by jeany Cronk
If you're visiting the South of France this summer, a visit to Cotignac should be as high on your list as a Ridley London floral print summer maxi dress. Our friend and founder of multi award-winning Mirabeau Wine Jeany Cronk, shares her inside knowledge and best kept secrets of her charming local town
Cotignac dates back to Roman times and is famed for it's picturesque tree lined streets, cafes and charming atmosphere
Cotignac is a charming Provencal French village, blessed with the perfect climate and terroir for wine making and a really special and relaxed atmosphere. The town is conveniently located an hours drive from the beaches of Saint Tropez, the bustle of Aix and other well known destinations like Mougins. Cotignac dates back to Roman times and is famed for its picturesque tree lined and winding streets, mellow stone houses and charming cafes and restaurants that spill onto the pavements. Its a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the authentic laid back pace of Provencal life and somewhere I'd encourage everyone to visit.
We are incredibly fortunate to have such wonderful produce around us here in Provence and weekly, if not daily, markets all within a short drive of where we live that showcase the best of the season and the region. We eat mainly a vegetarian diet and what is fresh and in season but for everything else we have a number of fantastic organic shops nearby where I can pick up the basics. Whilst we are slightly short on choice here in Cotignac, I love in normal times visiting Aix-en-Provence which has an array of wonderful independent shops.
Cotignac's cafes buzz with laid back Provencal life and the food is exceptional as shown here at Picotte. Becky @bricksandstitches and Heidy @heidybrynjacobson sample Cotignac life in their Ridley London summer dresses (from left to right) the Isla dress in pink broderie anglaise cotton and the Sienna maxi dress in the new turquoise and red Edith floral print
Every Tuesday is our lovely Provençal Market, not to be missed for just off the farm shopping and meeting just about everyone who lives there. There are periodic specialist markets for pottery and plants, you can find out on the website of the town hall what is planned for the season: https://www.la-provence-verte.net/ot_cotignac/actualites.php
We are fortunate to have some great restaurants in the village, first up former Ducasse disciple Benoit Witz’s “Jardin Secret”, which boasts lovely locally sourced dishes in a magic secluded garden: https://www.loucalen.com/en/bar_restauration/jardin-secret-2/ Make sure you book well in advance as it’s almost always full.
Or the more relaxed eatery Picotte, with a really cute terrace and great interiors, as well as creative cuisine: https://www.picotte-provence.fr/menu
For a full French café experience head to the Bar de L’Union on the bustling main street, which is both authentic and great for people watching: 26 Cr Gambetta, 83570 Cotignac, France Phone: +33 4 94 72 24 36
Kat @doesmybumlook40 enjoying a refreshing glass of provencal rosé, Mirabeau of course! in her stylish printed floral cotton Ridley London Serena maxi dress. A perfect follow up to the deserts at
Stylish Ann Classen owns “Escapade” which is a wonderful boutique of clothes and Lifestyle products on the Place de la Mairie https://www.instagram.com/escapade_cotignac/?hl=en or Visit Nadine Dehenmin’s beautiful brocante, Le Passé, Le Présent: http://www.dehennin.fr/Accueil.html
Apart from the wonderful food, wine, weather and way of life, Provence is also famed for Art with iconic painters including Cézanne, Renoir, Van Gough and Picasso having lived and worked here. A trip to Cotignac should include a visit to our galleries and museums. The Hôtel de Caumont is a 18th century hôtel particulier (private mansion), located just a few steps from the cours Mirabeau. It is now a renowned art center and hosts wonderful temporary exhibitions. The next one "Raoul Dufy A passion for Colour" runs from 6 May to 18 September 2022 and we have no doubt it is going to be fabulous.
I'd also recommend visiting the Musée de l'Annonciade, a chapel that's been beautifully converted into a museum in 1922 and brings forward impressive art work dating from 1890 to 1950, including some of the greatest masterminds such as Matisse, Klee or Gauguin. During this period, Saint-Tropez was the heart of an impressive painting movement led by the painter Paul Signac.
And of course pop into our gorgeous lifestyle boutique and tasting room on the main square, Cours Gambetta, we love having visitors to taste the full range and meet the team.
The gorgeous Mirabeau lifestyle boutique and tasting room is located in the town square and open to visitors. (top) Becky @bricksandstitches in her Isla dress and Sammy @theturquoiseflamingo pictured at Mirabeau in her Lola shirt dress in the Carline Rose floral print
Some recommendations beyond Cotignac...
Rondini – the traditional Sandales Tropéziennes
L’Atelier 55- St Tropez
The Saint-Tropez Market - On Tuesday and Saturday mornings, the Place des Lices, in the heart of Saint-Tropez, hosts one of the most famous open-air markets of the Côte d’Azur. This is where locals gather to sell their products, which range from seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh fish and meat…to flowers, furniture, toys…
Our favourite restaurants
Glaces Philippe Faur - Aix-En Provence
Wiebel - Aix-en-Provence
La Tarte Tropézienne - St Tropez
La Maison des Jumeaux- St Tropez
Café Sénéquier - St Tropez
L’Amandier de Mougins opened under the management of Chefs Denis Fétisson and Didier Chouteau, in total respect of the spirit of Roger Vergé: Innovation, Refinement, Authenticity. Mirabeau is delighted with the listing of our Etoile rosé and Dry Rosé Gin.
Our favourite beach
Miramar Plage - Cannes
Amidst the luxury bars and boutiques lining the promenade, we encounter the scenic restaurant “Miramar Plage” right on the beach. Guests are invited to spend a day on the private beach whilst enjoying a gorgeous view and a delicious dining experience with their toes in the sand.
Ridley London's new collection of holiday dresses is available to purchase on-line and in Ridley's Barnes store. Celebrate your individuality this season with a unique piece that's individually crafted to flatter from your choice of any of our stunning new printed floral or solid silks or cottons. Or call us to arrange a virtual fitting:
Ridley London, 82 Church Road, Barnes, London SW13 0DQ T: 01730 823097