France is the number one world destination for tourists and after Paris, Provence is the second most visited place in France. It’s a place that’s easy on the eyes, and as such is a perfect subject for coffee-table books – either before your visit to tempt you here, or after, as a wonderful keepsake of your journey.
This book on Provençal Escapes is the perfect book for anyone who has ever dreamed of following British author Peter Mayle to Provence, renovating an old house and living the southern French way of life to the fullest. It features 22 homes with something for everyone – small retreats facing the sea or large countryside castles; enough choice to bring out the DIY bug in anyone.
This book on Provence Style is all about how to incorporate Provençal touches into your home. It explains where the colours that we find so often in Provence (the red floor tiles, the blue shutters, the painted walls) originated from, and how you can introduce them successfully into your house. It covers textiles, furniture, pottery, metalwork and outdoor gardens too.
The Most Beautiful Country Towns of Provence is part of a series of books that straddle all the regions of France. Alex Ramsay’s photos take in the entire area from Roman ruins or Uzes to the countryside of the Var and Vaucluse. It also pinpoints where to find amazing food and the best places to stay in the region.
With a foreword by Terence Conran, this book of 500 photos of Provence aims to show Provence not just as a series of beautiful landscapes but also for what it is – a way of life. The author Gerard Sioen is an internationally-acclaimed photographer and also a resident of Provence, and he manages to capture its architecture as well as the day-to-day life of its people and animals.
Living in Provence is a book of photos that really celebrates what it’s like to live in the region, looking at the architecture in detail and the way that buildings and places play on the fluidity of inside and outside spaces. It’s also a book that helps readers find authentic places to buy Provençal materials to decorate their own homes.
No coffee table filled with Provence books would be complete without one of its biggest exports (after wine of course!) – lavender. The Fragrance of Provence is by a local photographer, showing the beauty of lavender throughout all the seasons. It also explains the history of lavender and its importance to the region.