For a girl who was never fond on visiting the countries nearest to her doorstep, she has certainly changed her tune.
The view, the sunsets, the food, the staff, the king sized bed, or the bath in the bedroom.
I don’t think I could choose a favourite aspect of this trip. My room was a deluxe bedroom, with all of the furniture, aesthetics and services you would ever dream of. They do also offer suites and master suites, but in honesty, I don’t know how the Hotel could beat this deluxe. I can only dream of how incredible those bedrooms must be. I had a huge king sized (and ridiculously comfortable) bed to myself for two evenings, as well as a Victorian freestanding bath set to one side of the room. Not to mention a huge walk in shower, with two shower heads, built into the circular tower of the building. A small window cut through a metre of stone to offer a view of the French countryside whilst showering. It was truly magical.
The food and wine, as you’d expect from France, was absolutely outstanding. With three charming restaurants set into the buildings of Hotel Crillon le Brave, you will be spoilt for choice by which excellent meal you would like to eat, and in which beautiful restaurant. Restaurant Jerome Blanchet is the height of romantic inside, with pink toned chairs, exposed stone walls and crystal glasses laid ready for your evening. The food was exactly how you would expect from such a beautiful setting, delicious, and we had such a fantastic evening sipping French wine and nibbling on cheese. When they bring out the cheese board, supplied by the beautiful Claudine Vigier from Carpentras, you will be amazed at the number of cheeses you can select from. We had the pleasure of speaking with Claudine, whilst she spoke so poetically and lovingly about her cheese making and the excitement of the first cheese of the season coming from the goats in the hillside of France. I could have sat and listened to her speak French with such passion for hours. Please do make sure that if you visit Carpentras, Provence, that you visit her store La Fromagerie du Combat on the main square. And ask for the stilton style cheese, injected with sweet Muscat de beaumes de Venise. You will be blown away.
But aside from Jerome Blanchet, the restaurant 40k opens from May to October. Its selling point is its selection of food and wine from within a 40 Kilometre range, with the central point being Crillon le Brave. It keeps the produce local and wonderfully fresh. And for those who love to sip wine with their meal, you also have the opportunity to visit the wine cellar, just below the restaurant, for the selection of your own wine with the meal. How perfect.
But aside from the food, and the bedroom you probably will not want to leave, this Hotel has so much to offer for a weekend away or even a week in France. The swimming pool is luxurious yet simple, and just what the clientele of this Hotel would expect. Nearby you can find the spa, currently comprising of just one room, beautifully decorated with exposed rustic brickwork and completely modest. The beautician was fantastic and kneaded my knots away to perfection, leaving the room an hour later with my whole body floating. A new spa is currently being developed, so there will be even more treatment rooms available and I have no doubt it will be superb. But outside from the Hotel, you can take a trip to Carpentras as we did, as well as Avignon or Isle-sur-la-Sorgue a little further out. I have a number of posts coming with a little more info on those three. But otherwise, just a little stroll out of the Hotel will keep you wandering by beautiful scenery and hillsides. Or take a bike from the Hotel and head out on a little ride to local quarries or other places nearby – the hotel are so happy to help with ideas of where you can ride to. You won’t be short of activities, especially if you’re looking for a chilled out weekend, to see the sights and scenery of Crillon Le Brave and local areas.
Peter Chittick, the loving owner of this large and ever expanding Hotel, has built up this fortress from one building to the next, turning this sleepy village into a thriving hamlet, set into the hillside of Provence. Buying just one building 25 years ago, he has lovingly bought and renovated a number of the original buildings of Crillon Le Brave, and turned the hotel into a maze of wonderful avenues and walkways, leading from one building to the next. Something that makes this hotel truly special.
What a wonderful weekend. It was superb from start to finish, and I truly hope I get to visit again very soon. For those of you looking for a weekend away, look no further. You will fall in love with the place. And especially those looking for a retreat for a honeymoon, this would be beyond perfect.