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Have you got a  passion for Provence?


Look no further.


I consider my friend Dee Poquette the expert on Provence, who began an intense love affair with Provence more than a decade years ago.


Dee on left with her girlfriends at a seaside bistro in Vieux-Port, St. Tropez, 2007


Dee and three of her friends attended cooking classes at Julia Child’s home in Placassier nestled in the hills above the Côte d”Azur.


(Julia Child and her husband built the house in 1967 and had it until 1992. You may remember seeing it featured in the movie Julie & Julia.)



It was here in Provence that Julia Child collaborated with Simone Beck to write most of the recipes for their international best-selling cookbook Mastering The Art of French Cooking!

Cooking in Julia Child’s Home In Provence


Dee and her friends took over the three-bedroom home for a week (OMG can you imagine?).


They visited local markets while creating savoury French dishes under the skillful instruction of Kathie Alex, a three Michelin star chef – a woman who like Julia Child was still quite a rare thing at the time.


“The house was almost as if Julia had just walked out the door,” says Dee.


“Even most of her cooking utensils were still there!”

An American’s Passion for Provence


Dee is a personal trainer of more than 3 decades who lives in New Fairfield, Connecticut. However, while on subsequent trips to the south of France, Dee also got the idea to start her own tour


company (Jackdaw Journeys*) organizing trips to Provence specifically tailored for women of a certain age!


She now does three group tours a year in May, August and October for a maximum of 10 women each.



Group shot of Dee’s cooking school experience in Provence.


These trips offer Dee’s personal recipe for experiencing all that this Mediterranean region has to offer — with a special focus on local markets, cooking and fine dining.

Experience Authentic Provence


Arriving in Nice, Dee personally escorts every group to sights, towns and villages off the beaten track.

They include visiting gems like Ville Franche-sur-Mer, Le Casstellet Nice, Cassis, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. which is known for its famous antique markets selling fine French linens, silverware, jewelry, furniture etc.

(Dee schedules lots of time in the best places to shop so she tells her guests to bring an extra empty suitcase!)


So Provence!/Passion for Provence




Ladies with the grapes they picked!/Passion for Provence


“Like many of us, I am reinventing myself and living my passion,” says Dee. “And I have combined a variety of guilty pleasures that women our age are looking for in a vacation in one of the most beautiful places in the world.”


Dee on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Waiting for us to arrive?

Discover Provence with Dee!


Find out more by Clicking Jackdaw Journeys

And if you book one of Dee’s tours, she is generously offering to

My Subscribers ONLY


Yup — just for the subscribers of a


Port town of Cassis where Dee takes guests on a boat tour of the stunning bays and rocky cliffs known as the Calanques.


Thank you Dee for sharing your story.

I know we all dream of taking this trip with you!

*Dee called this business Jackdaw Journeys after the name of the boutique she fell in love with in London, England. She just liked the name.


Julia Child’s Provence Home

Check out my Blog Post about what has happened to Julia’s vacation home

n the South of France where one of the world’s most famous cooks

created many of her recipes!



Please Leave a Comment Below

Tell us what YOU love about Provence!

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  1. Twink on July 14, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Provence – rising early and heading into Beaumes-de-Venise to the Boulangerie for our morning croissant qwhile the sun is just starting to warm up the growing vineyards.

    • Dee Poquette on July 16, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      Yes, we sometimes do that as well and bring back warm breads and yogurts for the sleepyheads.

      Dee Poquette for Jackdaw Journeys

  2. Tamara Thompson on July 14, 2019 at 10:24 am

    I can see it, I can almost taste it! Julia & Julia one of my favourite movies. Vacationing at Jackdaw Journey’s sounds so WONDERFUL!!! Dee thought of everything to make this vacation destination a magical experience, Oh the relaxation factor!!! What inspiration, I can tell Dee really takes care of and pampers her guests! A great blog Diana, thoroughly enjoyable through and through!!!! I -Tamara 🙂

    • Diana Bishop on July 14, 2019 at 1:01 pm

      I wanted to team up to promote Dee and Jackdaw travels because I can see the love she puts into these very affordable trips. Thanks Tamara. You are such a loyal follower and I always appreciate your comments. Diana

      • Grace Prince on August 25, 2019 at 6:58 pm

        All I can say is WOW,it really is a fantasy and thank you for sharing this. Maybe it will be my dream come true next year.

    • dee poquette on July 16, 2019 at 1:43 pm

      Thank you Tamara. Here at Jackdaw Journeys we want to show our guest the beauty of Provence but not run them ragged. In fact one of our hotels is complete with a beautiful spa and often you will find us there after a day out or even before bedtime. Yes, we try to offer everything but we are always open to suggestions. Hope you join us soon.

      Dee Poquette for Jackdaw Journeys

  3. lagatta à Montréal on July 14, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Unfortunately I never spent a lot of time in Provence, or Côte d’Azur. My first views of that lovely region were from the train, travelling between Paris and my destination studying in Italy. The colours of the sea, the sky, the foliage and the architecture, bathed in Mediterranean sunshine, were spectacular. Later I did make a day trip to Marseille, a dynamic city, but very far from the dream of Provence, to visit a Marseillaise friend I’d met in Perugia.

    And best of all a brief stay in Aix-en-Provence, an elegant and lively university town, to meet the daughter of a friend who was reading law there. She is now a prominent human-rights lawyer. (Bragging rights? Those are her parents’.) I’d certainly like to spend more time there, probably taking a course – history or art history. I see that there are summer French courses at Aix, if anyone here wants to improve her – or his – French.

    • Diana Bishop on July 14, 2019 at 12:56 pm

      Yes even the scenery by train is so gorgeous! There are wonderful French classes for people over 50 in Nice also — it’s called Cinquante Plus. You get to meet people from all over the world and it doesn’t matter what level of French you have, beginner to advanced, you learn a lot. Thanks Iagatta for sharing this post. Diana

    • dee poquette on July 16, 2019 at 1:51 pm

      Yes, Lagatta, Aix- en-Provence is a dream city! One of my French class friends recently spend 6 wonderful weeks in Aix taking French lessons at university. It is amazing how fluent she now is in her French. What a place to learn a new language. You for sure need to spend more time in Provence. Dee Poquette for Jackdaw Journeys

  4. Trudy Van Buskirk on July 14, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    This post reminds of going to Aix En Provence in summer 1971 when I was 21 (do the math to see how old I am now). I had just graduated from Western with a major in French and it was my first flight. I spent a month at the university there, stayed in a dorm, took a course called “French for non native speakers, met 2 American girls and one Scottish girl who I chummed around with that month.

    What wonderful memories and you’ve brought them back with your post … thanks ?

    • Diana Bishop on July 14, 2019 at 12:59 pm

      Trudy — I majored in French at Guelph of all places and went to France for a year on a fellowship after I graduated. Like you, thinking of those days in the South of France brings back wonderful memories. Your math is similar to mine…enough said. Thanks for sharing Trudy! Diana

  5. Luci Rizzo on July 14, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    This kind of trip sounds so appealing. A group of women who can eat and drink together, laugh together, and sHOP together, Gosh i would think i died and went to Heaven!

    • dee poquette on July 16, 2019 at 2:03 pm

      Luci, IT IS HEAVEN! As Diana’s blog post on “Jackdaw” states I have been going to Provence for 12 years with my girlfriends. Just last year, my husband decide to go over with me, “to see what I was up to”. We had a grand time but I can honestly say it was a different experience. Nothing like spending a week shopping, cooking, exploring, eating, drinking and relaxing with your girlfriends. Put that group together, take advantage of the 20% discount I am offering Diana’s followers and come to Provence.

      Dee Poquette for Jackdaw Journeys

  6. ChristineCamm on July 15, 2019 at 8:40 am

    Diana, you ALWAYS show us beautiful people who are making such a positive difference to others here in France. I love your stories and how you present them! Totally envious of your writing style!
    I love this week in Provence – thank you for sharing this gem with us!

    • Diana Bishop on July 15, 2019 at 11:40 am

      Christine — so great to hear from you. Thank you for the kind words. I am hearing great things about your French classes from my readers who are working with you! Bravo!
      I just love promoting women of our age who are doing inspiring things such as yourself. Dee is an extraordinary woman doing what she loves — I hope we can help her grow her business.

      Just a reminder to anyone reading this comment.. Christine does online French Lessons that are perfect for anyone who is just learning French — find her at

    • dee poquette on July 16, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      Hi, Christine. It’s Dee from Jackdaw Journeys. I would love to talk to you about lessons. Diana speaks very highly of your lessons. Sure could use them.

  7. Timmithea Leeds on July 15, 2019 at 10:52 am

    If I remember correctly, I got to meet Julia Childs at a fundraising event in the late nineties! She was a hoot. Julia talked about the changes society was making with the regards to the use of butter and heavy creams and how she reluctantly was trying to do the same understanding the health benefits, but she said she could never give them up completely- especially butter. I appreciated that she really didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life until much later and how she stumbled into cooking and found her passion. I watched Julia Child’s cooking show on PBS in my early 20’s and still remember several of her recipes for scalloped potatoes. They are my boys( who are men now) favorites still! Julia told many stories, but one that stuck out in my mind was a live episode of her cooking show where she was preparing a Thanksgiving turkey – as she rubbed it down and was talking to the camera the turkey shot out in front of her from the table and landed onto the floor! She couldn’t stop laughing. It was hysterical. Her humor, love of life and cooking was infectious. Her apron hangs in my kitchen and I still use it to this very day! To stay in France, in her house and see the things she spoke of would be fabulous! Imagine sitting at her kitchen table, eating scalloped potatoes with cream and butter, drinking wine and toasting “Bon Appetit!” as Julia would always end her show – what fun that would be!

    • Diana Bishop on July 15, 2019 at 11:47 am

      Are you kidding me? You met Julia Child? I would have died and gone to heaven! I did not see that episode but I have to find it. Thank you for sharing this story Timmithea! Love it. Diana

    • Diana Bishop on July 15, 2019 at 11:48 am

      PS you can still go to Julia Child’s home for four days to study with a Michelin star rated chef for about $5000 USD. But Dee Poquette two day cooking class sounds even more spectacular. Diana

      • Timmithea Leeds on July 17, 2019 at 12:23 pm

        Sounds wonderful! Always open to new and different experiences. A chef, sadly I am not! Barely a good imitator! Your children always (to your face anyway) love your cooking! But, I like the idea of traveling with friends. My Highschool buddies and I will see Sting perform at the Arches in Utah this September. A European trip would be a blast, I’m sure.

        • Diana Bishop on July 18, 2019 at 9:56 am

          We should all go!

    • dee poquette on July 16, 2019 at 2:31 pm

      Hi Timmithea.,
      It WAS a dream for us to stay in Julia’s and Paul’s house. La Pitchoune, or La Peetch as the cottage is called means “little peach”. The summer home was built on Simone Beck’s family property and was built on friendship with no deed etc. The only requirement was that the house was to be turned back to the Beck family when the Child’s left. And it was. What some don’t know is that the Becks also lived next door and Simone had a cooking school in front of La Peetch. That cottage is still there. Can’t you just see those two girls running back and forth between houses writing and trying out recipes.
      That experience for me was the beginning of the birth of Jackdaw Journeys Tours. Come along with us and use your 20% discount I am only offering to Diana’s followers.

      Dee at Jackdaw Journeys.

  8. Christine Kowal on July 20, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    It sounds so beautiful.

    • Diana Bishop on July 20, 2019 at 7:23 pm

      Doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you love to go? Diana

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