French Connections

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The Times newspaper has chosen its top holidays in France for 2014 and among the 'Best for Culture' is a holiday offered through French Connections in the Ardèche. At La Mirande, a stylish converted farmhouse near Rochessauve, property owner Gray Veredon, is offering an innovative all-inclusive culture break, which includes transfers from Valence railway station, accommodation, escorted visits and gourmet meals with wine.

Gray VeredonGray is a top choreographer and originally went to France as director of ballet at Lyons. He bought La Mirande as a weekend escape set in peaceful rural seclusion and, after a career that included working with David Hockney as set designer, he became a professional tour guide and now lives full-time in his beloved Ardèche.

Southern France is of course rich in wine, food, culture and glorious countryside and the culture break includes accommodation in theatrically designed, luxuriously furnished suites, guided visits to cultural events and locations and home-cooked meals each evening. The farmhouse retains period features with artistic interiors and there is accommodation for just six, so guests can  travel as couples or a small group.

Guests influence the choice of each day’s destinations and activities, which include shopping at the market for a cookery session and outings to vineyards, lavender fields, Roman sites, ceramic works and music festivals. Also at La Mirande is a self-catering cottage for visitors who prefer a more independent break.

Read more about holiday options at La Mirande