LIFE AT LA VUDELE - summer's in the air

After a mild and short winter and a lovely spring we are now gearing up for summer here in Provence!

Along with two more yoga & vegan cooking retreats coming up we are expecting quite a few returning guests which is fantastic and shows that what we offer -  cozy rooms, a delicious organic breakfast, vegetarian/vegan dinners, a relaxed atmosphere - is what our clientele likes and enjoys! And this gives us the energy and affirmation to continue with what we have created here at La Vudèle.

So a big THANK YOU to all of you who have made and shaped La Vudèle and "organic living in Provence" into what it is today!

merci beaucoup
thank you
Dziękuję Ci
 and a big hug!


ACTIVITIES - another Karma Exchange

This spring's Karma Exchange, on 8. May, was a great time, with new faces and of course new items to swap! Accompanied by a glass of champagne from Quinson and freshly baked muffins 6 women and one man came together, and everyone left with some new items!

Twice a year, in the spring and fall, an eclectic mix of people meets up here at La Vudèle for a Karma Exchange: the swapping of previously loved items like clothes, accessories, food, decoration or sometimes books, of ideas or whatever we would like to pass on. Everyone is welcome to show up, with or without something to physical to exchange: a smile, one's presence, one's spirit are plenty! With a glass of champagne or rosé in hand we sit together and swap, try on, decide to keep, admire, pay a compliment, laugh... enjoy.
Spring is a great time to get rid of items found and collected over the winter, be they from the closet, the cellar, the library or wherever. To make room for new items and to de-clutter, to re-discover and re-arrange. The same in the fall, and because people keep asking if they could bring their friends I am certain this fall's Karma Exchange will see more new people!

Happy swapping!

RECIPE - sage pesto, with a twist

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « pesto spaghetti »Classic pesto is made with fresh basil; this is the variety everybody knows and loves, be it from their vacations in Italy or a visit to their favorite Italian restaurant. But how about trying something new? With the abundance of sage plants in our herb garden, grown from seed and growing in massive bushes, I one late spring afternoon decided to try this wonderful herb in a pesto. Et voilà, it not only tastes almost like basil, it tastes even better! And it tastes best when the leaves are young so in late spring, though it is possible to use the leaves all year round but the taste will become stronger and more pungent.

During our yoga & organic vegan cooking retreat last weekend Top Vegan Chef Paul decided to add some green olives and freshly squeezed lemon juice, and my o my, was this pesto a treat!

Sage is a very versatile plant, a quintessential Mediterranean herb used in cooking, as an essential oil, as a decorative plant in the garden with its pretty purple flowers. Salvia officinalis can  be used to make a delicious tea.

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « pesto »
on croutons as an appetizer

Pesto is easy to make, considered a "raw food" as none of the ingredients are heated and can go on anything, from pasta bien sûr to sandwiches or tasty little croutons as appetizers with an apéritif or on pizza in place of or with tomato sauce

the ingredients:
* fresh sage leaves
* nutritional yeast
* toasted pine nuts
* depitted fleshy green olives
* freshly squeezed lemon juice
* garlic
* olive oil
* freshly ground sea salt
* freshly ground black pepper

All ingredients are approximate as this is really to everyone's personal taste. If you can get a hold of this season's fresh garlic use it sparingly and allow the fresh taste of sage to be the most prominent. Make a paste in your kitchen machine and season to taste. The great thing about pesto is that its all about personal preference.

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « vegan pesto pizza »
on pizza as a base

Try something new today and remember to enjoy not only the result but also the process! Preparing food from scratch is a fantastic way to spend time, observing the making of something delicious, with one's own creativity, passion and hands!

bon appétit! 

YOGA - extra retreat in June vegan cooking

Top Vegan Chefs
We just finished our first yoga & organic vegan cooking retreat and would like to thank the participants, Paul & Anna who were already here for last year's 6-day retreat, and Justine & Sofiane from Taiwan, for coming here to La Vudèle and sharing their spirit and enthusiasm with us during this weekend!

And for those who would like to attend this summer we have 2 more dates before August: Tuesday, 14.6. - Thursday, 16.4. & Friday, 1. - Sunday, 3. July

retreat goodie bag
Friday afternoon we started out with a welcome workshop, blind-folded with the eye mask of the La Vudèle goodie bag and using the sense of smell only to explore the various beautiful aromas of herbs and flowers like lavender, thyme, sage, and essential oils like orange, rosemary and fennel. Also contained in the goodie bag were
~ the yoga & nature en Provence apron
~ the La Vudèle guest book with recipes, mantras, yoga sequences and various information
~ a post-yoga tea blend
~ a special herbes de Provence salt
~ all presented in a typical Mediterranean straw basket

This was followed by our first afternoon yoga session outdoors, enjoying the beautiful sun, vistas and sounds all around.

Using the freshest ingredients from the market and our favorite organic food store "Nature & Vous" in Manosque we prepared an apéritif dinatoire in the evening, with lots of delicious delicacies like
* caviar d'aubergine
* black olive tapenade
* white bean dip
* our freshly baked sourdough bread
* and a superb quiche, with the recipe to be found in the La Vudèle guest book

Saturday morning we met for an invigoration morning yoga session and a mindfulness meditation, to the rising sun, followed by breakfast in the morning sun. Afterwards we went to the local market in Riez to purchase delicacies for dinner like artichokes, the first courgettes and strawberries. In the afternoon another lovely yoga session outdoors, under the beautiful blue sky of Provence, with a Metta meditation and some challenging asanas!

We then started cooking in our farmhouse kitchen, with everywhere assigned to different tasks: there was a dessert station, a pesto making station, pea shelling of peas fresh from the field, marinating the tofu, and the artichokes also had to be prepared, cleaned and then boiled, to be grilled for dinner.

Sofiane at the grill
Anna, a trained nutritionist
master sage pesto maker
Mia the cat with Justine

lavender custard - yum!
Sofiane and his new toy
The copious gala dinner, with lots of candles, we enjoyed accompanied by local wines of Quinson, thanks to Jim's selection and expertise. The two desserts, a lavender custard and a chocolate mousse, finished off our meal, and we all went to bed feeling accomplished and light-hearted.

Sunday morning started out with another morning yoga session to the rising sun - simply wonderful -  and breakfast with crêpes à la Jim were served at the breakfast table.

the flag ceremony
As a parting gift the participants designed their own flags, to be added to the Tibetan prayer flags fluttering in the wind....

This was a wonderful weekend, thank you so much, you all! 

And for those who would like to attend this summer we have 2 more dates before August:

yoga & organic vegan cooking

Tuesday, 14.6. - Thursday, 16.4.
and another weekend of yoga & fun
Friday, 1. - Sunday, 3. July

On our web site is more information, photos and prices, or simply email us 
Hope to see you here
this summer!

EXTRA - Thursday morning yoga starting 2. June

It's this time of year again... time for outdoor yoga at La Vudèle! Starting next Thursday, 2. June, at 10h we will take our morning practice to the garden behind the house, to greet the rising sun and enjoy a lovely morning practice.

Each week there is 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 1900m, serves 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. 

No reservation is required, mats are provided, € 10 per person participatory fee.

Namasté and welcome to everyone who will join this summer!