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Press Release - Virtuoso Life November 2019

Officially, France has only one national language. But considering how inextricably food and wine are tied to the country’s identity, gastronomy ranks a close second. While most cultures’ culinary heritage is integral to their characters, few have been as revered, both at home and abroad, as the amalgam of dishes and techniques that make up the French food vernacular.

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DEPARTURES - A villa in Provence like no other. March 27.2013

We were headed to paradise. I was sure of it. After months of painstaking research, we booked a “villa” in Provence touting impeccable grounds and state-of-the-art amenities. The house, we were told, was an easy five minutes from Rognonas, a “charming” village close to Avignon. What we actually found was a dilapidated farmhouse with dark, dank bedrooms and decrepit pool and tennis areas. The bathrooms—so lovely in the photos—were nauseating (rusted hardware, smelly toilets, threadbare towels). And our “charming” village was boarded up as if it were still reeling from a World War II bomb raid.

We had been duped.

I swiftly contacted a Marseille-based travel concierge specializing in prestige properties in southern France. Within 25 minutes, the efficient Edwige Chevallier of We Travel France (33-4/42-03-15-82; reserved rooms at Villa Baulieu, a just-opened luxury bed-and-breakfast nestled within a 2,000-year-old vineyard near Aix-en-Provence.

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