14 February, 2010

The Duchess Retreats . . .

Cassis, Provence

From this . . .

to not quite this . . .
in a single day.

The Duchess is still acclimating to her new fringe, and while she does so, is decamping for the chilly East Coast for a couple of weeks, just long enough to get fully Seberg blonde. It is certain to be dreadfully cold for la californienne. Fortunately there is plenty of downtime en route, especially since the Duchess's traveling partner mysteriously obtained an upgrade between check-in and boarding. So the Duchess will close her eyes and slip away to a warmer, sunnier clime where the lavender grows and the drivers are even more homicidal than they are in Los Angeles.

Wherever could this be, you wonder? Why, France, bien sur!

(Garden View from the Duchess's hotel, Les Roches Blanches)

In May the Duchess managed a little getaway to the remote, charming fishing village of Cassis in Provence to visit the King and Queen. A leisurely taxi ride (and a handful of kilometers) away from the Marseille airport (M Jacques will gladly meet you there) sits Cassis, wedged into cliffs (or "calanques") high above the Mediterranean.

(Pool View at Les Roches Blanches)

Precious Monsieur Jacques delivered the Duchess safely to her welcoming hotel, Les Roches Blanches ("The White Rocks"). Les Roches Blanches serves a delicious breakfast each morning on its terrace, replete with confused filles de dejeuner and bemused garcons, not to mention plenty of chocolate croissants (calorically counterbalanced by copious amounts of Gitanes). The hotel staff are lovely and very accommodating should one need a midnight snack of warm cheese with butter or in the event of an ant infestation (common problem in the countryside).

(Interior Bar at Les Roches Blanches -- a necessity!)

Cassis is home to its very own provincial wineries that turn out quite delectable blends. Although sometimes mistaken as the home of creme de cassis, white wines predominate as the local libation. Very nice with one's daily dose of le poisson.

(Dining Terrace at Les Roches Blanches)

Friends come to visit for afternoon coffee on the terrace. Surely you've been sunning all midi on the white rocks overlooking the water and could use some rehydration?

(Views from Breakfast at Les Roches Blanches)

There is much to do in bustling Cassis. One may take a boat ride from the harbor . . .

(Views from a boat in the harbor at Cassis)

through the calanques.

One may sunbathe.

For variety, one may take a longer boat ride from the harbor . . .

through the calanques.

Should the calanques grow boring, one may always nap, read the International Herald Tribune (sold at not one but two newsstands in town!), or visit the market for cherries.

Quite refreshing. If only the Duchess had more time to spend with the King and Queen! That would be a right royal (re)treat.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely! When I close my eyes, I also go somewhere far, far away - in the former colonies of the Orient. I am just a mad dog but not an English(wo)man going out in the mid-day sun in the tropics. Different strokes for different folks I suppose. So when will you glow with me on one of those retreats?



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