I’m sure y’awll thought I’d gone… perished… gone up in smoke… Eh non! I’m back…
To briefly update: my B&B had become a victim of its own success. We were full every day with people who booked months ahead and who often adjusted their itinerary to ‘fit us in’. A huge compliment I realise, and I thank you sincerely for your trust and loyalty.
How could I ever forget our breakfasts together (some of which could take up to 3 hours) – scintillating conversations that sparked around the table? The many friendships that persist and plans that are being made to meet up again soon? (Now you obviously want to know if you were among my favourite clients: eh bein oui, – OF COURSE you were!)
But whilst I adored looking after all my fab fab clients, and even enjoyed the daily ironing sessions which allowed time for contemplation and philosophical musings, in the end too much time was taken up by running the B&B, leaving little or no opportunity for painting, writing, or gathering inspiration.. Even the cookery and art courses had to take second place – although I did manage to give at least five each year (see http://www.petracarter.com/courses.html
So, my beloved home and B&B was sold in July 2013 – to Jon and Mel Alport whom I am certain have the fearlessness, the soul and the determination to continue the tradition of La Souqueto. I wish them the very best that their new life can offer them. They too have become friends in the two months we’ve worked together.
What now? Well, I bought an apartment in Uzes not far from the famous Pont du Gard near Avignon – as romantic and beautiful a place as you’ve ever seen – much of it Roman. If you’ve ever seen Pagnol’s epic film Jean de Florette (forerunner to Manon des Sources) you may remember the arches underneath which Ugolin sold his first carnations. These arches are directly underneath my apartment (see picture) where now many interesting little restaurants feature all year around.
So what else is imminent? Not a B&B this time but a cookery school in a beautiful 15th century building with vaulted ceilings – which I have tentatively named Le Pistou. It’s not quite mine yet – I am still negotiating – but here are some photos to give you a flavour of what is to come.
Meanwhile I am busy finding tradesmen to restore both places.
It won’t be quick but I expect to open late summer/autumn 2013.
Meanwhile, I shall work at updating my website and try writing some of those village stories of the last 10 years – they are firmly in my head and must be put on paper… So keep an eye on the blog – or better still subscribe and you’ll hear when something gets published.
Hope to see you soon…