"The sign at the entrance to Montjalade now proudly says "Quai du point du jour". Every hour and every light - constantly changing- is a new discovery at this wonderful house. Owner Joan Duck is delighted to have transported the sign from the banks of the Seine, and has ensured that a stay in her Provençal paradise will indeed be a 'daybreak' for her visitors. The sun climbs through the trees from the east towards Reillanne and then lights the garden in a golden glow before gleaming on the clear waters of the pool. Afternoon brings strong contrasts, brilliance matched by deep shadows, and at night the pool reflects the moon and the breeze rustles the bamboos where the sparrows roost. Purple prose? Yes, I admit it, but Montjalade deserves Cézanne, who lived down the road, in Aix and I'm no painter so words are all I can offer. My wife and I are gardeners, though, and anyone who loves gardens will love Montjalade and recognise the care and love with which Joan has created this Eden, seeing that this plant will look just right there and that new tree here- just as a painting is created from a mass of tiny details. Yet at the same time, it is all unfussy and relaxed. That's also how Joan treats her guests- ever ready to help, guide. joke and suggest, but never to intrude, so that in this other Eden, we a Grandpa Adam and Granny Eve were left quite undisturbed to splash in the pool. When we needed help though, Joan was there. Grandpa Adam managed to drive the wheel of his car into a concealed ditch. Joan was at the ready with ramps and boards and helped by a passing stranger, the car was soon out, quite undamaged. What else? The house is lovely too- quirky, original, (like Joan) no straight lines anywhere, full of odd and ends and much to make for comfort, and lovely bathrooms. If you are a fan of Le Corbusier, this isn't the place for you. If you want peace, joy, pure air, ever changing light, and need your 'daybreak', go to Montjalade."
Guest: Grandpa Adam
Date of Stay: August 2014
Review Submitted: September 22, 2014