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 Provence Tour Hosts  

Provence tour Guides

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A
nne-Marie and Wade Hampton pioneered the hosting of small group tours in Provence in 1995.  As a husband and wife team, they designed this special tour for their guests and are happy to share their knowledge and love of a cultural paradise.

Anne-Marie, a Ph.D. in French and Francophone literature from UCLA, is a native of Provence who knows her country intimately.  She studied art in Marseille and Paris and has a degree in Art History.  Her experience as an art dealer for an international gallery serves her well when she helps guests shop for antiques.  She has an extensive knowledge of French culture and cuisine and is always pleased to share her secrets with her guests.

A designer and an artist, Wade manufactured architectural designs for the building industry and patented several innovative construction products.  He is a land investor and owns several mountain tops of rare patented mining claims property which he develops in the Prescott National Forest, AZ.

Wade fell in love with Provence thirty five years ago and knows the region as well as the natives - if not better!  As an enthusiastic explorer, he can't resist taking back roads and has discovered some amazing places:  "Every village in Provence is a piece of art.  Itís impossible to drive in this  country without finding something beautiful to look at!"  A very attentive host, Wade is also a fine connoisseur of ProvenÁal wines and you will enjoy his wine-tasting party. 

Wade and Anne-Marieís adventures began in 1995.  Tired of renting houses in the region when they were on tour, they decided to buy property in Provence and make the Luberon the place of their second home.  This was ideal to invite their guests for dinner and be close to Anne-Marieís family.  After many visits of old farm houses in desperate need of remodeling, Wade felt that it would be easier to buy land and built on it, rather than redoing everything in an old house that would never fit their needs.  After three years of visiting properties they found the land of their dream in 1998.  This rare piece of land, sitting in the countryside near the ocher village of Roussillon, offers a panoramic view over the Luberon mountain, the Monts du Vaucluse and the village of Gordes.  

View of sunset from our house.

Then, construction began, which was another big adventure...  

Now, Anne-Marie and Wade live in Provence 6 months out of the year.  As Wadeís dream would not have been complete without a garden, he started working on a piece of  land, enriching it year after year with manure from a friendís horse ranch and straw from a local farmer.  Over time, Wade made an incredible garden where he spends most of his time when he isnít on tour.   From tomatoes, to eggplants and zucchini, from green beans and sweet peas to salads, beets, corn, cabbage, squash, melons, watermelons, rhubarb,  rows of basil and all kind of herbs and flowers, he planted about everything that could grow and now, Anne-Marie is asking for artichokes!  

Aside from veggies, Wade planted cherry, apricot and fig trees, and has wild, prolific prune (mirabelle) and apple trees which fruits make excellent  jam.  His garden has earned him admiration from peasants of the region who are also in awe of his 17ft tall sunflowers!  And, as a garden couldnít exist without our little friends the bees, Wade installed two large hives!  Now his bees enjoy the lavender fields behind and below our house and gave him 24 kg of deliciously perfumed lavender honey this year.  Of course, all this bounty keeps Anne-Marie busy cooking, canning, baking, and making ice cream for the enjoyment of our guests.   Please see photos bellow showing part of Wadeís wonderful garden.  

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