Continuing the recap of our Designhounds France tour this past May, members of Modenus Media’s Designhounds Influencer Network traveled to France for an eight-day artisan + antiques tour in collaboration with the Antiques’ Diva & Co. Learn about stops on the Paris portion of the tour, and keep reading below as we will share the beautiful experiences from our five days in Provence.
Special thanks to Signature Kitchen Suite for supporting this program as our official #TrueToFood sponsor.
Day 1: Welcome to Relais Magdeleine
Designhounds headquarters for the five-day antique tour was the Relais Magdeleine in Gemenos. Chef Matthias Dandine anchors this beautiful French country house’s Michelin-starred eponymous restaurant.
Day 2: Antiques Tour in L’Isle Sur la Sorgue
On the first day in Provence, Designhounds antiqued in L’Isle Sur la Sorgue with the expert guidance of the Antiques Diva team. The first stop was a visit to the textile mill, shop, and museum of Brun de Vian Tiran which offered detailed insights into the legendary company’s making of the finest wool products with a focus on scarves, throws, and clothing.
L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is one of the largest antiques tour destinations in the world with over 300 permanent dealers and 200 dealers at the open antiques markets every Sunday. Have a look below at some of our favorite finds and, ahem, purchases. Our Designhounds tours are definitely here to provide access to amazing resources for your design business.
The #TruetoFood journey continued with lunch at Le Jardin du Quai, offering fresh and authentic food right from Provence.
To wrap up the day in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorge, Designhounds toured the studio of the talented textile designer and artist, Aurelie Alvarez. She has been working with many major homeware brands including Anthropology which is apparent in her style.
The evening wrapped up with typical provencal hospitality at the antique warehouse of renowned upholsterer Yves Aussandon. The magic continued with a hands-on art sourcing experience and, of course, classic French charcuterie and copious amounts of refreshing Rose.
Day 3: A Relaxing Day in Gemenos
The following morning, Designhounds had a relaxing day at the Relais Magdeleine. They had the option taking a tour of the hotel’s gardens and restaurants or attending an upholstery workshop at the Aussandon Warehouse.
That afternoon, the Diva herself, Toma Haines hosted a journaling workshop. She taught the designhounds techniques and ideas for a daily journaling habit.
The night finished at the hotel’s Michelin-star restaurant with yet another exceptional #TruetoFood experience.
Day 4: Artisan Immersion
The next day, Designhounds had a chance to bring the concept of True to Food alive in a different way. We picked up supplies at the St. Remy de Provence open market for a picnic lunch at Les Olivades.
Les Olivades, a fabric printing company, creates beautiful textiles for some of the biggest houses in textile design and is available to print low-volume custom runs for design professionals.
Designhounds explored the showroom and factory to see how the traditional practice of fabric printing is done today. They even took home some lovely textiles for themselves.
That evening, the hotel served another impeccable dinner during which the group was able to visit the kitchen. Designhounds took a look behind the scenes at the culinary genius of the chef, Mathias Dandine. Our server delivered a superb meal, clad in his very own Signature Kitchen Suite apron.
Day 5: Antiques Tour of Marseilles
We spent the last day in the area around Marseilles for more antiquing at Les Puces de Fifi Turin, a collective shop for local antique vendors. Downtown, the group enjoyed lunch in the Moroccan district followed by a visit to Maison Empeurer, the oldest hardware store in France. We had an exclusive look at their stylish bed & breakfast.
A quick drive south through the mountains and we were in Cassis, a beautiful seaside town. We hopped on a boat for a tour of the surrounding cliffs – the perfect way to end a wonderful trip.
We still had one last dinner together! Toma’s friends and local antique collectors hosted us for dinner at their private mansion overlooking the Cassis hillside. Marius & Camille catered the dinner and the food was as delicious as the view.
Thank you to Signature Kitchen Suite for making this journey possible. A big thanks to Toma and Melanie from the Antiques Diva for hosting our antiques tour. Finally, thank you to the Designhounds for being a part of this magical trip. We look forward to seeing you on our next adventure.
For more information about upcoming Designhounds retreats, tours, and sponsor collaborations, please see us at www.designhounds.com.