While the Countess lounges about Provence, stepping on oregano while sipping rose in the sun, the Duchess must make do with a literary journey across the pond, which she is achieving quite successfully with "The House in France" by Gully Wells. Ms. Wells, an editor and writer for Conde Nast Travel, spent summers with her mother, Dee Wells, and stepfather, the famed British philosopher Freddie Ayer, at her family's home La Migoua, a house nestled in a hamlet between Toulon and Marseille. The memoir is an enchanting coming-of-age story, and truly a fantastic summer read.
But to borrow from The Beach Boys, wouldn't it be nice to have a chateau of one's own? Particularly when they look like this and conjure thoughts of afternoon naps in the sun, countless terrines, and gobs of wine . . .
Chateau de Varenne (10 km from Avignon)
Interior at Chateau de Rochegude
Chateau Miraval (the Pitt-Jolie vineyard)
Well, we are in luck. Christie's International Real Estate has a tidy little listing, the Chateau de Sannes, which insiders report (Christie's has not released the price) is going for about $35 million. This 17th century beauty sits on 136 acres in the rolling hills of Provence. What's not to love?