In Which We Live In A Merchant/Ivory Film For Almost A Week

To give you an idea of just how amazing and magical our time was at Le Petit Hôpital, here are some photos from and of the gang:

Petit Hôpital

Oh, the hours spent at the Best Dining Table in Europe. Epic, epic meals one and all.

mary pool

Mrs. Pants spent many hours near and in the pool.

salon silhouette

Mrs. Pants and Luca played the very, very old piano (and washed their hands before doing so!).


Alfio made his famous frittata for lunch one day.

buracco 01

Marco and Giovanni played burraco next to me while I worked on my laptop.

bike outing

Half gay bike gang! The villa was equipped with a ton of bikes, naturally.

espresso stop

The gang went to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Avignon during our stay (but admitted they really just wanted to stay at the villa forever).

cheese destruction

Treats appeared at various times, but no one was ever fast enough to take a picture before we descended on them.

more cooking

Giovanni made pasta with mussels and shrimp, with plenty of bread to dunk in the exquisite broth afterward.

the Twirl

Marco twirling his amazing carbonara for yet another scrumptious lunch.

Italian lessons 02

Giovanni gave hilarious Italian lessons off the “small” kitchen each morning over coffee.


Mr. Pants bought all the wine that was drunk at the villa that week, which was no small task.


Luca and Alfio played Machiavelli in the inner courtyard, which was our central meeting place.

Not pictured:

  • Mariela gave everyone hours-long massages in the main salon
  • Mel floated in and out among epic naps and taking pix of Maggie Mostro
  • I sat at the head of the table for every meal, choking back happy tears as we toasted to ourselves
  • Mrs. Pants started drawing again!
  • Mr. Pants DJ’d with smooth jazz, Big Band tunes and sometimes with Giovanni’s Italian trash pop
  • Late afternoons on the back terrace in the sun

I am telling you – get the right group together, and book yourself a villa. It’s the only way to go. And that’s as objective a review I can give of one of the best times of my life!

Giovanni 02


15 thoughts on “In Which We Live In A Merchant/Ivory Film For Almost A Week

  1. Can you hear me sighing from 6,000 miles away?

    I need to buy a lottery ticket, and then win millions, so I can buy this place and fly my friends over whenever I want. I can think of no finer way to spend every penny I have, seriously.

    • Not to be a shill for Demeure, but I’d rather spend your millions renting their places one after the other and just finding new places to have insane amounts of fun. I mean, if I had my druthers.

      • See? You take my perfect image in my head and IMPROVE ON IT. That’s why you’re who you are. It’s like I find a cool rock on the ground I show it to you and you say, “Pretty! And look at this diamond over here!”

        • You’ve made me cry AND THEN PROMPTLY giggle uncontrollably in the space of 5 minutes. How’s that for the power of this little electronic box?

  2. Hi Miss Expatria,

    Thank-you for writing this beautiful final blog post about your stay! We loved seeing all of the beautiful photos – especially those photos of the delicious food you were enjoying! And if we were there, I’m sure that we wouldn’t be able to resist pouncing on the food for long enough to take a photo either.

    Your writing makes us feel like we’re there with you, learning Italian words with Giovanni and listening to Mrs. Pants and Luca play on the old piano. Your blog post has us day dreaming about eating scrumptious food while listening to smooth jazz, Big Band tunes and yes, even Italian pop music.

    We hope you’ll return to Le Petite Hopital soon, or visit another of our villa’s so that we can read all about it 🙂


    The Demeure Team

    • The pleasure, my dears, was entirely mine. You have Demeure fans for life. We’re already planning our next group trip!

  3. Group trips with old friends are so fabulous. Would you believe that the friends we made in Indonesia 30 years ago still meet once a year somewhere in Europe for a weekend? The kids come, the grandkids come … Last year was in stunningly beautiful Albania and this year it will be in my native Holland (and let’s hope it won’t rain!) We eat, we drink, we talk, we . . . . go on a run! It’s an old Hash House Harriers group 😉 There’s nothing better than old friends!

    If we end up in France, we’ll do one there.

    • You are spot on. And promise me this: Your next one should definitely be in France, and DEFINITELY be at Le Petit Hopital.

  4. What a luxurious life experience on every level. This one will surely provide memories you will gladly visit for the rest of your life. No matter what the cost would be, this kind of complete and total luxury with life friends is worth every single penny. So happy for you!

  5. I missed the “whole” story, but what a tale to read in recuperation in Houston. I don’t know the beginning, but love it’s progression. And am so happy that you, my dear friend so far away, are living so fully and deeply. Shine on, love!

    • Shine on, yourself! It’s SO GOOD to have you here!

      Just go back a couple, I’ve only started writing again in the last week!

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