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A short break in Avignon, by train

Posted by at 11:14 on Wednesday 11 August 2010

Arriving at our bed & breakfast La Violette in Avignon. Photo: George MiddletonArriving at our bed & breakfast La Violette in Avignon. Photo: George MiddletonIf you plan to take advantage of Eurostar's direct summer service from London to Avignon, then I recommend staying at the La Violette Bed and Breakfast just outside the city's old walls.

The owner, Isabelle, picked me up from the Avignon TGV station and took me on an impromtu tour of this fascinating city. Avignon is, I learned, the only city other than Rome in which a Pope has had a permanent residence.

The lift from the station was a bonus in itself. The TGV station is 15 minutes drive from the old city walls in the centre of Avignon. Isabelle is married with four children and her bed and breakfast feels like an expressive extension to her family home.
La Violette feels like an extension of the owner's home. Photo: George MiddletonLa Violette feels like an extension of the owner's home. Photo: George Middleton

The four rooms (there's a snapshot online) are each carefully decorated with an assortment of objects and ornaments... but the snapshots of course only tell you so much. There is much more to this B&B than the website reveals, including walls of tapestry and a chlorine-free swimming pool.

A lovely breakfast delivered to our room in the morning. Photo: George MiddletonA lovely breakfast delivered to our room in the morning. Photo: George MiddletonThe breakfast served was superb. A gentle knock on the door and we looked out to find our breakfast tray placed on a coffee table, adjacent to our room. Fresh bread, croissant, fruit, juice and cereal were sprinkled with flower petals from the garden.

And if you'd rather save money on food, or simply prefer cooking for yourself, there’s space and storage provided to do so.  

Isabelle’s husband kindly offered to drive us to the station as we left after breakfast. All to the distant sound of their eldest daughter receiving a violin lesson. It’s quiet, well proportioned, uniquely presented, has ample outside space (including one room with a balcony). La Violette is well worth a visit, just leave yourself more time than a night.

Book a room at La Violette B&B: www.avignonlaviolettebb.fr.

Getting there: Eurostar runs direct weekly Saturday services from St Pancras International and Ashford International to Avignon Centre station from 10 July to 11 September 2010. The entire trip can take less than 6 hours. For the full itinerary, see: Book train tickets from London to Avignon.

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Blogs posts categorised as 'Reviews' have been written with the support of one or more of the following: accommodation owner, activity provider, operator, equipment supplier, tourist board, protected landscape authority or other destination-focussed authority. The reviewer retains full editorial control of the work, which has been written in the reviewer's own words based on their experience of the accommodation, activity, equipment or destination.

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