So, having survived (quite well) the trip South, I went to join my unknown hosts and other guests at “Moutas”, the “mas”, or stone house, in Nyons, France.
This is a cooking school, with two weekly sessions in June, and another two in September, hosted and run by Anne and David Reinauer. Take a look atFrench Cooking Classes. I can’t recommend it highly enough! Anne and David, along with chef Daniel Bonnot, have come up with a week of the highest quality in every way. The “mas” is lovely: with views of Mont Ventoux, it is comfortable and yet not “luxurious” (i.e. don’t expect air conditioning…), the bedrooms are more than comfortable , the linens hang out on the line every day, the smell of lavender is everywhere, the wine is brought back in huge gallon/liter jugs every week, the mountain fed small pool is so refreshing, the day trips to vineyards, goat cheese artisanal farms, the lavender factory are fascinating and, of course, the food is unbelievable! But I think more than anything it is the warmth and hospitality of the hosts themselves that make this so unforgettable. It is truly a week I will NEVER forget and one that served as the best reintroduction to “la vie francaise”.
I’ve kept in touch with Anne and David and went back once to visit (off season).
Here are some pictures, beginning with the cookbook containing the recipes we made during the week, showing the entrance to Moutas on the cover:
Entrance to Moutas.
View as you approach Moutas.
Flowers at dinner.
View from the terrace: Mont Ventoux
The swimming hole!