Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Fayence is a lovely village in the Var region of Provence with some very old parts and  is situated on a steep hill with a very narrow winding road to the summit. 

Our accommodation is situated down a very narrow one way lane. The turn off is not immediately visible from the main road as it appears from a driving point of view that you are driving through an outdoor cafe. The road is very windy, one way, cobbled, narrow and steep in parts.



Our accommodation  is a very old house with the classic stone walls, half pipe terra cotta roof  and has the mandatory French shutters. A lovely outdoor area overlooks cherry trees with grapes and flowering wisteria growing on the walls and pergola . Of course being on the side of the hill we have spectacular views especially from the bedrooms which are upstairs. The house is very well equipped if not a little rough around the edges. Being so old and built of stone, none of the walls are square so where tiles don't meet walls" Selley's No Gaps" gets used in abundance.
 A house full of character that we love.

Every little bit of space is precious in these villages and is utilised to the full. We pass a cafe in one of the narrow lanes that cooks on one side of the street and has their tables on the other side.
We wandered down narrow lane ways looking at these stone buildings that are mostly three, some four, stories high with shutters painted in different colours, predominantly a purpely blue.
Some decorate around their front doors with ivy, climbing roses and other brightly coloured flowering pots and benches to sit on. Some houses are rendered and painted with earthy colours. Little cafes can suddenly appear down these lane ways leaving you wondering where their business comes from.


After exploring Fayence we then headed off to Tourrettes, Mons, Callian and Monauroux - collectively known as " villages perche ". All these villages have a common theme. They are all built on top of a very high knoll with a chapel or some sort of fortification on the top.

There is always a  town square usually with a water trough and Plane trees and Olive trees for shade.
The entry to Tourrettes was particularly narrow with the car mirrors clearing the buildings by inches only.
All these villages have the narrow lanes to wander and enjoy.
In Medieval times these villages would come under attack and everyone would move to the chapel and a defence would be mounted from the highest point which was very effective.
Of course everywhere the mandatory French cafes abound. I think that people who live in these villages must still live a simple life with few possessions .

The road that links these villages winds its way around these knolls and ridges with stunning views .

The country is very stoney but olive trees are growing very successfully and by the size of the trunks some would be very very old. The road was a good surface but very narrow in spots with not a lot in the way of guard rails, so care had to be taken to stay on the road as we were very high !

In the evening we booked a balcony table at a little local cafe called Le France about a ten minute walk from home. We booked at 8pm because that is time people eat out in this country.


Le France is situated overlooking the Main Street with a narrow walkway down the side. The Main Street is only one car wide here with your typical French shuttered houses on the opposite side of the street, a beautiful setting. We sat on the canvas covered balcony about four metres wide looking down along the street.
As the sun set the street was lit by very big French lanterns that are so common in these villages and which glow rather than provide bright light. The light given out is very yellow and muted which enhances an already beautiful setting.


The food as usual was beautiful. After ordering a two course plat du jour for 29euros we were presented firstly with a four piece nibble (gratis) then a small volute was delivered- Asparagus and cheese  ( also gratis). This we followed with veal in mushroom sauce with broccoli , potato, carrot, and artichoke all beautifully presented and served. Of course dessert was chocolate fondant with ice cream and raspberry !


The meal was accompanied with a bottle of Cote de Rhone rouge. A truly wonderful evening as we wandered home at 11 pm through winding dimly lit lane ways.

A lovely part of the world.

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