The Hotel Pastis

I love this book. Peter Mayle is an expatriate Brit who lives in Provence. This book is pretty old but I have to say that I love love love it. It is the story of a middle aged advertising executive named Simon who sells out and moves to the South of France to open a hotel. He is assisted by Nicole Bouvier, a beautiful French woman who Simon meets on a holiday after his 2nd marriage has ended in divorce. Simon starts to fall in love with Nicole when he visits her home.

Nicole's house, the highest in Brassiere-les-Deux-Eglises, was at the
end of a cul-de-sac, a narrow, three-storey building of weathered stone with
wooden shutters painted in a color somewhere between gray and faded green.
Stairs led up to a carved wooden front door with a knocker in the form of a hand
holding a ball, and the leaves of an old wild-grape vine flared autumn red
against the wall.

"This is lovely," said Simon. "How long have you had it?"

"Ten, eleven years." Nicole turned the key in the door and nudged it
open with her hip. "One day it will be finished. The top floor is
still to do. Be careful with your head."

Simon ducked inside. At the far end of the long, low room, through a
glass door, he could see a small terrace with blue hills beyond.
Comfortable, slightly shabby armchairs were arranged in front of a
cut-stone fireplace that had been laid with vine clippings. On the other
side of the room, the wall had been knocked away to waist height to make a bar,
with a gap at one end leading through to the kitchen. Books were
everywhere, books and flowers. The air smelled faintly of lavender.
I love this passage because it has always been my dream of my home. The Hotel Pastis is a lovely place to visit. Make a reservation and stay for a while.

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