A revolution of sorts is happening within French cuisine. Yes, there’s always been the Julia Childs regime and her love affair with lashings of butter and beef in chunky bourguignon style – these hearty french dinner recipes made her a household name across the world. Not-so-surprisingly though, she famously had an unhealthy regard for health food.
Recently there’s been an explosion of popularity in “clean food” cuisine – recipes using unprocessed fresh food. The warmer areas of France – Provence and the Côte d’Azur, as well as the cosmopolitan cafés of Paris, are creating their own eat-clean recipes – healthy takes on Salad Niçoise, fresh herb loaded bouillabaisse etc. Though they still serve dollops of the most important french ingredient, the “Joie de vivre” of eating.
One of our favourite quotes from Julia Childs is “you must have disciple to have fun”, which loosely translates as “enjoy food (and everything) in moderation” – the main Naturopathic principle for wellness. And now there’s the ultimate way to enjoy this – staying in a traditional Provençal villa with facilities that double as a venue for both cooking and wellness retreats. With the recent sale and conversion of Julia Childs’ famous kitchen and home “La Pitchoune”(meaning “the little thing”), vacation villas in Provence have never been more popular to hire for cooking retreats. An hour or so away, there’s a “grande” version – the same recipe of accommodation with gorgeous kitchen, though Villa Tropez also has a dedicated wellness and yoga retreat facility, and in super-sized proportions – being a six bedroom retreat on one acre, with facilities for 15 persons. It’s the perfect private vacation rental and venue for cooking retreats and yoga holidays.
Villa Tropez has one of the most inspiring kitchens in the whole Provence region – it’s used as the setting for many a cookbook photo shoot and film location. The gorgeous traditional outdoor pizza oven, Rangemaster five hob stove and oven, gas BBQ, swim up pool bar, and a brand new summer kitchenette on the olive grove terrace, are all framed by the stunning landscape and vistas. Cooking classes are held in rooms and terraces with panoramic views, and there’s gadgets for many types of cuisine, whether it’s potato gratin, gazpacho or courgetti – the popular eat-clean recipe of raw courgette spirooli pasta.
With several choices of dining areas inside and out, all seating up to 15, there’s plenty of room to hold a cooking retreat for larger groups in all seasons. Up to 14 guests and a teacher have the choice of staying in one of the six Provence chic luxe bedrooms with five bathrooms, with options for twin, double and triple/quad bedroom share. See the flexible accommodation layout here.
With a dedicated wellness pavilion and yoga deck on the expansive grounds, together these blend to make the perfect recipe for the ultimate Provence yoga and cooking retreat. For chefs who also love yoga, and love the idea of combining the two, this is the perfect rustic luxury villa as a venue hire for a group yoga and cooking retreat center.
Within Villa Tropez’s gardens alone you’ll find an olive grove, figs, apricots, lavender, rosemary, mint, sage, passionfruit, blackberries, prickly pear fruit and bayleaf. Walk out the front gates and there’s rolling hills of Provençal vineyards, vegetable fields and ancient oak forests, for truffle hunting and foraging for seasonal berries and chestnuts.
The serene grounds of Villa Tropez serve up flavours of wellness and culinary inspiration, yet the location is close to the famous restaurants in Saint Tropez, and culinary schools in Grasse, Nice and Cannes.
The sought after Saint Tropez hills location and abundance of gourmet and nature excursions close by makes Villa Tropez a highly popular destination, and super easy for organisers to promote their cooking retreat and/or yoga holiday itinerary. For example, an upcoming wellness and food themed retreat this Spring offers six days of fitness, yoga and nutrition classes. Details can be found here.
And for those seeking a private villa vacation, here’s a taste of what you’ll experience, with an article by guests who have stayed at Villa Tropez five years in a row. They love relaxing into the local lifestyle and cooking for weeks at a time, using foraged ingredients to integrate the local terroir into their culinary creations. They say their stay always encourages their inner Master Chef to come out … and that they believe they are channelling Julia Childs whilst in the kitchen! The full story can be found here.