It's hard to remember when I first fell in love with France it seems like a life-long affair. As a little girl, I adored Madeline, the classic story of a daring schoolgirl who lived in "an old house in Paris all covered with vines."
During college I stayed at a little hotel there. It had fluffy duvets and crisp, ironed white sheets! A uniformed maid served breakfast in bed: steaming hot chocolate and fresh croissants. The charm and simplicity of that sweet little hotel stuck in my mind. Then, I saw a remarkable collection of paintings by the French Impressionists, largely created in the countryside of Provence. I was totally smitten.
Later, I learned how to cook simple, delicious meals long on fresh tomatoes, lamb, olive oil and herbes de provence to compliment my husband's passion for great wine. Over many dinners (and two children later) we planned a long trip to France where we would visit wineries, go to great restaurants and concentrate on exploring the country of Cêzanne and Van Gogh.
That's when we found Venasque. We fell totally in love with the rugged beauty and relaxed pace of provençal life and the food and wine! We plotted our next trip and dreamed of having our own home there, one with high, open-beam ceilings and whitewashed walls. We'd fill it with provençal antiques from local flea markets, buy pottery from artisans and, naturally, create a cellar stocked with local wine.
A tip from a friendly villager led us to purchase Maison Venasque with five other Portland families. Our plan was simple — we’d manage the details, the partners would enjoy the house as their own, and any vacant weeks would be available for rentals. The partners were so enthusiastic and renters abundant that we decided to offer the provençal experience to others. Later, we purchased Maison Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Through the years, we have met many international vacation-home owners in the area and are now pleased to offer you many of their homes as well as our own.
Today, Your Own French Home is both a vacation home rental service and a real estate consulting practice that makes it possible for you to realize your dream of living in Provence. As a licensed realtor in Oregon, I work in collaboration with realtors in Provence to help people find, purchase, and equip their homes. I look forward to having many more French property experiences with people like you who share my passion for Provence.