LIFE AT LA VUDELE - after the summer

La Bella Mia aka Mia
This season we hosted many fantastic people in our guest room "La Suite" at our organic vegetarian B&B, from all over the globe! And in the true sense of the saying "the world comes to us" we had visitors from
Canada... Singapore... England... Italy... Croatia... Brazil... Bermudas... France... Scotland... Austria... Norway... Germany... Poland... Switzerland... U.S.A... Netherlands... China... Belgium... Sweden... and some more...

We would like to thank each individual personally for having chosen to come to La Vudèle on their vacation, be it for a couple of nights, a week or longer. It was always a great experience, be it the conversations, the discovery of places far away, fresh ideas, interests, hobbies, and sometimes even gifts!

We are especially happy about all the positive feedback and reviews we receive to our offering:

number 1: vegetarian. Our first and foremost concern, the well-being of all animals. As we discover every day what possibilities exist including raw food we are moving more and more towards veganism. One of our guests wrote a beautiful blog entry including fantastic (and appetizing) photos about our vegetarian dinner or table d'hôtes in French. She also wrote about our sumptuous breakfast, with our own freshly baked sourdough bread 

number 2: organic. Living in the countryside of Provence we have discovered producers of fantastic organic fruit and vegetables at the market in Riez, be it Francis from nearby Allemagne-en-Provence who always greets Jim with a typical French "'ello"; or Isabelle, with her delicious tomatoes which we turned into jars and jars of sauce for the winter, and our trusted farmer Gerard with a large range of produce from his organic in Mane! We strive to find the best organic products since we not only serve the food but also partake in the meals ourselves. So "organic" is something we take very seriously, personally.

number 3: authenticity. Both Jim and I chose Provence as our home and found a very special place here at La Vudèle. One of the biggest compliments we received from one of our last guests, in September, when he said he could feel the passion and love we have for this place. 

And we are very happy that Mia has joined us, a very cuddly cat we adopted in July. She had been found in a nearby village with a massive hernia which needed treatment. We took her to the vet right away to get her operated. All went well and now she is already a permanent and important part of our life here at La Vudèle. She knows how to charm not only us but also our guests, with her beautiful green eyes and long fluffy coat. Initially whilst looking for a name we had called her Fluffy which then turned into Bella but somehow didn't sounds right; so now she is called "La Bella Mia", or Mia for short, with a nod to our Italian guests this summer who were some of the first people to meet her here.  Our other kitty cat Mimie has still not really adopted Mia as a friend but they are learning to tolerate each other. A pecking order during feeding time has definitely been established... Mimie won.
Bienvenue at La Vudèle
and may you enjoy your life with us


RECIPES - our "no-knead bread" recipe

delicious sourdough bread for breakfast
more about in on our guest Solli's blog

One of our goals was to be more self-sufficient, and of course baking one's own bread is a Must!
We had tried different ways and recipes and one day stumbled upon the blog of our dear friend David who lives in Quinson when he is not busy living in other places. Inspired by this no-knead bread recipe we set out to see what this was all about et voilà, with the first attempt we had managed to bake a very delicious bread!
Over the course of time we added our own sourdough starter, something we had always been intrigued by due to the complexity of this task. At the end of the day it is super easy, and we don't know what all the fuss is about...

Before we started our chambre d'hôte we had had several brainstorming session to figure out what we could offer our guests, and of course freshly baked bread was one of the top priorities. We have since given one-on-one lessons to our guests, handed out the recipe to many more, and even received some photos with impressive results back!

For those of you who try this at home: please send us a photo!

"no-knead bread" recipe
time: about 5 minutes plus 12 hours rising time

500 grams flour
250 ml water
sourdough starter or ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
extra flour as needed for dusting

  1. In a large bowl combine flour, sourdough starter/yeast and salt. Add water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with an airtight lid. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably 18 hours, at room temperature.
  1. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour dough and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with lid and let rest another 15 minutes.
  1. In the meantime heat oven to 220 degrees. Put a medium-sized heavy covered pot (cast iron, Pyrex, enamel or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. Once the oven has reached 220 degrees remove pot and pour dough into it, placing the lid tightly, and bake for 30 minutes. Cool on rack.
Enjoy your own homemade bread!
 Jim & Claudia


EXTRA - 30% off C'etrange English Rose face balm

English Rose face balm

As we are well into fall - also here in Provence - and heading towards the cold winter months it is time to stock up on protective face care. 

Produced here at La Vudèle by Claudia and Jim many of our guests and visitors have already tried this line of all natural cosmetics, never tested on animals, only on and by Jim ;-)

The face is the one part of our bodies always exposed, and with wind and rain, rapidly changing warm temperatures indoors and cold air outside our skin takes a toll. Like all C'etrange cosmetics products the English Rose face balm is oil-based and does not contain water which dries out skin.

Wonderfully moisturizing skin balm for dry and mature skin, with the nourishing properties of shea butter, avocado oil, with the precious properties of rose oil
* skin type: normal, dry & mature
* benefit: moisturizing, nourishing

This face balm is ideal as a night cream but in the colder months and for dry skin also works well as a day cream. Use only a small amount, it is very concentrated. Take the size of a pea, warm up between your palms and apply generously across your face. Keep your hands on your face and give yourself a small massage at the same time.

Customers with psoriasis and dermatitis have all exclaimed the almost immediate improvement of their long-lasting skin conditions which makes us not only very proud of the positive results of the natural ingredients chosen for these products but also extremely happy for these people!
Visit www.cetrange.com and receive this fantastic product, enriched by extra shea butter, at 30% off for only € 13.30
C'etrange Fine Natural Products
since 2001

* no animal testing *
* vegetarian/vegan *
* no parabens *
* no colorants *
100% natural

un instant de bonheur... moments of sheer purity...Schöne Dinge für die Sinne...

ACTIVITIES - walking and boating in the gorge du Verdon

photos of the Verdon river in Quinson
taken by our guest Solli

The river Verdon, spanning over almost 170 km, is an impressive waterway and very important to this semi-arid part of Provence. The basse gorge in Quinson is the only part accessible on foot.

A recently renovated path follows the river and the ancient canal de Provence, hence making it easy to explore this beautiful part of Provence. Follow the river in the shade of trees and overhanging rocks for about 1 hour at a leisurely pace, stopping along the way to take in the breathtaking views or taking a break at one of several rest spots, sometimes a collection of rocks, other times a cave with tree stumps. One can return via the same way or continue, through a magical forest, to the chapel Sainte Maxime or in a loop back to the start. A serene way to explore this tranquil part of Provence...
For the more ambitious types there are canoes, kayaks and pedal boats for rent; for the more leisurely visitors electric boats glide through the water effortlessly. Either mode of transport offers access to this unique river and its impressive rock formations, all under the blue sky of Provence...


YOGA - "le yoga du jeudi" or Yoga in the Morning

under the mulberry tree
with guests from Australia

This June I had decided to offer a morning yoga session, along with our weekend workshops and private retreats, to our guests in the B&B and gite and to the locals in Quinson who descend onto the salle de fête every Monday evening for yoga with Christiane. During the summer months this weekly course is suspended so that I thought - to bridge this gap - I would offer a class at La Vudèle. And to show that yoga in the morning is quite a different experience from the usual evening classes I decided to start the class at 10h, after breakfast and with enough time to digest. What makes this even more special is the outdoor setting: Yoga & Nature, taking our yoga practice outside, under the blue sky of Provence, surrounding by plants, flowers, wild life and the occasional breeze plus the scent of lavender, especially during harvest time!

Each Thursday a different constellation formed, a slightly different group participated, sometimes 3 people, once even 7; sometimes in French, then in English, sometimes in German, and once in all three plus Dutch! Since no reservation was required I never knew who showed up or how many. This truly meant for me to "take without expecting" or AparigrahaWe had some locals come and participate, some guests in our chambre d'hôte, some visitors to the area who had seen the poster in the village announcing this new class.
Each week there was a different theme, a different focus, be it on balance, inversions, cooling asanas, invigorating sequences, all dependent on the experience of the participant, the mood of the day and the general energy.

And what a joy it was to practice outdoors, to be outside, surrounded by nature: in the cooling shade under the vast mulberry in our garden; by the side of the wheat field with views across lavender fields onto Mont Denier. This mountain range, with an altitude of almost 2000m, served as a focal point for tadasana or mountain pose: imagining oneself a mountain, a natural structure which like our body and mind does neither sway nor move, solid, grounded.

This is definitely an experience I shall repeat to offer next year, along with 3 dates for yoga weekends in May & September and a 6-day yoga holiday in June.

Namasté and thanks to everyone who joined me this summer