and is a 3 minute walk from the Cours Mirabeau.

This is the address and was a little hard to find because the sign was so small.

Do you see the sign to the right of the window? When we parked and walked around we found it. Later we found out due to the historial integrity of the area they did not allow large signs.

Our room was on the third floor.
We meet co- owner and  one of the architects, Laure Juhen that refurbished this private mansion now boutique hotel in Aix En Provence. She had come in to pick up several things as we were about to have breakfast. As it turned out that morning we were the only guests and had a delightful visit with her as she told us about the history of this home that took three years to refurbish. There were strict regulations about refurbishing a historic building.

The fresh figs and apricots were the best I have ever eaten!

I have forgotten the concierge/ chef's name. Such an interesting experience. Glad he was there to carry our bags to our room on third floor. I believe they were not allowed to install an elevator because of historical restrictions.

Our breakfast served on Juliska dishes. I was so impressed!  We were on cloud nine with the espresso.  So good!

This picture was hanging in the dining room. Our hostess told us about this very beautiful woman that owned the mansion. She was a noted courtesan that had famous clientele. The website for La Maison d'Aix describes  Mademoiselle Henriette Reboul as a renowned antiques collector and a love priestess that bought this private mansion dating from 1789 in 1903. She reputedly had numerous celebrity friends, lovers and mistresses, who all took abode in this magnificent residence.
We could have talked to Laure for hours but we were in Aix-en Provence and had to pull ourselves away to begin our short stay there seeing as much as we could in a short amount of time. As we left for the day I remember Laure saying," Enjoy strolling among the fontaines."
As we began our walk just across the street I peeped in this doorway because workers were busily going to and fro. It was very beautiful just as it was.

This was the first fontaine we strolled past. It is called the fountain of the four dolphins and dates back to 1667! So beautiful and exciting!

Can you image the excitement I felt as we turned the corner and saw this!
It was beautiful.

Look at that quatrefoil.

Church of Saint-Jean-de-Malte is a thirteenth century gothic church, the first in Provence. We went inside and felt reverence and awe at the beautiful paintings, architectural features and worshipful atmosphere.

Now, we are on the Cours Mirabeau and now I am understanding what strolling among the fontaines meant. Cours Mirabeau is a grand boulevard and is alive with people strolling along perusing the shops, stopping for espresso or aperitifs, people watching and checking out restaurants for dinner. All the fontaines have names but I did not take notes.

Shops and cafes line both sides of the street.

Architectural features abound.

This was the grandest fontaine, Fontaine de la Rotonde a cast iron fountain built in 1860.

Unlike the other towns in Provence we visited Aix en Provence had traffic. It is a city and once we parked our rental car we did not use it again. Finding a parking place was a nightmare.

Unfortunately we only had two nights and one full day in Aix. I would love to go back because there were so many other wonderful sights. I especially wanted to see Cèzanne's atelier.

A night view of Cours Mirabeau in Aix-en-Provence.
Look at the lush plane trees just beginning to leaf out in early April on the Cours Mirabeau. There were so many choices of restaurants it was hard to decide where to have dinner that night. It is a challenge to read a menu in french  and when an english menu was available we were pleased.  Only on one occasion did we get something we didn't order due to the language barrier and it was good just not what we ordered! We enjoyed all the food especially the artistic presentation. Observing the french culture and the welcoming atmosphere of the french people made our stay a great experience.

The night view out of our hotel window. I enjoyed sharing my memories with you. Would you believe we went to Provence in 2011. Now, why have I waited so long to post more of my pictures? We visited Orange, Chateauneuf'du Pape ,   Pont du Gard, Avignon, Arles, Les Baux-De-Provence, Bonnieux, Roussillon, Gordes, L'Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue, Saint Rèmy-De-Provence and I am sure I will remember others and left from Marselles.  I still have other pictures to share that I hope to get to soon. Do you enjoy travel posts?  My other posts can be viewed here:Provence posts:
 "Provence....One trip is not enough!"
  Provence-Part Deux
  Provence-Part Trois
  Voila! A gift to you from FRANCE!


I am excited to FINALLY join, The Tablescaper at Oh, the Places I've been. Thanks again Shelia, for inspiring me with one little bathroom pic to post more pictures from a wonderful trip. It was a dream come true.


  1. Hi Bonnie! Oh, I love this! Thank you so much for posting about your bathroom snapping! Give we about a week and I'll have another crowning and it will be you! :) I'll come back and let you know.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  2. I love it and miss that special spleen that you feel in Provence! Can't wait to see other photos!

  3. Bonnie, I love seeing your photos and reading about your trip..I can only imagine how wonderful it was..thanks for sharing.

  4. Loved the tour, Bonnie. And, the bathroom diva photos are great! =) Two of my knitting friends just returned from Provence and between them and you, I'm dreaming of a trip there myself! Blessings ~ tanna

  5. What an incredible trip that must have been! Love your French clothes and you look fabulous! Thanks for leaving such sweet comments for me also.

  6. I don't think I've ever seen so many fountains before! That looked like a wonderful experience. The food alone would be a treat. I'm sure you will never forget that vacation!

  7. Bonnie, I cannot thank you enough for the comment you left me...made my day:-)

  8. This is a beautiful hotel. I came across this hotel as I was researching our upcoming trip to Provence next spring. However, we've decided to stay in Avignon instead of Aix. Your photos of the area are making me super excited to explore Provence!

  9. Tres Belle and Merci for sharing your photos and trip Bonnie! I remember one of your posts from your trip your shared about dining and admiring something on the table and they wrapped it up gave it to you? We have never been to France...*sigh*...Gorgeous architecture and you look great in your French clothing :)

  10. Enjoyed the tour Bonnie! You look very comfortable in your new clothing.

  11. It looks like such a wonderful trip and to have a personal chef - I am jealous.

  12. Fantastic post and what a delightful trip. Loving the bathroom, you chic clothing, and the beautiful sights. I adore France, have you seen huge fields of sunflowers? I have many cherished memories. Thanks for sharing yours.

  13. I feel like a horrible friend....that I have not written......I think you not only left a note on my blog (which I just checked for the first time in almost a year!) but also sent me an email.

    Thank you for keeping up with me!!!! I miss you!!!

    We are all alive here and pretty good for the most part. When Tom came home I was just so thankful to God and wanted to make up for all the last time that I just sort of stopped blogging.

    That, and right before he came home, after his visit in July, was getting my eldest off to college in Houston. BIG BIG BIG stuff. And Tom's grandmother died.

    Then Tom came home.

    Then we traveled visiting his relatives he hadn't gotten a chance to see.

    Then at the beginning of 2013 we started directing a children's musical together which didn't end until a few weeks ago.

    So, I'm finally getting back to actually reading blogs again and catching up on emails....and might eventually post something myself.

    I look forward to catching up with you/love/hugs/blessings/please forgive my lateness in responding,

  14. Hi Bonnie, what a grand time you must have had, thanks for the visit and words of encouragement.
    fondly ~lynne~

  15. WOW some fabulous photographs here Bonnie! It takes me back to a brief visit in Paris many years ago --- I especially liked the plane tree avenue at night-time! Thanks for visting my Aussie blog too.

  16. Oh, how marvelous your trip must have been! Lovely snaps too! Well, I was waiting on one more Bathroom snapper but she didn't show up so I will have your crowning next week sometime and I will let you know when it's ready. Thank you so much for snapping for me.
    You are the sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  17. Hi Bonnie,

    This is such an interesting and pretty post!! I think Provence most be a truly fascinating place to visit. Your first photo is so cute; you have such a serious expression on your face -- just a real diva. :-D My in-laws have been to several of the provencal towns and villages you mention in this post. Mr. Forest Manor and I are watching the tour de france, and they were in Provence last week -- such delightful scenery! Now I must go back and read your other posts on Provence.

    I love the picture of the stained glass window inside the cathedral. The picture of you in front of the Fountain of the Four Dolphins is so good -- the blue blouse and scarf look lovely on you! :) Thanks for taking us along on your trip; once again, I've learned some interesting new things from your post.

    I hope you're having a wonderful summer, Bonnie. I've fallen behind (once again) on my visits to everyone and am trying to catch up. Thanks so much for your visit a few days ago; I ALWAYS love hearing from you!

    Many Hugs,


  18. Hello Bonnie, I am so glad you posted about your wonderful holiday. That Hotel is something else. I think I would enjoy Aix-en-Provence quite a lot! Much love to you, Linda x

  19. Looks like it was a lot of fun!


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