Grand French windows
open onto the airy, porticoed terrace.
Long white curtains billow with the wind.
The luxuriant garden orchestrates a soft symphony
played by crickets, frogs, and even owls.
The sound of water echoes from the small, hidden fountains.
Selected with exquisite taste, paintings, objects and textiles
from past centuries embellish this lieu.
Her 17th-century "castle" is efflorescent and verdant
during the early summers of Provence,
when fields of lavender bloom
in their full glory.
Marriages are given life in this place (then divorce comes six months after).
Supposedly, its magic causes men and women to lose themselves in reverie
to make hasty decisions!
Bernadette of Lourmarin is not enrobed in white,
nor does she carry a magic wand.
In fact, she rides a mountain bike and loves digital karaoke.
She loves nature and adores animals.
Actually, she is like a fairy that one may discover inside a flower.
A believer in fantasy and play (she considers herself a "fantasist"),
she has the gift of simplicity and an irresistible, youthful charm
which radiates from her inner being.
Her unbridled and carefree spirit will never be extinguished.
She will forever be young at heart.
She is that child, friend, sister, mother, and grandmother
that we all wish for.
You see, her profession in life has a name.
It is called Art of Living.
And her story is beautifully simple.
It is about her effortless "travel" through life.
It is about being guided by her heart.
One day, Life whispered into her young maiden ears.
Seduced by the calling, she descended from her beloved Pyrenees,
leaving behind her goats and animals, her cabin at the edge of the river,
and Nature her playground .
She wanted to fly.
So she packed her bags and left for Madrid at the tender age of 18.
Her heart was set on becoming an airline stewardess because she had dreams
to travel and see the world.
( Fast forward time )
Life is always full of surprises.
Her bags were packed again for a voyage, direction London.
But this time, Love halted her in her path and asked her
to forget the northern isle for Paris, the City of Light.
There, she changed her hats to those of a medical secretary,
a real-estate agent, and…
One day, while visiting her cousins in Aix-en-Provence,
a beautiful vintage convertible bewitched her heart.
But what she did not know was that the convertible was the carriage of
Prince Charming, her kindred spirit.
He, too, was a dreamer who was passionate
about transforming small castles by decorating them with exquisite taste.
And the rest is history.
Sultry summer evenings,
guests and merry socializing, music in the sumptuous garden,
candle lights, and large French windows opening onto the terrace…
it was an enchanted open house every evening.
Though her prince charming has passed
and evening parties have quieted down, one still hears
the music and feels the reverie of those magical garden parties
through her and her luxuriant abode.
One day, when you have the luck
to come in contact with Bernadette of Lourmarin,
you may find yourself put under the magic spell
of her fairylike charm.
To capture Bernadette Lassallette in a classic bio would not do her justice, simply because her being and her path in life is an art form in itself. Today, her "castle", Villa Saint-Louis, is an unusual bed and breakfast in Loumarin, a village in the Luberon region of Provence. It is an enchanted place where Bernadette will welcome you with her warmth and unfeigned charm.