What Our Clients Have Said
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
"Julie is the Wonder Woman of Provence..."
"You won't find anyone better, more knowledgable, funny, hard working, caring, creative, resourceful, generous and responsive..."
My family and I just returned from the most fun, interesting, relaxing, inspiring trip to Provence. One of our best trips ever. Five months ago I was daunted by the prospect of planning this trip, which was to celebrate my husband's 50th birthday. Do we rent a villa? Where? What if it's not great? Or do we stay in hotels? What towns should we stay in? The internet is overwhelming and I was getting nowhere - even though I had planned many trips over the years, this one was proving a big challenge. Then I had the great fortune of meeting Julie. Really, I never meet people like Julie. You won't find anyone better, more knowledgable, funny, hard working, caring, creative, resourceful, generous and responsive. It's taken me a week to write this recommendation because there are so many great things I have to say about Julie that I could write five paragraphs. Instead, why not call call or email me. Or, just hire Julie. She'll be the best investment you'll make in your trip.’’--Ross, California
"Huge shout-out to Julie -- for both her travel planning services and her blog, Provence Post. While we've been to Provence many times, our most recent trip (with three teenagers) was enhanced by Julie's meticulous attention to detail, great suggestions, network of resources, expert planning and deep knowledge of the unique features of the area. She really listened to what each of us wanted and helped us find the perfect mix of food, wine, local customs (such as bull festivals in St Remy), running trails, hikes, kayak adventures, an unforgettable special dinner with a chef, history, markets, accommodations and charm. Julie also offers "a la carte" experiences via the Provence Post that are unique and personal. Not to mention, she's absolutely delightful to work with and clearly well-respected by her vast network of resources. It felt like we were planning the trip with an old friend who knew us and the area!"--Boston
"Julie is an amazing find! She is a cornucopia of connections and great ideas that reflect her many years of living in Provence. Julie has cultivated an exquisite network of people who love what they do and love sharing it with us lucky visitors. Recently a friend and I stayed in a beautiful villa in St. Remy de Provence (called "Provence Paradise"), thanks to Julie. In the course of a week, we toured Arles, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Les Baux, the Luberon and numerous markets. We enjoyed fantastic gourmet meals, including a gourmet food tour in Aix. (Magnifique!) All of these wonderful experiences were orchestrated by Julie. She is efficient, available and attentive and always was able to steer us in the right direction. We knew that no matter what the need, Julie was there for us. We enjoyed an amazing week in Provence. Julie, merci mille fois!!''--New York City
Pam Mercer Owner, TuscanyTours.com
"I'm an American travel agent and tour operator living in Tuscany...an expert on Italian travel. So when my clients asked me to design a trip for them to Provence, I hired Julie to help me arrange it. Then, another group of clients also asked me to plan a Provence tour for them as well. I couldn't have done this without Julie's help. Her knowledge, experience and contacts are widespread and wonderful. She knows the best hotels, restaurants, chefs, shops, vineyards, historic sites, guides--at all price ranges. She also knows interesting locals and out of the way places, providing us with experiences that typical tourists would never have. Her insider tips make all the difference and have saved me an enormous amount of time. Julie is a wordsmith extraordinaire and the travel brochures she created for us are extremely inviting and well written. I plan to work with Julie for years to come."
"What an amazing service Julie provides! I was delighted to have stumbled upon her website whilst planning our upcoming holiday to France. Organising accommodation in an unfamiliar region can be a daunting prospect so it was wonderful to be able to find such a knowledgable courteous and friendly person. Julie was quite extraordinary assisting with our plans - nothing was too much trouble! I was most impressed by not only the array of excellent options she presented but the speed and efficiency with which she responded to my request. Julie clearly invests a lot of time developing contacts and relationships in the region and I would recommend her services to anyone who wants an experienced and savvy hand sourcing quality accommodation and advice.''--Melbourne, Australia.
David & Lori Wilson
"Do yourself a favor....If you are hunting for help in planning a trip to Provence, look no further than Julie. We just spent 10 days in Provence and area, and I can tell you first-hand that Julie Mautner is the go-to expert on Provence. We shared some great emails and phone conversations and her ideas were all outstanding. This included the recent Transhumance fete in St Remy which was a total hoot, as described on her blog. I mean c'mon, what's not to love about watching 5000 sheep stampeding past you in a charming village square??!! Unfortunately we did not have to chance to meet up face to face, but we will certainly be back to France and hopefully can meet Julie next time. She has the energy, passion, ideas, and of course, the bible on where to eat. Here is a person who has found her calling and continues to tirelessly build her knowledge of the area while having complete understanding on the 'art of lunch'. A bientot Julie--miss you already girl!'' --Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Naomi & Marty Rayman
"Julie had me at Bonjour! What fun it is to contemplate a trip to Provence. But I had no idea that the planning would be as enjoyable and productive as it turned out to be. I thought long and hard about how to describe to Julie my husband and my ideal plans for our holiday; Julie masterfully asked a few questions to fine tune our needs and wants, and voila we were able to get the details right. After several emails, Julie then proposed that we speak by phone to look more closely at our itinerary. With maps in front of us, separated by a few thousand miles, it was as if she was my new best friend and we were easily and comfortably and most important, capably, discussing our routes, our hotels, and our plans for the region. The very best part of working with Julie is that she suggests so many things to do and places to visit that I never thought or heard of. My husband and I hope we aren't wearing out our welcome by our constant emails. But honestly, reading her responses to our questions are the highlight of my day!"--Kentfield, California
Patti and Bob Hoffman
“First and foremost for us was the importance of having a trip planner with a broad base of knowledge but also the ability to quickly grasp of "who" we are, what we wanted to do on this trip and what we could actually do. There were so many things to consider! But Julie’s ability to quickly understand that she was dealing with neophytes who were interested in many things, but with limited time--and who were physically in the "elder" category-- was extraordinary. She offered us a fantastic range of activities, in her custom-designed trip planner as well as in-depth information by phone and email about the places she thought we could and should visit. In no time, Bob and I felt like we had a good friend who understood us completely. She recommended restaurants she liked and even what to eat at them. She took a very personal approach to our trip. She knew just the right hotels for us, taking into consideration my physical limitations, and even went to check-out a hotel room she wasn't sure about. That's who she is. Julie knows wonderful tour guides who can and will do everything for you, from picking you up at the airport to sitting over coffee with you in the morning revising your daily tour plan when you wake up a bit tired. She draws those kinds of considerate, smart, energetic people into her cadre of resources and she will make those connections and arrangements for you too. Julie took a job that I was not looking forward to doing, with my little knowledge of Provence, and made both the planning and the trip a great experience we'll never forget. By the time we arrived in Provence, Julie seemed like family. Now that the trip is over, rereading all the info and suggestions Julie made prior to our trip brings back my fondness for her and her sense of humor – her personality shines forth on every page. She made the whole experience so much more than another tourist tour of Provence!”--Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Mr. & Mrs. R & J Fishman
“There have been studies that show that planning a trip and anticipating it can be just as pleasurable as the trip itself. I think those people had you planning their trips!
We knew that we wanted to visit Provence…but that was all we knew. Julie, your idea to use St. Remy as our “home base” was perfect. Driving into St. Remy, we immediately were struck by its charm: the beautiful oak trees lining the road, the cobble stone streets, the dirt roads on our way to the hotel. The small-town feel gave us the sense that we were getting to know the area, not just visiting for a mere week! I cannot rave enough about our hotel..we wished we could stay forever! The property was GORGEOUS, the staff so professional and helpful, the restaurant so delicious! We ate there two nights in a row because we didn’t want to miss a night there! It was so romantic and peaceful.
We did a full day in the Luberon, using the route you mapped out for us and it was amazing. The restaurant you sent us to for lunch was perfect…exactly what I dreamed about when I first thought of Provence! The setting was beautiful and the food was so simple and fresh…but special. We sat outside overlooking the vineyard and you were right…the rosé tasted even better because we were eating among the vines that grew the grapes!
Our hotel in Aix was also very beautiful and so much fun. Very different from our hotel in St. Remy and it was great to have two different experiences. Sophie the owner took wonderful care of us, helping us with parking, greeting us with lemonade, maps and offers to make dinner reservations for us at her favorite spots. * The private guide you recommended for us and the day you arranged in Cassis…well it was exceptional, perfect, we loved it! He was such a pleasure to be with--so pleasant and positive, easy going and knowledgeable. Really loved being with him. He picked us up in Aix and we had a great lunch together by the port in Cassis, then we took a little boat and explored the Calanques. And we drove back to Aix through Marseille, which was fun and interesting. I was so happy we decided to do this day with this guide!
I could go on and on…this trip was everything we dreamed of and more. You were so unbelievably patient with us, answering my millions of questions, picking great restaurants, just being so helpful from beginning to end. There’s simply no way we could have ever planned this trip on our own. Thank you, thank you, thank you! * I printed out and clipped together your trip planner in a nice little packet before I left and it’s now stained and earmarked and all beaten up…a wonderful souvenir. We simply can’t wait to come back to Provence…we see now why you went there and never left. We’re in love!”—New York City
"Julie is so wonderful to work with! She responds to any and all inquiries promptly and has really good suggestions. She was easy and fun to work with while we were planning our trip. We just spent a couple of weeks in Provence and Julie arranged some terrific activities for us. My favorite was the Cooking Class at the Market Hall in Avignon. I have no hesitation in recommending her services to anyone planning a trip to Provence."-- Bend OR, May 2014
"When I was planning this trip for a friends group of ten, I thought I could handle all the details myself. Not even close! As a trip leader you plan and then cross your fingers. This was the first trip where I felt everything was in order, thanks in large part to Julie.
"I had two specific needs for the group that I was having trouble arranging. One being a cooking class and the other an Avignon city tour with lunch. And to complicate matters, the cooking class was only a partial group of five. Julie to the rescue. She provided 6 different cooking class options, with multiple options for each including days of the week, size, timing, etc. It worked out fantastic.
"For the Avignon tour and lunch we got a three hour city morning tour and a fantastic lunch at Les Halles with all kinds of imaginative foods.
"Bravo to Julie! Both events turned into highlights for the week.
"Thanks again Julie for your active role in making everyone’s Provence experience so memorable!"--Edmunds, Washington, June 2014
"Julie was extremely helpful in what can be an overwhelming process. There are so many wineries to pick from, so having the help of someone like Julie makes a world of difference. Through her, met with a wine expert who taught us a great deal and provided one of our best tasting experiences in his wine cave. I highly recommend consulting with Julie to make the most out of your vacation."-- Los Angeles, May 2014
"Begin a a docent at a museum in Salem, Massachusetts has made me an admirer of those who know their community, its sites as well as its history, culture and can do it all in a relaxed manner. Well, your guide Philippe was a treasure! The whole package! He met us at the hospital St. Paul where Van Gogh sought refuge; we saw the ruins at Glanum. Then because we had trouble figuring out how to drive to Arles, he calmly packed us in his car and he drove to Arles and then back afterwards! I must say, we have never seen a better parking job in our lives! He navigated us through the old city seeing the amazing Roman ruins, we chatted in a cafe catching a cold drink like old friends. We talked politics, health care, etc. Being with Philippe was like having a good friend who lives in another country and was showing us the sites. As old friends do, we bumped into him another day in St. Remy! Wow!!!!
"Another day, we met your guide Robert in a cafe at the Cours Mirabeau in Aix. He made sure we knew where to park and where to meet. He was charming and chatty and we saw his Aix, bumping into other friends in galleries, on the street, wherever! I truly enjoyed seeing the art in the locations that were formerly churches: Modern art, 18th century paintings, sculpture as well as cities of dolls. He knew everyone and everyone knew him! We loved hearing about his background and the music and art world. What a gentleman! We had the most lovely day and feel we’ve know him forever!
"Thank you so very much! You have been super at connecting us with these two gentlemen who will tour us through areas we have never been to before! Although I am not the expert on internet travel, your Provence Post has been very helpful!"--Paula & Steven Mollov, Guy & Leslie Marchesseault, July 2014.
Judy and Rodney Acker
"We were amazed at everything Julie did for us before and during our time in Provence. I can’t imagine the stress and computer hours she saved me! From booking our fabulous hotel, scheduling our excellent guide for us, arranging our transfers and car rental, making our dinner reservations at the most delicious spots, helping us plan our time efficiently and patiently answering all of our questions - to keeping us laughing with her hilarious sense of humor - it was a fantastic experience! Her direction made it possible for us to do so much more than we could have done on our own. She’s a fun, creative person and her love for Provence is contagious. We look forward to returning - with Julie's help, of course!"--Dallas, Texas, September, 2014
The baking/pastry class you arranged for us was wonderful! We had a GREAT time! Laughed and learned a lot. I would suggest it to ANYONE. Olivier was dashing and a patient teacher. I am hoping to try my new knowledge at home, soon! Your translator Joanna was very tolerant of all of our menopausal humor……she laughed right along with us and we made Olivier blush a few times! Thank you again for all of the work on making this happen."-- Dallas, Texas, September, 2014
''THANK YOU so much for everything that you did for us...from giving us insight into Provence during our early planning, to helping direct us to a base hotel, to connecting us with two great knowledgeable guides (Philippe and Kelly), and sharing all of your favorite places to visit and restaurants. It shaved so much time off of our planning and allowed us to fully enjoy our limited time in Provence. We saw and experienced so much and it was mostly thanks to your advice. St. Remy was the perfect base and a charming town with so much to offer. We miss it already! But each village was unique and the food at the most-casual restaurants was as delicious as that from the most posh that we visited. We loved the market at L'Isle Sur la Sorgue...and the day touring the Luberon was wonderful as it gave us a high-level view of the differences between the quaint villages. I’m also really glad we got to see Lacoste, which we may not have visited without Philippe. He was a Godsend and touring with him was wonderful! While knowing French is not required to travel in Provence, it certainly was helpful that Philippe could help us communicate in restaurants, with shop keepers and at the market. He really became a friend. I wouldn’t have missed anything we saw. So thank you for everything you did to help make our first trip to Provence unforgettable. I’ll definitely share your contact info with friends or family traveling to Provence. And, we’ll be in touch before our next trip...I think we will rent a villa and give that experience a try. We loved the area and cannot wait to return!''--Chicago
"I found Julie's site while researching my short 5 day trip to the South of France. She replied almost immediately to my cry for help. I did not have a clue on how to maximize my stay. We e-mailed each other back and forth for weeks until I knew exactly what my wife and I were going to do. She was a cornucopia of knowledge on Provence and the South of France. She even ended up booking my hotel for me. She also provided names and phone numbers of biking companies and personal guides. We took advantage of the bike tour and rented bikes in Rousillion. They have awesome trails through Luberon and the lavender fields. I would highly recommend this if you are a cycling enthusiast. And Julie was like having your own personal travel agent. She spent a lot of her precious time and effort helping me. I would highly highly recommend using Julie if you are planning a trip to Provence and the South of France."--Naperville, Illinois
Jan and Gary Beeman
In Provence, Gary and I had the most memorable trip we have ever experienced through your guidance. I can’t think of anything better. You are the best we have ever found. --Dallas, September 2013
Charles Carey & Doug Schoettle
"After reading so many glowing endorsements from satisfied clients on your blog, we were persuaded to reach out. At the time, we were attempting to plan our trip to Provence & the Côte d'Azur but were totally overwhelmed by the vast amount of information on the internet. None of it made sense to us and we knew we needed help! And there you were offering a lifeline and you brought clarity and order to the whole process.
"We had a fabulous vacation in France in no small part due to your hands on advice and printed guides (our Bible for the Côte d'Azur and Provence). We had other guide books but without your guidance we would have missed so much. It was helpful having suggested daily itineraries and we dined at as many of your recommended eateries as possible (with disastrous effect on the waistline).
"We experienced so much but feel we've had only "une amuse bouche" and can't wait to return (with improved French) and delve deeper. We returned clutching our now well-worn binder with your guides to be used for future trips. We anticipate taking things at a slower clip next time with time to shop the markets and cook and also paint (I managed only a few watercolor sketches this time).
"We're now on our way home to Harbour Island and wanted to reach out to you with a great big THANK YOU!"-- New York City & Harbour Island, Bahamas, May 2014
Brian and Cathy Hill
"Provence was a life long dream trip for my wife and I. We've been to France multiple times but Provence with its size and number of towns and villages seemed a little overwhelming to navigate and select the 'right' place for our size family.
"We contacted Julie through an article she wrote for France magazine. Shortly thereafter we discovered her blog ProvencePost.com. St. Remy was on our list and Julie seemed to be a local expert.
"At that time, we had no idea the treasure trove we had discovered. Julie listened, suggested and informed. She then graced us with reams of information weeks before our travel of helpful tips. The tips included the 'not to be missed' and the 'to be skipped' as well as so many recommendations on parking, eating and independent and fun things for our family and four kids (ages 4-17).
"We are seasoned travelers and I worked in the travel industry for over a decade. Having said that, Julie's references and advice took our trip from special to spectacular. She was spot on in every town/city we ventured to and made our time so worthwhile. Because of her, we didn't waste time wondering where to park, shop or eat. I marveled at her detailed information.
"She also offered to review our final list of rental homes. This gave us a wonderful peace of mind as we landed in this wonderful destination. The house, the owner, and the location were perfect.
"Julie even arranged to have a great driver pick us up at the airport in a car he rented for us. He left the car with us for the week, then used it to drive us to the train station on departure day and handled the return. Super convenient...we loved him!
"We would HIGHLY recommend Julie to the first time or seasoned traveler. In our personal rating book, we award Julie the highest star available for planning, suggestions and local concierge service!
"We'll return to Provence very soon as it was so familiar to us and we were warmly welcomed. The success of this trip was largely due to Julie's flavor added to the mix. Merci milles fois!” --Chicago, June 2014
"While looking for a hotel in Provence this summer (July, 2014) I had the magnificent good fortune to stumble on Julie's blog -- what a wealth of true "inside" tips, ideas and all the secrets of Provence from a super knowledgable guide. I was going to be alone in the region for a few days while my husband was cycling with a group so I sent Julie an email asking if she could make any suggestions....WOW, Julie treated me like a best friend! Her responsiveness, suggestions and most of all good humor and guiding hand were second to none! I have traveled extensively and felt so well cared for. Her suggestions were completely spot on; from the hotel to the restaurants to the excursions, all were things I would never have found myself, but exactly what I wanted! Julie was reading my mind and seemed to know exactly how to provide the perfect Provence experience ! I don't know how she does it, I sent her a text while looking for a lunch spot one day and she texted right back with the perfect restaurant! Every interaction with her was like that - quick, caring and intuitive. She knows Provence and she knows how to deliver the best experience for her travelers. I am so happy I emailed Julie -- she was my guide, friend and secret companion who made me laugh, enjoy and get the most from my trip. She's worth her weight in gold and a true genius who has found her calling and thankfully shares it with all of us!"--Montecito, California, July, 2014
I wanted to let you know how very pleased we are with the quality of service your company provides! We sincerely appreciate your quick responsiveness and the way you conduct business. You have truly made what could be a nerve wracking experience into a fun and enjoyable time. Your great sense of humor and attention to detail have made the planning of our trip a stress free time! You were able to suggest itineraries that we wouldn't have even thought of. We could never have found a photographer on our own and I am not sure we would have even thought of this detail. We have recommended you and your company to others because of our satisfaction with your service. Again, thank you so much!!-- Blountville, Tennessee, June 2015
We just returned from our lovely 4 days in Provence, our first time to visit. Our trip was so fabulous and I can’t tell you how helpful the information was you gave us! It saved us so much time knowing we could rely on the details and advice you gave us on how, when, and where to spend our time.
While I had guide books that I had studied and brought, there was no comparison to the activities, specific shopping, and the all around detailed information you gave us about markets and the areas in general. You really gave us the inside scoop which couldn’t be found in any guide book or even at the tourists office. Even with the short 4 days we had, we felt like we conquered provence quite efficiently and got to understand the beauty and spirit of the region!
After seeing Provence, we felt like the best choice we made was to stay in St. Remy. We were considering Avignon but after visiting both we were thrilled we had chosen St. Remy. There was no comparison! It was lovely and exactly what we wanted. Less touristy than Avignon and more quaint and charming....just what we were looking for.
Again, thank you! You truly helped us have an extrememly successful vacation! And of course we look forward to returning again sometime very soon! - -Westlake Village, California, June 2015
Caroline and Ellen Shifflett
I love planning and organizing trips but I found it particularly difficult to narrow down our itinerary for this region within France. There was seemingly so much to see and do, I wanted that insiders' guide and local secrets that you don't get in a Rick Steves book. I was so happy to find Julie of The Provence Post. She was so extremely helpful, pointing us in the right direction with hotel suggestions, restaurants, day-trips, and daily activities (she coordinated our cooking class and guided Luberon tour). Beyond her thoughtful emails and insider info, she was a gem in person. We had the pleasure of having her join us for our cooking class, and even ended up running in to her around town later in the weekend, during which she introduced us to the local wine merchant, it's like we were locals by the time we left! If you are planning a trip to Provence or Southern France I would HIGHLY recommend working with Julie. She is capable of planning any trip perfectly catered to your personal taste and desires!--New York City and St. Helena, California, May 2015
John and Linda Jamrozy
Our first time in France was all that we had hoped for and much more! Julie helped our group of 10 with everything from transportation to experiences that will stay with us forever. Her knowledge of the area we visited was extremely helpful and informative. She made the experience boutique in every way and yet fit our price point. Her service is excellent!--Brookfield, Illinois, September 2015
Boris and Teena Metternich
I just wanted to write a quick note to express my gratitude for all your help and your expertise in helping us find the perfect villa in Provence. I should also acknowledge that this was no ordinary task as we are quite a large group (25+) with quite particular requirements on location. It is a task that we could not have done on our own. Your knowledge of the area and extensive contacts helped turn up villas that where “unavailable” to public searches. In addition I was very impressed with your dedication to amazing customer service; visiting villas you did not personally know and reorganizing all the options in one document so we could make our final decision.
Your transparent attitude to your commission was also refreshing. You earned every penny of it!
We would confidently refer you to anyone looking for help planning at trip to the South of France!"-- New York City, June 2015
Lisa and Abby Sweeney
Just want to thank you for helping me plan such a great and memorable trip! I think it was the best trip ever. I was telling my husband that every day was something different and I would think about it and I could just dance each day! Le Petit Bijou was a beautiful house in a great location. It was nice to be able to spread out in such a lovely house. All of your drivers and guides were super and were truly willing to go out of their way to be sure we had a great time...just such a pleasure! I would love to return sometime, and when I do I will work with you. Merci Beaucoup! --Murfreesboro, Tennessee, July 2015
Patricia, Linda, Glenn and Jill
We've all just returned home, having shared a magical vacation. Thanks so much for all you did to make our trip to Provence so, so special! It was an altogether fabulous vacation... lots of fun and laughs and wonderful memorable experiences every day. We already miss our email chats with you leading up to the trip...and the anticipation of the lovely adventure. It was all over too quickly!
You were exceedingly patient with us and all our questions...and your guidance was spot on throughout the entire trip. Boy, you are gooood! Masterful, actually!
You gave us so much help and time, so many good recommendations for transport, activities, touring, restaurants...and so many tips without which we would never have had such a seamless, fun experience.
For example, thank you for helping us choose the gorgeous hotel Mas Valentine ...we loved it. And all the experiences you organized...
Our cooking school day at Catherine's was divine--we loved the class (and her class!), her home, her style –it was a very good choice. We all wished we could have sat all afternoon, enjoying her hospitality even longer. Her teaching style was easy to follow and she generously shared recipes and many cooking tips with us. We all took her mantra to heart: “cooking is more forgiving than people think.”
The afternoon we ventured over the mountains to Les Baux--to see the art show at the Carrieres des Lumieres--just blew us away. As if that was not enough... the drive to a magnificent vineyard on those beautiful back roads...
Our last day was glorious too! Maxime at the e-bike shop was so helpful and totally adorable. We rode down some beautiful quiet streets first, so we all could feel comfortable. Next time we’ll explore further afield...and there will be a next time! We can’t wait to come back with our husbands...they’d love all of it.
And thank you also for convincing us we were trying to do too much! We slowed down (a bit!) and had a much better time because of it. You are a real professional...just fantastic!
We’re back at home and back to real life now...but our hearts are still in Provence. It was utterly captivating. Merci et a bientot!
--Patricia Kantor (New York); Jill Diamond (Atlanta); Glenn Goldblum (Johannesburg, South Africa) and Linda Saacks (Johannesburg, South Africa.)
"We just got back from Provence last night and wanted to say a big thank you to you for helping out with our trip...for responding to all my queries, for recommending restaurants and things to do, for organizing the baking class, etc. The kids absolutely enjoyed the baking and brought home so many goodies-- it was just amazing! The Wednesday market was absolutely lovely - I can only imagine how bountiful it must be during the late spring and summer months. The best part was the people - I speak broken French and the vendors and shoppers went out of their way to help me and guide me. We have fallen in love with Provence and do hope to go back this Fall. I will be in touch with you over the summer to plan! Thank you...you really went out of your way for us!"-- Toronto, March 2014.
"Julie is a true treasure for anyone who is seeking expert guidance in planning a trip to Provence. Her depth of knowledge about the region and her astonishing resource network helped us find a comfortable rental in St. Remy de Provence, a hidden gem of a hotel in Aix-en-Provence, and a host of recommended restaurants in specific areas that we would be visiting. Working with Julie saved us countless hours poking around a myriad of Internet sites. Her website and blog are also invaluable troves of information about the region and upcoming events.
"Julie has been a true partner and friend in helping me make informed decisions about where to stay and places of interest to see. She listens carefully and will tailor her level of assistance to your specific needs, as she offers a full range of services. You can rely on Julie for prompt, courteous, and detailed responses to all your inquiries. It is a rarity to find someone in this business who is so exceptionally generous with her time and knowledge. Best of all, Julie’s love for Provence and for helping others enjoy it truly shine through every bit of assistance she renders." - -Alexandria, Virginia, June 2014
"Thank you so much Julie for being such an amazing font of info on all things Provence! It was wonderful to have your input, from the earliest planning stages of our trip to Provence right through to chatting about details once we were there. When we started planning this trip, I didn’t know where to begin in terms of where to rent a villa...I knew very little about the geography of the region. So to get a quick crash course in the geography of Provence from you...and your input on which regions might be better than others...and then to have you provide us with our own man-on-the-ground to do inspections of the villas we were considering... that was priceless! Provence is such a big region...with so much to see and do...it really seemed almost impossible to plan a holiday from the other side of the world. You managed to break it down into an understandable format, which allowed us to still make our own choices and at the same time, experience so much of what we wanted (and more) in the relatively short time we had in Provence. From our personal tour guide (we adored Philippe), to our private market tour and dinner cooked for us in our villa by the wonderful chef, to the extraordinary suggestions you made for activities we may never have been aware of otherwise...we had a blast. We were in awe of your knowledge. To simply say thank you doesn’t seem to cover it but thank you!!! Your willingness to help, phone calls before and during the trip and constant readiness to answer any queries made us feel so welcome and so much like we were part of your French family...I can’t tell you how it made our trip to Provence unforgettable. We can’t wait to return and look forward to planning our next trip with you! Meanwhile we will be recommending everyone we know who is going to Provence to get in touch in order to turn a great trip into an truly extraordinary one!''--Sydney, Australia.
"We had a great time on our Foodie Tour. The guide was very patient with our 17 year olds. I really loved visiting the goat farm. The baking class was great and we loved the B&B where it was held. St Remy reminds me of a small Napa. Loved it."--Pueblo, Colorado, June 2014
Clark Nobiletti and Laura Walker
“Julie, our trip last month was amazing. Thank you for all the recommendations! St Remy was PERFECT to explore Provence and the guide you booked for us, Seb, was the best tour guide I've ever had! His interests and our interests aligned so much that it seemed like a friend taking us through his favorite towns. If I had to pick my favorite experiences of the trip, it would have to be visiting the goat farm and dinner at the Bistro du Paradou.
“Then, down on the Cote d’Azur, we had such a good time that we spent an extra day! Our flight was moved on Sunday and we were able to push back the departure to Monday. It really was a great experience. I'd highly recommend the hotel you helped us choose. It was a great combination of everything we wanted: Right on the water, great pool, very good food, nice rooms and ambiance. After driving through Nice and visiting Monaco for a night, we couldn't have been happier with the location. Outside of the bustle of larger cities but still close enough for a trip in.
“Thank you so much for helping to make our trip amazing!”--New York City, August 2014.
Mark Horowitz & Family
"Just wanted to say thank you again for all of your advice and support planning our trip to Saint Remy.
"As you know, it was out first trip to the South of France. I'll admit my own research left me with a lot of questions, so when I found your web site, I knew I was going to get the kind of "insider travel advice" I was really looking for.
"You made everything so easy. Your first hand knowledge of the region is extraordinary, and you gave us so many great suggestions of what to do and see. What was even more invaluable, is your first-hand relationship with the people and travel associated services in the area. From hiring an amazing French chef to prepare gourmet meals...plus tour guides, bike riding guides, even a pastry making class for the kids....not to mention making me look like the smartest "Dad Travel planner" on the planet....
"Every person and company you recommended and arranged exceeded our expectations and made this vacation one we'll never forget. With your advice and guidance, we fell in love with Provence. Thank you Julie, for all you do...." -- Studio City, California, June 2014.
Catie Arndt and Pete Suffredini
"We're just back from our France trip and had an incredible time! We LOVED Provence! Thank you, thank you for all the tips as well as booking our hotels. We especially loved the cozy B&B in Aix en Provence as well as the hotel you helped us pick in Nice, where we had a great room with a balcony overlooking the sea. As for Provence, we loved the countryside! We did a great wine tour and loved our time in Aix exploring all the markets and restaurants. We went to a great restaurant that the owner of our B&B had recommended: Bistrot des Philosophes...definitely add it to your list! Thank you again for everything, we had a fantastic time!"-- New York City, October, 2014
President, Smith Travel Services
"I have been a travel consultant for well over 35 years. I have interacted with many knowledgeable colleagues in many parts of the world BUT Julie Mautner tops the list--she is my Hero. I am overwhelmed by her dedication and professionalism. She checks and rechecks every detail, is conscientious, creative, ethical. It is a total joy to work with this lovely lady, the Wonder Woman of Provence!"--Easton, Maryland.
Emery Whalen and William Marshall
Thank you so much for all of your help and recommendations and for connecting us to some very special people. We'll never forget this trip! We are very seriously considering an anniversary there, or even making a habit of it! We'll keep you posted....--New Orleans, May 2015
Ronna McNamara and Family
I just wanted to thank you once again for everything you did to help us have a wonderful vacation. The tours with Heather in Arles and with Aurelie in Avignon were fantastic and my birthday dinner (prepared by Catherine) was truly memorable (not to mention incredibly delicious). In fact, the two best meals we had during our trip were a direct result of your help. The food was my 12-year-old daughter's favorite part of the trip, so this is no small feat! She still talks about the amazing lunch of moules frites we had at Don Camillo on the waterfront in Cassis. And the birthday dinner prepared in our villa by Catherine is tied for first place with that lunch at Don Camillo. From the starters (quenelles and sun dried tomato biscotti) we were all hooked on her cooking. She followed it up with moules (finger licking good!) and a delicious main course of duck with cherry sauce accompanied by fresh vegetables and incredible mashed potatoes with lemon and olive oil. Finally the peach bavarois that she served for dessert (complete with candles and a round of "Happy Birthday" for me) was a scrumptious and not too heavy finale for a spectacular dinner. We also very much enjoyed chatting with Catherine while she cooked and served dinner. It felt so decadent to have dinner prepared for me but I enjoyed every minute!! Overall the trip was wonderful. Thank you again for everything and I hope to see you again next time we visit!
-- Ronna McNamara, Bernardsville, New Jersey, June 2015
"For the past 8 years I have been hosting wine tours with my patrons to Provence (as well as Tuscany and Catalonia). Yet with all my experience, from time-to-time am faced with a seemingly insoluble problem.
What a great resource! We met through a mutual friend and I have to say she has worked out to be the ultimate network to all things Provencal. Through her I have made instant connections that otherwise could have taken years to develop.
Julie is as easy to work with as she is smart, thoughtful, and diligent. She seems to know nearly everything — and can figure out what she doesn’t. Perhaps best of all, you can count on her to get back with you in a timely manner, very important when creating a trip.
I love her. You will too."--Butch’s Dry Dock, Holland Michigan
Thank you for all of your effort to make this trip so wonderful for us! The choice in hotels was absolutely perfect in both Avignon and Paris! We were in great locations that perfectly fit what we wanted out of the vacation! In Provence, our wine guide Sharon was wonderful...she surpassed our expectations of what we would see and do...she made the first leg of the trip so wonderful and unforgettable! Her knowledge of not only the wine, but the history of the country and the Provence area was so interesting and we learned so much! She truly turned my beer drinking husband into a wine drinker that can now actually appreciate all of the elements that go into it. And as she figured out while getting to know him, that was challenging! She was an amazing tour guide and we are forever grateful." --Dover, Delaware, July 2015
Nir Adar and Andrea Lorenzo
You could plan your trip to Provence yourself... you could choose to “crush” Provence and just show up and wing it...you could ask friends for recommendations... or Google “must do in Provence” or “10 best places to eat in Provence.” You could eavesdrop on the plane or ask your parents for suggestions from their last trip.
All of the above will most likely lead you to great places, some “must” see and some not-so-great restaurants. You will have a nice trip.
BUT if you’d like to have a worry-free, amazing trip:
You should just call Julie. Your trip then will turn into choosing best options vs. picking options out of a hat. Aside from the fact that Julie is the nicest, most direct, honest and funniest person you’ll find in this part of the world, she’s a power house of knowledge and understanding of the region. Or as we called her: “air traffic control.” When it rained, she called us and laid out an alternative plan; when we took our time in the morning and it got too late for the market, she came back with a new amazing plan; and when we had enough of French food, she set us in a Miami-style cafe for a burger and non French delights. It simply makes no sense to get entangled in a research expedition when you could receive an customized planner with all the best options, all of them current and continuously updated.
Don’t waste your time online! Spend it wisely in Provence knowing you’re in great caring hands. When we finally had to leave Provence, we woke up the next day wondering what to do--we were lost without Julie! --Briarcliff Manor, New York, June 2015
William Marshall and Emery Whalen
From the thoughtfully curated week-long itinerary to the magical ceremony itself, our wedding week could not have been more perfect-- and we have Julie to thank for this. Somewhat miraculously, Julie put together a trip that was precisely tailored to our large and diverse group's interests, including a vineyard tour with an expert sommelier, a group cooking class and market excursion, and a bike ride through the breathtaking natural and culinary highlights of the Luberon. She found the "mas" where we stayed, and she recruited the wonderful caterer who prepared our traditional Provencal wedding meal. There's little Julie didn't do, besides stand in the wedding as a bridesmaid (an obvious oversight on our part!). Her ability to find the right people and places is uncanny, and she always plans with consideration for personal interests, budget, and logistics. Planning a wedding overseas is a little scary, but relinquishing control to Julie gave us great comfort that we could be more hands-off and still trust that everything would come off beautifully.
The wedding week actually marked the first anniversary of our link with Julie: on our first trip to Provence, in 2015, she also helped arrange a spectacular week that culminated in our engagement. So it was only fitting that she was involved the wedding, too. Julie will be a an integral part of our memories of this special year and a friend forever.--New Orleans, June 2016
Amy Lightfoot and Family
We've just got back from our wine tour so I wanted to drop a quick note to say how fantastic it was. We all had such a fabulous day and my Dad was over the moon with it! He hasn't stopped saying what a great day he had.
The guide was so lovely and so informative and the picnic he made for us was just delicious.
Thank you so much for organising this for us!
My dad said it was his best birthday ever and I think at 70 that's quite an accolade! -- London, Aug 2016
Mark and Bev Vycital and Friends
When my husband & I were planning our 1 week stay in Provence we searched for several months to find guides for our specialized tours that we had in mind...but to no avail. Then we found Julie! She was able to find the perfect guides for us. She's fun, knowledgeable, responsive and easy to work with. She also gave us other ideas of things to do & see in the area. Our trip to Provence was fantastic because of Julie's help. If you are looking for assistance in planning your stay in Provence, look no further--Julie will make your stay very memorable!!!--Clarkesville, Georgia, September 2015
Jeff and Raquel Sowa
I wanted to follow up regarding our bike tour with Greg, Thank you so much for recommending him. We had such a great time! Our stops at the olive mill, the winery and lunch were perfect locations, and so were the route and other stops along the way. We bought some things and Greg was able to carry them for us, which was very helpful. He was easy to talk to and patient with me, as I am at a different cycling level than he and my husband. Jeff and I felt at ease and enjoyed the tour very much. This bike tour made our trip so much more memorable and enjoyable. Thanks again!" --Madison, New Jersey, July 2015
Beth Green and Family
Our stay in Provence exceeded all expectations!
The villa you found for us was charming, rustic, and perfect for our group. It was so much better than the pictures on the website (as you told us after your visit). The multiple outdoor spaces were well utilized for coffee, wine and star gazing, and as promised the house was quite cool despite temperatures in the 90's. Everything was super comfortable: homey, rustic and incredibly picturesque. The location was amazing too. Simply fantastic!
Also, we took you up on several recommendations, including visiting the tasting room in Chateauneuf du Papes (another trip highlight) for a private tasting; kayaking at the Pont du Gard; visiting the olive oil mill; and the boat trip to see the Calanques at the end of a lovely seaside day in Cassis.
We mostly cooked in the wonderful summer kitchen in the house, but enjoyed two great dinners in the village of Eygalieres.
Also, the bistro Chez Denise that you recommended in Paris was fantastic -- another trip highlight -- and a highlight of meal among many great ones. It was a typical bistro setting, with charming waiters, very old school menu but everything, even the most simple dishes, was delicious. We shocked and, I think, amused the waiter by ordering the entire dessert menu (about 7 desserts) for the table. This is a good one for other foodies with an interest in classic bistro.
Your phone calls and advice about day trips and answers to our questions alleviated a huge amount of travel anxiety, and provided just the kind of "insider information" that travel books just can't provide. I so appreciated you spending time to talk with me about our group's interests, and your recommendations were 100% right on. I will definitely send other people I know who are headed to France, to you and to your website. Again, thank you, thank you! --Portland, Oregon, July 2016
Mike and Louise Demarco and Friends
Planning our Provence trip with Julie was a joy. Through phone calls and emails, she was able to figure out exactly what our group of ten would most love to see and do....who should guide us...who should cook for us...what we should see...and where we should stay. We absolutely loved our villa...it was perfect! Julie chose three different tour guides for us and we loved them all. She also hired two private chefs--one for our first night and one for our last--and the meals were fantastic! There was no way we could have planned this trip on our own. We met such interesting people, saw such beautiful things, ate so well and had so much fun. Thank you precious Julie! You took wonderful care of us. You have ten new friends and fans in Milwaukee! --Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 2015
Lori Caldwell and Friends
Ok, our entire group of 11 people wants to be best friends with you! I said 'NON, she's my find!'
"Seriously, the guide you sent us to for our tasting tour in Aix was so delightful and organized and we had the best morning. She is such a find ...we could have stayed the day with her. Actually, the women went shopping aferterwards and she was kind enough to invite the guys to stay with her in her atelier and continue talking and drinking rose! I'm surprised they made it to lunch! And the restaurant you suggested for our lunch, by the way, was lovely. The chef is only 26 and really special. Fabulous day.
"We also had a great time market touring and cooking with your chef in St. Remy and the meal was absolutely delicious--just too much food! What a nice easy going guy and so very welcoming. I'm so pleased we went with him....thanks for coordinating it!
"We’ve been so fortunate with the weather and it's been such an extraordinary time here in Provence--I will be sad to leave. How lucky you are to live in this magical part of France. I will happily recommend you to anyone I know coming to visit and I hope to return soon and experience more of your great suggestions...--Orange County, California, October 2015
Matt, Sian, Fin and Ningie Ward
Dear Julie and Philippe,
THANK YOU! What an extraordinary experience you gave us today and we cannot thank you enough for our foodie tour.
Today's activities were our family christmas treat and went above and beyond all expectations. Each tasting was delightfully conducted and the patisserie-baking component was superb. What a lovely man Olivier the pastry chef is.
Julie, your responses to our email queries were dealt with promptly, with genuine warmth and with no pressure to make decisions until we were ready. Thank you, thank you.
Philippe, your attention to each of us today and your inclusive manner with the children absolutely enhanced the experience. As Ningie said, her favourite part was the oil tasting, the chocolate, the biscuits, lunch, cooking and meeting Olivier and the goats! She has just said goodnight and thanked us for the best day of her life!!
It was so lovely to visit each of these places and not feel any obligation to make purchases - of course, we could just not help ourselves!
A truly fabulous and memorable day. Thank you.
We wish you both a safe and happy festive season and a sincere invitation to contact us if you ever make it to Darwin! --Darwin, Australia, December 2015
Nick and Shannan Kenny
I don't think we can fully express what a perfect day we had! Your guide William was perfect and we had wonderful conversation with him the whole day.
Our drive to Cassis was beautiful; the boat ride of the Calanques was beautiful. William reserved a table for us 3 at his favorite seafood place and lunch was fantastic. Then, he liked our idea of going to Sormiou (which I got from your blog) and he deviated from the plan to take us there. The drive down was crazy! But William was a perfect driver. What a beautiful place! We stopped at Le Lunch and had beer on the waterfront. We left Sormiou and instead of hitting a winery and seeing more of Marseille, we asked if he would show us some good places in Aix to enjoy. He helped us find great places around the city, called ahead and had a special wine tasting at Famile Perrin for us, took us to a great place for macarons, and even booked us a table at Mitch the following evening.
And, continuing the theme of above and beyond, William drove us to Arles (where he was meeting new clients) so we could have a few hours in another city before taking the high speed train to Avignon. When we mentioned we were headed to Avignon, but weren't sure how to best get there, he recommended this solution "since he was going to Arles anyway."
We feel he went so far above and beyond what we expected. He was so helpful and personable. I can see why he would be one of your favorite guides! Thank you for connecting us with him. Definitely the highlight of our honeymoon! --Colombia, Missouri, September, 2016
Joelle Goudsmit and Friends
Julie is very knowledgeable about things to do and well connected so that you know the right people to do things with.
She recommended John and Gerry for a foodie bike tour. The guys have a great sense of humour and are absolutely flexible and accommodating - because they've taken the time to plan everything out and are so well prepared, nothing fazes them. Loved the guys.
It was a pleasure working with Julie, John and Gerry. --Hong Kong, June 2016
Let me start by saying that our vacation to France (June 18-28, 2016) was beyond fabulous in every way!
The villa that you helped us to secure was the perfect choice for our family of six. I couldn’t have been happier with the decor, the luxuriant landscaping and the many amenities. It was spacious and private, yet a short walk to the town of Eygalieres. I must admit that I was a little nervous at first since I had never done anything like this before, but your advice and help eased the worries and we ended up with a vacation that was spectacular.
The hot air balloon ride was amazing and our pilot couldn’t have been nicer. Again thank you for helping us to set this up. Simply couldn’t have done it without you since none of us are fluent in French.
Loved the French chef cooking class you suggested. Catherine was a delight and we all appreciated that she spoke perfect English. She helped us prepare a five-course dinner in our kitchen. It was so much fun and educational, too. Amazingly, she was so well organized that, with the help of her assistant, we managed to accomplish everything in a reasonable amount of time. When she served each course we couldn’t believe what we had been able to create. Delicious and wonderful.
But the real piece de resistance was the time we spent with our tour guide Michel in Nice. I cannot thank you enough for finding him for us. I asked for a half-day tour because I felt that a full day might be overwhelming for us. But he was so charming and informative that when our time was over we just wanted to spend more time with him. Taking us to little towns in the hillsides, he enchanted us with stories of the region’s past. My grand-daughters were amazed at how interesting history could be.
Thank you, Julie. I am so grateful to you for making this family vacation the trip of a lifetime. --Delray Beach, FL, June 2016
Chef Carrie Nahabedian and Friends
I can't thank you enough for introducing us to the guide Sebastien! Our group had the most fabulous, memorable and delicious time in Provence! From start to finish it was flawless, so stellar. The food and setting and wine and just about everything made me so happy. I wish I was in St. Remy right now!
In fact, a friend of mine is in Aix now and they are picking up some more glaceed clementines for me for pastry since we already went through the ones I bought at Bechard.
The whole day was filled with such great experiences and everyone has sent me messages thanking Sebastien and the whole group involved for such a great day starting in Marseille and on to Provence. Now I know why you live there! Many, Many thanks!--Chicago, October 2016
Lisa Patterson and Paul Long
Our cooking class with Giuseppina was wonderful and it was the best of our days in Provence! It was relaxed and the setting was surreal and the food was delicious!! What an interesting person she is. I cannot thank you enough for setting it up!--Chicago, May 2017
Michel Matera and Family
We really loved the region and appreciate your help in finding these two beautiful properties at the very last minute! Many thanks and hopefully our paths will cross again... -- Maputo, Mozambique, July 2017
Lynn Odette and Family
I found Julie's Provence Post site at the start of planning my family’s trip to Provence this summer. The planning for a group of 8 adults and a small granddaughter got to be overwhelming and I reached out to Julie for help. Within a day, the final arrangements, restaurant bookings, additional itinerary suggestions and tour bookings took shape with Julie’s calm and efficient handling of my requests. Julie answered my initial and subsequent emails, quickly, courteously and with an in-depth knowledge of what we may or may not enjoy...my to-do list got smaller and smaller to my great relief and satisfaction with all that was accomplished. I wish I had contacted her earlier in the process - but better late than never! If we find ourselves in this region again, I wouldn't hesitate to reach out to Julie for her help. Thank you so much Julie for all your assistance! Gratefully,
Lynn. -- August, 2017
Gail Ginder and Friends
Julie is Amazing! Very knowledgable, responsive, and helpful. We already had our itinerary planned when we contacted Julie, but she helped tweak it and then suggested two fabulous experiences which were exactly right for us. Do yourself a favor and let Julie plan your Provence experience!--August, 2017 Healdsburg, California
Lisa Kollenberg and Matt Loewenstein
Thank you so much for making our time in Provence so magical! Our itinerary has been PERFECT! We've loved touring with Philippe and visiting your recommendations and staying at the fantastic hotel you booked for us. Thank you! --Houston, TX, April, 2018
Heidi and Lawrence Kahn
We LOVED our cooking class and meal with Catherine. It was incredible. We had fun, learned a lot and had a delicious meal. She could not have been more accommodating and welcoming.
We also loved our art class and Kups is wonderful! She was the perfect person to teach the class and the setting was magical.
Merci beaucoup Julie...these were wonderful additions to our trip! I will recommend you to anyone coming your way.-- Irvine, CA, July 2018
Ellen and Claude Gerstle and Friends
Julie is a jewel, like a quality gemstone you cannot believe your good fortune to have found!
Our group of college friends (four other couples) agreed to celebrate our 50th anniversary with us in Provence...but the idea was easier to come up with than to plan.
Despite our best efforts, the trip was in danger of falling apart when Julie rescued us! She arranged our guides (who were each superb), our lunch and dinner reservations (a tough task for 11 people, especially considering one person is in a motorized wheelchair) and advised us on the best itinerary, always considering the special interests of the group.
The week exceeded our expectations not only because Provence provides endless opportunities to sightsee, dine, or simply unwind, but also because Julie worked tirelessly to make our trip run smoothly. The vote was unanimous: Julie is a rare jewel!--New Jersey, August 2018
Elizabeth Freeman and Bob Bechek
We had an extraordinary time in Provence!! Your help was key in a few different areas; it really added the special sauce to the whole trip! For example we had an exceptionally wonderful afternoon at the winery. We did the box "picnic" lunch outside on the terrace (not really a picnic at all as it was quite involved and delicious), toured the vineyard and the cellar and then did a tasting. I would tell all your clients to DO IT!! The daughter of the owner was our guide and she was just lovely. Everyone else there was terrific too and we couldn't have asked for a better day. So thank you again for all your wisdom and advice. You truly helped make the trip a magical and memorable experience!--Boston, August 2018
Stephanie, Bryan and Lauren Gorder
I can’t thank you enough for what you did to make our time in Southern France the most memorable and enjoyable stop of our entire trip! I was so late in attempting to plan this portion of our trip and had very limited knowledge of the Provence Region. All I had was a very long bucket list of places I wanted to see and things I wanted to do. I started with your website and immediately felt that you had something different and special to offer. You absolutely exceeded my expectations in every way! Not only were you unbelievably friendly, personable, responsive and knowledgeable but your expert advice in helping me manage and organize our time was invaluable. What you were able to arrange for us in a very short window of time, the experiences you recommended and fantastic guides you arranged for us far exceeded our expectations! Thank you for going above and beyond and providing us superior customer service and many unforgettable experiences! We can’t wait to come back and you will be our first and only call!--Bellevue, Washington, July 2019
Lynne & Randy Smith and Friends
We had such a lovely time on our trip to Provence several years ago because of your help: Cassis, wine tour, chef, cooking classes, etc. And then we decided to come back this year but with the challenging task of finding the perfect house in a very short period of time, with a substantial list of requirements...and you did it! We were to able to explore so much more because of the in-town location of the house. Parking can be quite a problem in St. Remy but our house was just perfect, quite comfortable. We all certainly appreciate how much time and energy you spent finding it, especially since we gave you so little time.
And all of your contacts were so talented and helpful!! The meal that Catherine cooked was outstanding and she shared several of her delicious recipes. Having Christophe pick up our family and friends and take us to dinners outside town certainly made things easier! And Justine is an excellent French teacher with a whole lot of patience!
Your restaurant list was delightful! I think we probably tried them all and found a few more we loved—goodness, the food is just so good! I had a braised artichoke dish at La Cassolette in St. Remy that I could eat every day.
We had a grand time and hate that it’s over—it’s 97 in Baton Rouge today! Actually I'm wondering, why did we come home?! But hopefully we'll return again soon. All your help, in so many areas, was just invaluable and it made out trip an absolute pleasure!--Baton Rouge, LA, August 2019
Karen Stokely & Family
Several months after visiting Provence we are still reminiscing happily about every single moment. All thanks to Julie and her team of super professionals!
Prior to our travels, Julie spent months (which included hours and h-o-u-r-s) of planning, coordinating, and revising our itinerary to honor everyone's ever-changing whims. Ultimately she created a perfect balance of custom activities, with an excellent choice of private guides - each specializing in different areas that appealed to our varying interests. Each guide was knowledgable, and had patience galore with all ofus us: two grandparents (on one agenda), two parents (on another agenda), and one sweet (but finicky) 11 year old.
As we traveled, Julie and her team made Herculean efforts to ensure that our experiences remained exceptional in every way!
Our stand-out guides and instructors were Philippe (St. Remy, Arles, Eygalieres, and a phone app that altered our faces to resemble Van Gogh!); Jane (Provence villages including a romp through the bories and a very-impressive picnic lunch - great with kids); Yvan (a very-talented private chef for a cooking lesson in his cool and funky kitchen); Kups (our oh-so-lovely private art instructor who led us outside to paint--we were all beginners--at the Van Gogh clinic in St. Remy); and Seb (the engaging and fun guide who arranged a boat ride in Cassis to see the Calanques, among other things).
We were blessed to meet them all, and each will remain in our heads (and hearts) for years to come.! --Hinsdale, Illinois, July, 2016
Good morning Julie,
We made it home last night and I just wanted to touch take a minute to thank you.
On a personal level, the private cooking class was wonderful and many thanks for setting it up. More important, the experience for the whole group was fantastic! Most had never experienced Provence, and they all seemed to be having a fantastic time!
The wedding you helped organize for our niece was fabulous! And Provence...!!!!! This was our third trip to the area -- obviously one of our favorite places. We will definitely return. Many thanks all around! --Jefferson, LA, June 2016
Kendra Raine & Family
Just back in the States from our 2 1/2 week adventure with Provence as our last stop.
We loved our tour in Aix, baking class in St Remy and especially our boat trip in Cassis. I liked the captain--he was very knowledgable about the area. And we loved being able to swim and explore les Calanques---so special and well worth the extra $ to rent a private boat.
We also kayaked in the Sorgue and my teens & ten year old loved the high ropes course right near Canoe Evasion. We also ventured to Pont du Gard where my kids LOVED swimming in the river. We ate lunch at the restaurant at the Pont du Gard which was surprisingly good with a gorgeous view.
Thanks you again for all your suggestions! I will refer you to any friends taking trips in that area. Sadly, I was shocked to see so few American tourists in France.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!--Greenwich, Connecticut, August 2016
My wife and I greatly enjoyed our painting lesson with Martyn; it was one of the most memorable parts of our first trip to Provence! Painting near Van Gogh's clinic with such an accomplished painter was a privilege we won't soon forget. He was extremely patient with my very limited painting background, and provided keen advice with a good dose of friendly humor. Our experience motivated my wife to pursue her interest in painting once again. And, perhaps most importantly, we had a lot of fun! Thank you so much for arranging this unique experience. The entire trip was wonderful and I can see why you've fallen in love with Provence. We're already looking forward to our next trip out there!---Charlottesville, Virginia, March, 2017
Julie is like the Provencal fairy godmother; a magical creature who can summon up the most extraordinary experiences, ensuring that your holiday in this most beautiful part of the world is truly memorable. Travel coordination does not seem to be the right term to do justice to the extraordinary service that Julie offers to her clients - she is not a guide, she is a mastermind! Nothing seems to be too much for her. Finding a local artist to lead a journey in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh including a painting class at the asylum in St Remy; no trouble at all for Julie. A charismatic photographer to guide you on a photography safari through the fascinatingly gritty portside neighborhoods of Marseilles; Julie knew the perfect guy. An immersion in the local Gitane community and participation in their extraordinary annual pilgrimage to Saintes Maries de la Mer in the Camargue; Julie could organise the entire thing, complete with the perfect local guide and a meeting with a Gitane priest. The most exquisite restaurant for lunch in the sun, the best place to buy antique Syrian rugs, the most interesting museums, the most beautiful secret villages, a press pass to the opening of an Annie Leibovitz exhibition; there doesn't seem to be anywhere or anyone in Provence that Julie doesn't know or anything she can't make happen for you. Whether we had a specific request in mind, or were just seeking general guidance, Julie proved to be the most wonderful fount of knowledge. For those who want to go beyond the pages of their guidebook and really experience Provence, I cannot recommend Julie highly enough. Her most recent stroke of genius has been linking us up with a fabulous house hunting service so that we can find a place of our own in sublimely beautiful Provence.--Perth, Australia, June 2017
Stephanie Disbrow, Family and Friends
We're back in the US now and settling in...
It was a magical trip and it wouldn’t have been without your guidance and help.
Our favorite excursion (well, the kids' favorite!) was the ebike tour. Your guide Jeff was delightful and boy he had his hands full with us. Hats off to him!
We all love love loved your guide Marlene--you should use her as much as possible! We loved her spirit, enthusiasm and knowledge. We are still talking about how smart she is!!!
The truffle visit was amazing; the truffle hunt was neat and the after-hunt experience was fabulous! We loved Lisa...it was awesome spending time with an American and her lovely French husband on their incredible family farm.
Chef Giuseppina was so kind and opening her home to us was really special. The kids had a lot of fun on her property and making noodles and cantaloupe soup was really neat. We're honored to have met and spent time with her.
We're so glad we ended up going all the way to Nice. The hotel you picked for us there was awesome and the price was perfect. Definitely recommend! Views were amazing, beaches awesome and location perfect!
But Cassis may have been my favorite place we visited in France...so glad you sent us there! The weather was bad but it didn't matter!
There were many things you recommended that we didn’t get to do, which means we will just HAVE to go back one day 😊
You are the best!! I am so glad I found you and that were able to help us on such short notice. Cheers!--Raleigh, NC, July 2017.
Thank you for arranging our wonderful day with the photographer Joanna! Extraordinary guidance & patience to help us learn to see better & compose a beautiful shot. And the guidance through these little towns to find the perfect doorway, overlook and winery was priceless. My sister Traci and I will treasure that day for a very very long time. We are sending our thanks for the joy!--Miami, May 2018
Linda and Kevin Johnson
Thank you for your thoughtful itinerary and all your suggestions! St. Remy was indeed the right city to call home. After each adventure, it was such a welcoming place to land. The restaurants were plentiful, the shops were unique and our hotel was perfect. We loved the Wednesday market day, so many wonderful temptations.
I must say one of our best days was the wine tour with Francois. He's wonderful in every way. There were 8 of us and we bonded as a nice little family within minutes. We learned a great deal, tasted wonderful wine and made new friends.
Your advice for parking at the market in L’Isle Sur La Sorgue was so helpful...that day was also one of our favorites. The river through the town, the market, the moss covered water mill...our senses were on over load.
I hope you're in France now, enjoying your slice of heaven. It's been such a joy talking with you, and your wealth of information is wonderful. We hope to return next year, starting with the southern coastline and then moving along into Spain. Thank you, Julie!--Bloomfield Hills, MI, June 2018
Cathie Crawford and Family
I was desperate and Julie completely bailed me out! I had rented a house outside of Avignon for a family vacation. It was my understanding that the rental company would serve as my travel planner and do everything necessary to ensure that we had a memorable week in Provence. After a couple months of total frustration, it became apparent that their idea of “do everything” was not the same as mine.
And then, along came Julie who does indeed “do everything!” Initially she told me that given the very short notice, it would be almost impossible to plan a week's vacation for 15 people (with tours, transportation, activities and meals) on such short notice. But I begged and she agreed to try. Within a couple days, we had a chef, a bus and a guide. Julie LISTENED to what our interests were, the ages of our family members and the kind of schedule we wanted. Then she put together a fabulous week which none of us will ever forget. It was so carefully planned that there was NOT ONE SLIP UP the entire week. Her people always showed up on time. Restaurants were always ready with our table. Our chef fixed delicious meals. Our excursions were enjoyed by all.
Now you might think that I selected Julie because she was highly recommended by friends but that's not the case...we pulled her right off the Internet. And after a few minutes of speaking with her on the phone, I decided I had found a gem...and my opinion on that has definitely not changed!--Atlanta, August 2018
Carol L. Starr
I can’t begin to thank you enough for setting up the experience of meeting and painting with Jill. I'm an emerging artist who really wanted to paint in southern France but was very hesitant to take a chance with a stranger, although you recommended Jill highly. I called her before I arrived and began to feel better about having committed to paint with her for a day (or as it turned out, two mornings given the heat wave). The experience far exceeded my expectations. Not only is Jill a charming person to meet, but she is a master teacher on many levels. She clearly communicates composition, selecting the scene, and color mixing. She individualized the approach to working with me and paced the creative process. Not to mention that she selected a great site, provided transportation and provisions for an ideal plein air experience! And at the end of the second session I had an unforgettable painting. I am so grateful to both Jill and Julie and would not hesitate to continue to provide recommendations.”--Rockville, Maryland, June 2019
Prior to joining the group for the five-day tour you recommended, we enjoyed getting to know Nice. We had a great food tour of the market on Sunday morning with tastings, where the guide also purchased lunch items for a picnic in the park. She also gave us a little tour of the Old Town area with best places to buy certain items if desired and made suggestions for restaurants. It was very slow paced, relaxed and she was great.
The group tour, with St. Remy as our base, was very much as I expected... wonderful. The hotel was a wonderful boutique hotel and we enjoyed its central location. (We didn't know there would be a bull run on Bastille Day and was fun to watch for a while but then I just felt badly for the bulls.) We enjoyed our group, the planned activities and, of course, our guides: one the ultimate professional, the other a history buff who tells corny jokes. Seeing the Van Gogh Starry Night exhibit at the Carrieres de Lumieres turned out to be one of my favorite things, absolutely exquisite. All in all, it was a wonderful trip and I thank you for all your input and assistance!--West Hartford, CT, July 2019
Heather Wood and Family
We had an amazing trip. We thought St. Remy was the perfect home base, and had the prettiest streets for wandering of all the towns we visited. The food and tours were also great. I think we had the perfect balance between structured and unstructured time. We sincerely could not have asked for a better trip.
We loved the accomodation you chose for us, the beautiful Le Moulin Vieil at Provence Paradise. William was one of the most welcoming hosts we've ever encountered and was extremely helpful with restaurant and tour reservations, and he had many tips to share. On our first evening we arrived late, but dinner, wine, and a friendly welcome were waiting for us. Every day of our stay, William brought us lovely fresh pastries. After touring all day it was great to return to lounge in the hot tub overlooking the pool and garden.
Miranda (age 11) especially enjoyed the food on this trip, which was a huge relief. She even opted for frog legs at Le Vivier and told us how good they were!
Thank you again for organizing this trip for us. It was truly one of the best trips I've made, and I know Tara, Miranda and I will remember it always. -- Seattle, April 2016
Eileen Hoppen Group
(Six adults and two teens)
I wanted to let you know what a wonderful time we all had in Provence! We went so many places on your advice that we probably would have missed without your expertise advising us. I don’t even know where to begin, but here goes:
The chef-delivered meal was wonderful - the perfect meal after a long two day journey. Wonderful rustic comfort food!
Canoeing on the Sorgue river - who knew we would body surf the rapids in 60 degree water! But we all did - perfect arthritis cure.
The Chagall show at Les Baux was probably one of the favorites of everyone, unless we talk about the lavender fields in Sault or the ochre in Rousillon or Gordes!
The boat and Captain you chose for us in Cassis was big fun too! Daniel and Ed both jumped off the cliffs in the Calanques - Cassis was so beautiful and not on our radar until you mentioned it.
Our day in Chateauneuf-du-Pape with your guide...I know that was David’s favorite. His knowledge of the region and wines was fantastic and his personality was a perfect fit for our group.
We also enjoyed the markets in Isle sur la Sorgue and St Remy, though my tapanades were confiscated in customs. :(
Last but certainly not least was your fantastic driver. He knows the area in and out and came everyday with a cooler of water for the group, which we couldn’t have survived the heat without. And the one day of rain, he pulled out umbrellas for us. He got us in to everything, avoiding the peak crowd times and was fun to ride with.
Ok now last - our most favorite meal - Bistrot du Paradou. Best night in Provence bar none. That place is fantastic.
Everyone raved about the planning and places we went and I gave you full credit. We had a fabulous time thanks to your expertise. We loved Provence and will return! -- San Diego, July 2016
Ann & Paul Engelhart and Family
Thank you SO much for your attentiveness to all our needs while we were in Provence. You thought of every possibility and assured us of a wonderful adventure. Because of all of your special relationships with the local farmers, restauranteurs and tradespeople we had unique access to activities that we would never have discovered on our own. I hope that we can visit again and take advantage of your warmth and graciousness. Please let us know when you are in NY so we can return your charming hospitality! Merci beaucoup!--New York, April 2017
Carolyn & Bob Bing and Friends
We started with nothing more than a vague desire to visit Provence and Julie composed the most amazing trip of our lives. We wanted to immerse ourselves in the culture and history of the area, so Julie started by finding us a beautiful Mas centrally located to everything. As our trip took shape we planned day-trips out in various directions to see what the Greeks and Romans had left behind. She found us knowledgeable guides and drivers when we wanted them and left us to wander and explore when we didn't. We would never have experienced this truly trip of a lifetime without Julie's recommendations. Merci Cherie!! -- Pinedale, Jackson and Sheridan, Wyoming, May 2017
Lew and Leah Semones and Friends
Julie is nothing short of Wonder Woman. I am the leader of a group of 12 friends who are visiting Provence in summer 2017. Julie was quite simply the best travel arranger I have ever had the pleasure to work with; no small compliment because I have taken over 20 trips around the world with larger groups. Literally, she is the most detailed person you will have the pleasure to work with. I call her the genius because every one of her ideas has been superior to mine. Her responses are timely and comprehensive and which she does with a great sense of humor. The guides, chefs, chauffeurs and restaurants she works with are far superior than you could find on your own. One of Julie's great characteristics is how concerned she is with spending YOUR money, something I have almost never seen before. She gets the best of Provence at reasonable prices. Trust me, paying her to help you will SAVE you money, even if you value your time at $0. Thanks Julie for creating a PRICELESS trip from my group! -- Charlotte, NC, USA, July 2017
John and Annie W
Our whole honeymoon trip was incredible, thanks in large part to your help planning it!
Annie and I have not stopped talking about our wine tour. Your guide was amazing in every regard. Super knowledgeable about the wines, vineyards, processes, etc., but more than that he was just a fun guy to spend a day with. We immediately clicked and had a great time all day. I could not possibly recommend him enough. I was also fascinated by the amount of history he knew! Truly an incredible tour guide.
The chef for our cooking class was also wonderful. He was appropriately energetic and laid back and struck the perfect balance of upbeat cooking with relaxation. The dishes we made were outstanding, and he was great about letting us do a lot of the hands-on cooking. He also was a joy to be around and told great stories about his days on TV, cooking in different restaurants, etc. He also offered a really cool perspective on French cooking - he focuses on healthy eating (which we are both into as well), and I loved hearing him talk about how fun and (relatively) easy it is to cook delicious healthy meals. I love cooking, and it was a pleasure being around someone with so much joy and passion for the art!
Finally, the hotel was better than we ever could have imagined. My only regret is that we didn't have more time to spend wandering the grounds and lounging by the pool. We both want to go back with friends and spend a whole week there.
Again, we cannot thank you enough for your help with this trip. We'll give your name to anyone we know who's visiting Provence and help spread your info any way we can. Thanks so much! -- Raleigh, NC, September 2017
Everything was FABULOUS! Your wine guide Celine was a perfect fit for us! We learned SO much and she had the day well planned for the different types of wine she wanted to share with us. Lunch at the restaurant was one of our favorite meals! Delicious! We would recommend her in a heartbeat to anyone, so let me know if someone was unsure about choosing her!
Catherine the chef was a perfect fit for us, too! The menu was well thought out, we learned a lot and she made us feel at home and not uncomfortable about trying new recipes (she was especially wonderful with the one that doesn't cook!). We loved every minute at her place (and her dog George was a big hit with my family!). Eating the dinner we prepared out on the patio was magical! We asked her if we could all stay forever-haha! Besides giving wonderful tips, I especially loved that we prepared the food first and then when everything was done, we had a toast with champagne! So smart and one of the reasons I chose her. Again-we would highly recommend her!!!
Thank you for ALL your help! We have very special memories thanks to you!--Saratoga, CA, June 2018
Jim and Sherrie Douglas
Julie, sorry we didn't get to meet you in Provence! We had a fantastic time, really enjoyed our tours with Phillipe and our wonderful cooking class with Catherine. It was a great family holiday and we’ll see you next time Thanks for all of your help!--Lloyd Harbor, NY, August 2018
Robin Steinberg Epstein and Roger Epstein
Hi Julie- Thank you so much for your help!!! You made everything easy and seamless, even the dinner reservations. We had a wonderful trip! We especially enjoyed Bistro du Paradou, the Van Gogh light show at the Carrieres des Lumieres (how could you not), the perfume-making class (even my husband loved it), the cooking class and the day we spent with your photographer!! These experiences helped to create a truly unique experience. The hotel was beautiful. All went smoothly and your suggestions were spot on. I do wish we had 2 more days in the area, but life beckons. Unfortunately, most of the St. Remy shops on the day we had, Monday, were closed. Maybe next time. Sorry we did not get to meet. Best Wishes! --Robin and Roger, Los Angeles, April 2019
Susie Parker and Family
I have planned trips for my family before but found myself overwhelmed by the details in planning our trip to Provence. It was during my research that I came across Julie's name. Not expecting to utilize professional help, but intrigued, I contacted her. Well, I found a gem of a person!
Julie is happy to do the smallest plan, from arranging one tour or suggesting a place to stay, to assisting you in planning your entire week. Initially, I thought I would just use her as my sounding board, but very quickly realized her vast knowledge of the area due to her living there offered an expertise and insight I did not have. Oh my, what a blessing she has been to me and my family!!! She provided a 5 star trip for us beyond anything I could have done on my own.
Julie is a very warm, open, fun and simply put, an exceptional professional. She listened to my ideas and offered a myriad of other ideas to consider. Julie's guides, should you decide to use one, were all top notch and delightful. Our first day Katharina took us on a tour of Van Gogh's Clinique and an introductory walking tour through St Remy. The 12 of us went on a bus tour with Jane through the beautiful Luberon. Another day we went on an e bike tour with Jeff through the bucolic countryside of St Remy, visiting a bee farm, goat cheese farm and an olive mill farm. With my active group of 7 children and 5 adults, she directed us to a boat in Cassis where we swam in caves, jumped off cliffs and snorkeled. It was terrific! And, of course, there is the pastry class, the classic Lumieres show in Le Baux and the farmer's markets to enjoy. Julie can help hand pick your Villa, arrange for chefs if you so choose, organize activities and details all this in a Trip Planner organized day by day with your activities, addresses, contact information, and of course her information. She doesn't just leave you when you are in Provence, she will be in touch should an issue come up (ours due to weather)and quickly help rearrange your time.
I cannot say enough for Julie. She engages completely. She is very prompt in responding to emails, thorough in her assessments and makes you feel as if your trip is the most important trip she is working on. Is she extraordinary? Absolutely. I guarantee she is one of the best parts of your memorable trip to Provence, and if you are going to Provence, having her part of your trip is a must!--Newburyport, MA, June, 2019
Susan Livingston & Friends
A huge THANK YOU for all of your help with our fabulous trip to Provence. It was seriously PERFECT! We had such a great time.
We loved ALL of the activities and guides you booked for us. Both Philippe and Claire were terrific guides: so friendly, knowledgeable and fun and really easy to be around. We loved both of those tour days. We also really enjoyed St. Paul de Mausole (beautiful setting and the Van Gogh history so interesting) and the olive mill (where we bought a bunch of oil and foodie gifts). And the the chocolate shop, too, always a crowd-pleaser! The day with Claire was also great. We loved walking up the hills in Oppede le Vieux, Menerbes was beautiful, and I was ready to move in to the hotel restaurant you suggested for lunch!!! We also did a wine tasting there, at their winery next door.
Other things we loved: Chef Yvan C. was a blast! What a character!
Also cannot say enough good things about our boat captain in Cassis! I think that afternoon might have been the highlight of the whole trip. All of the food and history and wine and touring was amazing, but something about being on that blue water with those white cliffs was just stunning, and we loved swimming in the various coves and caves. Emily had never been on the Mediterranean like that, and she kept saying it was the most beautiful place she'd ever been. He did a great overview of the Calanques (the history, how they were formed, etc.) at the beginning, and then he told us a bit about each cove we went in. He is definitely knowledgeable about the area and his love for it came through. Super fun day and definitely worth the price.
We also loved the Carrieres des Lumieres and the kayak trip and I would say that Bistro Paradou was a highlight. We got a gorgeous night, so ended up sitting outside Food was delicious, and it was just a great atmosphere. There may or may not be video of me singing Eye of the Tiger at our table at the end of the night. The staff blasted it from the stereo at the end of the night and I couldn't help myself. Al of the tables around us said goodbye to us as we were leaving. I wasn't sure if that was b/c we were so entertaining or if they were ready to see us go!
Basically, we didn't do anything we didn't love, and we have you to thank for that. You have been the best and I could not have pulled this off without you!--London, July 2019
Molly and Brad Schlotterer
Julie, our painting class with Jill was the highlight of our time in Arles! After soaking in the inspiration of the art & culture of the region, it was especially incredible to try our hand at oil painting for a bit. Jill is one of those people who you feel like you’ve known forever from the instant you meet her. She is warm, welcoming and gracious, immediately making us feel at home for the day-long oil painting workshop in her home-studio. My husband and I had very little experience with oil painting, but it didn’t really matter--Jill spent time explaining how to mix and blend the colors to achieve the hues we were looking for, and guided us as we each painted from photographs. (It was rainy, so we didn’t have the option of painting in the garden, but it worked out perfectly). We loved every bit of our time with Jill!--New Orleans, May, 2019