Your Wedding in the Var, la Provence Verte
Updated: Feb 16, 2020
So Why Provence? – The Var part 2, vineyards and Châteaux :
Every part of Provence is as beautiful as it is diverse, and the Var is no exception.
In the previous post, we explored just a part of the coast from La Croix Valmer on the southern side of the St Tropez peninsular to Saint-Raphael.
The Inland Var
Moving inland, there are exceptional wedding venues to be found where ever you go. Here are just a few of the many magical places we've had the pleasure of visiting in the course of our job as wedding celebrants.
Some areas are, however, a little isolated in terms of restaurants, bars, clubs and shops to poke around in, so you may want to think of the comfort and interest of your guests when choosing your venue, and suggest, perhaps, that they opt for a two-region stay for their holiday, so that their needs don't impact your desires. The Domaine des Grottes is one such, perfect in every way as a wedding venue but places to stay nearby, few and far between.
Who doesn't love the chance to visit the wine châteaux of Provence, even if you're not much of a drinker? And for those who enjoy un verre de vin, how very pleasant to indulge in a little wine-tasting if there's time, either before or after the ceremony? Not being an ideal climate for the cultivation of edible fruit (most of the fruit farms are further inland or up in the Vaucluse) you'll see that much of the Varois countryside, even quite close to the sea, is covered in beautifully manicured rows of vines.
There are two separate terraces where wedding ceremonies may be held at the Château des Selves, this is the lower terrace, almost among the vines! Both terraces rely on parasols for shelter from the sun, although the upper terrace benefits from the shade of a lovely plain tree as well.
The upper terrace is at the main house level, where you'll find a lovely shop for tasting the wines and buying other grape, olive and honey-based delights.
In the Fréjus area there are two vineyards that open their doors to weddings.
Le Clos des Roses benefits from being easily accessible from the A8 autoroute and comprises a boutique hotel and excellent restaurant as well as a shop for tasting and buying their wines.
Le Château Vaudois is near Roquebrune sur Argens and is reached via a drive alongside a water ski lake. There's no accommodation or restaurant, but the garden with its pretty gazebo provides the perfect wedding backdrop.
There is also the dedicated wedding venue, L'Auberge des Adrets hidden away in the hills of Les Adrets between Fréjus and Cannes.
Les Arcs, near Draguignan, is home to a superb and ancient vineyard – the Château Sainte-Roseline – with its own cloisters, which provided a stunning setting for this smaller wedding last year.
The Château Saint-Martin near Taradeau is a vineyard and event venue run entirely by women, and as a rosé lover myself, I have to say they produce a delightful wine!
Probably the best-known hotel / vineyard in Provence is the iconic Relais and Châteaux Château de Berne. Ceremonies here are usually held on the helipad in the centre of a lily pond, and there's also a beautiful indoor setting in case of inclement weather.
Just a little further south we find the Château les Crostes, another superb wine domain nestling in the hills.
Moving further west, just beyond the village of le Luc, is a well-hidden Château with its history embedded in the Templars, the Commanderie de Peyrassol. Even if it isn't on your list for venues, this amazing domaine is well worth a visit, not least for the unexpected artworks to be discovered in its grounds. Our couple chose a rustic setting for their wedding, the bride arriving in a pony and trap, while the reception and banquet were held in the more formal areas, of which there is an enormous choice.
Château Robernier, near Cotignac
This magnificent Château is reached via a long drive through vineyards and olive groves. Wedding ceremonies here are held overlooking the formal gardens, while the interior provides enough space to shelter from the heat if necessary. Wedding Banquets are held in the interior courtyard while there's a dedicated room for dancing the night away!
If you've travelled the A8 autoroute in the south you can hardly fail to notice this impressive Basilica dominating the landscape of Saint-Maximin la Saint-Baume. This has, in recent years, been converted into an exclusive hotel, Le Couvent Royal.
The cloisters provide shade from both occasional showers and often blistering sunshine, while the elegant courtyard is the perfect place for your pre-dinner cocktails.
Being in the centre of the town, it's well-placed for the enjoyment of all the usual hustle and bustle to be found in a Provencal town, yet once inside the stillness offers a wonderful sense of tranquility.
Next time we leave The Var and head further west and north into the Bouches du Rhone, that area so beloved by artists such as Van Gogh and Cezanne. A Bientôt!