Venasque: La Maison de Charme (au lieu d’un Gite)

Winter, Fall, Summer or Spring, for those who hold the conviction that life is better lived passionately, there are small treasures throughout Provence where one can nourish an amorous appetite in a refined and intimate atmosphere.

One particular jewel that comes to mind is La Maison de Charme, a large stone “bâtisse” in the center of Venasque, a village perched on an abrupt rocky spur from which compact stone houses offer a clear line of sight to the 6,000-plus feet Mont Ventoux with its bare limestone summit; the village seems to be in intimate conversation with the mythical mountain which never leaves the gaze of the villagers who speak as if it were sentient.

You marry this mythical feeling with intimacy and elegance by taking the first steps into La Maison de Charme, a Chambres D’Hotes of four toothsome suites with a tea salon and a boutique on its street floor.

Open in December and January, closed in February and March, La Maison de Charme reopens in April until November, offering the sweet enchantment of a village hideaway, along with the refined pleasures of shopping and an afternoon tea.

Looking for a tasteful gift or souvenir for the home, then step into the “Boutique Deco” where you can browse among exquisite decorative objects, lamps, candles, pottery, perfumes, cotton fabrics and Provencal bed covers.

As a respite, you can take an afternoon tea in an adjoining tea salon, an elegant, cozy and warm room with Provencal décor.

The spacious four suites, which accommodate from 2 to 4 guests, are smartly decorated in a Provencal style, and many of the items in the rooms may be found in the boutique.

Each suite has a salon with a hearth and two divans, a bedroom with a king size bed, bathroom, television, WiFi, and natural light.

Small dogs are welcome with supplement of 10€ (Dogs are favored in most Venasque hotels and restaurants.) The suites begin at 135 € for two including a petit déjeuner.

No doubt that all the fine points mentioned herein will entitle you to a certain heightened holiday experience the moment that you arrive to La Maison de Charme and put yourself in the hands of your cheerful smart hosts where “l’hôtellerie, c’est une entreprise de charme.”

Friday Evening Market

Venasque takes on a festive air every Friday evening in the summer with an open air market launched two years ago by the Mayor.

Two pop-up street cafés, which serve wine, drinks and amuse bouches on the Place de la Fontaine, are run by the Café La Fontaine and the Maison de Charme, which serves wines of the nearby Chateau Unang.

Stalls along the upper part of the Grand Rue offer vegetables, cheese, charcuterie, wine, honey, jams, soaps, crafts and art.

Running every Friday from July to mid-Sept. from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., the Friday market has the feel of a gathering of friends. Smaller and more social than the other farmers markets, the Venasque market has been a huge success in drawing visitors in the region as well as animating the village with a festival-like cheer.

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Basics:

Maison de Charme La Fontaine, Place de la Fontaine, Venasque, Tél. 04 90 60 64 05, Four suites with petit déjeuner, small dogs accepted.

Open all year except November, February, and March, Tea Room and “Boutique déco” (photo r) on ground floor Website

Venasque: Website,

Friday Market July until September 16, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., Fêtes Votives Aug. 12 – 15

Access Venasque by Route D4 from Carpentras or route D28 from Saint-Didier. TGV Avignon 40 minutes by car.

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