A treehouse in Provence
Dreamed of sleeping in a tree-house ever since you were a child? I did too. So when we realised that this was a real-life option for a few days in Provence, we jumped at the chance and booked it immediately. We were on a two week trip around Languedoc and Provence and coming from the city of Montpellier were looking for somewhere peaceful and rural to chill out for a few days. And where better than a treehouse in the middle of nowhere in the mountainous Luberon area? We booked four nights in La Bastide du Bois Breant in the tiny village of Maubec. You should bear in mind that Maubec is pretty much a ghost-town with very little going on. The evening we arrived we walked to the village which is about a kilometre from the tree-house. We didn’t see a soul. But it’s ridiculously picturesque and so very French. We were very much charmed.
The tree-house is one of seven within the grounds of this lovely estate, which has its own private swimming pool. There is also an option of staying in the main house but who wants to do that when you can sleep in a tree, right? We were pretty excited when we were shown to ours which is right in the middle of the woods. We actually couldn’t see it at all upon approach as the trees are so close to each other. We followed a little winding path and looked up – there it was. The seven of them are spread at quite a distance from each other throughout the woods for privacy. And it worked – we rarely saw the other tree-dwellers, nor did we hear much noise over the four days. It was incredibly peaceful. Each tree-house has a little verandah at the front with a table and chairs. It was pretty blissful to sit out there at night with a glass of wine and listen to the sounds of the French countryside at night.
I loved waking up in the morning, throwing open the shutters and seeing nothing but trees and hearing nothing but birdsong. Sleeping in a tree definitely fulfilled a childhood fantasy. One thing I will say is: it gets bloody hot sleeping in a wooden structure in a very warm climate. On our first night we slept with the windows and shutters open to let some cool air in. Rookie mistake. I woke up covered in mosquito bites. But aside from that, it was a great experience. We had a lovely breakfast in the courtyard of the main house every morning and spent much of the afternoons reading or in the pool. There isn’t a whole lot to do here as it’s very rural but this suited us just fine. I wanted four days of complete down-time. You will need a car to explore the region as it would be quite difficult to get around on public transport: the options are few and far between.
On the evening we arrived we were starving and had read about a great pizzeria here. We basically followed the sound of the only voices we’d heard in about half an hour and there it was: a glorious little pizza place called La Bergene with outdoor seating and fairy lights. I think everyone in Maubec must’ve been there at that particular moment which might have explained the mass exodus from the streets. We managed to get a lovely table outside, ordered an aperitif, and were instantly happy in our extremely pretty surroundings. The pizzas were a little too cheesy and stodgy for our liking but we were so hungry it didn’t matter. Also, it didn’t look like there were many other options here for eating. There seemed to be just one other option which we visited on another evening – O Delices Mets, a traditional family-run place which doesn’t look much from the street with its plastic tables but as it turns out, the food was really good and made with love, and the local wine by the carafe was ridiculously cheap. It was fun to spend a Saturday evening here listening to the banter of the locals.
But if you’re looking for a higher-end culinary experience, then head for the picturesque hill-top town of Gordes which is only 12 kms away and well worth a visit. We ate one of the best meals of our lives there in a little place called l’Artegal. You can read more about it in my blog Meals to make you weep with gratitude.