The bestselling, much-loved classic account of an English couple enjoying the fruits of French rural living - an irresistible feast of humour and heart.
Peter Mayle and his wife did what most of us only imagine doing when they made their long-cherished dream of a life abroad a reality: throwing caution to the wind, they bought a glorious two hundred year-old farmhouse in the Lubéron Valley and began a new life.
In a year that begins with a marathon lunch and continues with a host of gastronomic delights, they also survive the unexpected and often hilarious curiosities of rural life. From mastering the local accent and enduring invasion by bumbling builders, to discovering the finer points of boules and goat-racing, all the earthy pleasures of Provençal life are conjured up in this enchanting portrait.
'One of the most successful travel books of all time... Mayle created a new travel genre' Guardian
Delightful' Washington Post
'Engaging, funny and richly appreciative' New York Times Book Review
'Stylish, witty, delightfully readable' Sunday Times
'I really loved this book' Julia Child
The author describes his first 12 months in Provence, after he and his wife have abandoned England for an 18th-century farmhouse in the Luberon Mountains. Throwing themselves into the life of this rural region, they master the local customs, gain partial understanding of their neighbors' patois, overcome the frustrations of French bureaucracy, and learn to deal with workmen who operate on the idiosyncratic Provencal sense of time. In nimble prose, Mayle, columnist for GQ , captures the humorous aspects of visits to markets, vineyards and goat races, and hunting for mushrooms. Even donating blood is an occasion for fun. The Provencal cuisine is Mayle's leitmotif, however. He opens with an account of a memorable New Year's lunch, ends with an appreciation of an impromptu Christmas dinner, and describes just about every meal eaten during the months in between. His adventures, gastronomic and otherwise, are thoroughly entertaining. Illustrations not seen by PW.