YOGA - weekend workshop September '14

another wonderful yoga weekend
Just like last September, this weekend - running from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening - saw us practicing yoga in the outdoors around La Vudèle. Under the blue sky of Provence...

The June date with focus on meditation and pranayamas, the September date with an introduction to the 7 chakras. For the September date we welcomed a return visitor from last year, Conny! Weekends of yoga outdoors, blue skies, sun, fresh air and warmth. 

For 2015 there will be 3 dates to enjoy Yoga & Nature, yoga practice outdoors, surrounded by the sound of birds, the rustle of leaves in the wind, the feel of the warming sun on the skin, the eyes feasting on the blue of the Provencal sky...
yoga weekend 15. - 17. May &11. - 13. September (Friday afternoon - Sunday evening)
yoga retreat 21. - 26. June (Sunday afternoon - Friday morning) - 4 spaces left



EXTRA - C'etrange Christmas present

 C'etrange gift setThe C'etrange Christmas special - 3 products of natural cosmetics - produced at La Vudèle - in a wooden gift box

Created and produced right here at La Vudèle by Claudia and Jim many of our guests and visitors have already tried this line of all natural cosmetics which is never tested on animals. No chemicals or parabens are used nor artificial scents: only the purest ingredients like olive oil, shea butter and Aloe vera.

Nestled into the beautiful wooden C'etrange gift box choose from one of three sets of precious natural cosmetics, either for yourself or as a present to someone you care about

* Divine Lavender with the mesmerizing scent of Provence € 36

* English Rose the queen of flowers € 50
* Terre de Provence with the fresh scent of Provence, rosemary and cypress € 35shipping is only € 6.50 anywhere in the world


Since 2001 C'etrange creates exclusively handcrafted, all-natural products based on the positive benefits of aromatherapy. All products are made by hand using only the purest ingredients: the most natural plant oils and the purest essential oils. All products are perfect for vegetarians and lovers of all things natural.

Each C'etrange product is handcrafted with the finest, most natural ingredients. Based on the holistic approach - how all aspects of our life affect our well-being - we use the purest oils as base oils, and to refine the characteristics, we add finest essential oils found in aromatherapy.
* All products are exclusively handmade
* Only 100% natural ingredients
* Perfect for allergy sufferers
* Free of chemicals or additives
* Free of artificial coloring
* Tested by friendly people, not on animals*

* Since 2004 all C'etrange products are certified as cruelty-free by the Deutsche Tierschutzbund e.V.
* Member of Veg'Asso and OneVoice

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

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

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

ACTIVITIES - a unique walk in the lower gorge of Quinson

following the ancient canal of Provence
Since June of 2014 and after extensive renovations the foot path -  unique in the gorge du Verdon - is open to the public again, and a "must-do" when visiting Quinson! 

An easy walk for everybody this path  takes you along the river Verdon, and into the actual gorge: spectacular, beautiful, calming! Dotted with several view points and rest stops to take a break and enjoy the view - like three huge tree stumps serving as seats - this path takes you along the ancient canal of Provence, a previously very important waterway in this arid region: canal to the left, river on the right, and you in the middle - simply awesome

The short route is an easy 30 minutes to the restored canal guard's hut and very flat. From here one can return via the same way or continue through a short tunnel to walk a 3-hour circuit, either via the chapel Sainte Maxime or the wide tranquil path, to the top of the plateau, with splendid views across the landscape all the way to the mountains standing at almost 2000m and the "big" gorge near Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.

walking IN the gorge
What makes this walk even more special is the fact that it can be reached leaving directly from La Vudèle: a leisurely 45-minute descent to Quinson, a stroll through the village and along its 8 fountains et voilà, the trail head for the gorge! 

Of course there is always the alternative of exploring the river by boat, be it canoe, kayak, pedal boat or electric boat

Happy walking in Quinson!

RECIPES - delicious grilled tofu dinner

grilled tofu with its typical marks
At our organic vegetarian (and most of the time vegan) dinner table or table d'hôtes" we serve seasonal regional dishes with local produce and products, something we are very proud of and enjoy offering to our guests from allover the world.

Because exploring the many facets of vegetarianism (and more and more veganism) is so important to us we like preparing meals either with a twist and/or with ingredients most people have heard of but either never tried or never managed to create in their own kitchen. Enter tofu!

How many times we have heard that our guests had either tried making tofu themselves at home but didn't like it or had not tried it before for fear of its possible bland taste. And how many times did we hear, during or after the dinner, that they had never thought tofu could taste this good!

grilled tofu with couscous and seasonal vegetables
It all starts with the best ingredients, and in this case with the best tofu. Fresh is best. And because we are located away from shops and conurbation we prefer to source regionally as well. We found organic tofu at our favorite organic store in Manosque, La Nature et Vous, a truly local store run by Agnes and her very friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable staff of 5, from the local producer Tossolia in upper Provence, near Sault, about 1 hour from Manosque. This is the only kind - fresh tofu from the cooler section - which tastes nice, absorbs the flavors of a marinade, and can pass as tofu.

Here is the recipe for grilled tofu as served under the mulberry tree at La Vudèle or in our cozy farmhouse kitchen, always prepared on our rustic gas stove using a Le Creusset cast-iron grill pan:

  1. drain the tofu thoroughly for at least half an hour
  2. cut the tofu in even slices, to ensure even cooking
  3. blend a marinade with organic toasted sesame oil, organic grapeseed oil and some organic soy sauce
  4. coat tofu with the marinade and allow to infuse for at least 4 hours
  5. frequently reapply marinade to ensure even coating
  6. heat the grill pan and apply an even layer of organic grapeseed oil
  7. once oil is hot place your tofu slices on the pan and cook on each side for at least 5 minutes 
The slices will come out with the typical grill marks sans the toxic aspects of a charcoal BBQ
Serve with freshly steamed couscous infused with fennel seeds, garnished with fresh mint
Sautée sliced onions and garlic, add fresh spinach or Swiss chard
Sprinkle freshly ground linseed for Omega-3 over the couscous
Prepare a sauce of homemade organic peanut butter, organic oat milk, organic sesame oil, a splash of your favorite red wine, rice vinegar, agave syrup and freshly sliced ginger
One of our guests wrote in our guest book: "thanks for the best tofu ever". Thank you Michal from Gdansk!

And please, you all, let us know how you go on with your own tofu cooking experience back home!

Wishing you bon appetit!


LIFE AT LA VUDELE - fall gardening: the lasagna bed

lasagna bed in fall
As we are easing into fall - also here in Provence - it is time to get our outdoor affairs in order. For us that means not only our garden with fig, plum and cheery trees but also, and possibly most importantly, our vegetable garden, le potager

For those of you interested in gardening you may have heard the term "lasagna bed" or "lasagna gardening" during your visit here at La Vudèle. A strong believer of natural living within the rhythm of time and nature we employ the methods of permaculture in our vegetable garden. Aided by rainwater harvesting in the bassin right next to our veggie patch using a small bucket on a rope and Claudia's muscle power; companion planting to use the benefits of each plant without disturbing the eco balance; and crop rotation planting. Plus leaving "weeds" in bloom for the many bees, wasps and other busy insects to nourish themselves from so that the eco system can live and thrive.
Provencal sky in October
So in October and November we have been busy preparing the vegetable beds by layering nitrogen, ie. brown leaves with carbon, like green leaves, and compost material which we add all winter long. This is a method we have been using for the third season now, with amazing results! And all under the blue sky of Provence - simply perfect!
With the aid of this layering method called "lasagna gardening" we have been able to greatly improve the soil of our vegetable garden, which had not seen any production since tante Louise, the great-great aunt of our neighbor and original owner of La Vudèle used it, many many decades ago.

 Whatever is in season we share with our guests during our meals or table d'hôtes, be it freshly harvested string beans, courgettes, various leafy greens, tiny tasty melons and lately various types of pumpkins. Very delicious!

Bon appetit!