Holiday hotspots: where to go in 2014
On the Verge | Uzes, the Hidden Gem of the South of France
“Oh little town of Uzès!” the French novelist André Gide wrote affectionately of his father’s hometown in the South of France in his 1924 memoir, “Unless the Seed Dies.” “If you were in Umbria, Parisians would be visiting you in herds!” Gide, who was born into a middle-class Protestant family and scandalized France with a blunt but elegant defense of his homosexuality in “Corydon,” also published in 1924, was a wry and astute observer of Parisian snobberies. So he’d surely be amused to learn that today a taste-making coterie of Parisians is falling in love with Uzès and settling there, despite the fact that it’s not in Umbria.
Uzès is one of best preserved and most meticulously renovated towns in the South of France. It’s in the Gard département, 25 miles west of Avignon near the majestic Pont du Gard — an aqueduct bridge built in A.D. 60 by the Romans to supply water to Nimes — and has some superb Renaissance architecture...
...Alexis van Deinse and his British partner Gwilym Cox opened L’Albiousse, a four-room inn in a handsomely renovated 16th-century town house in the heart of town just a few steps from the Place aux Herbes, where the town’s lively market is held on Wednesday and Saturday mornings...
L'Albiousse This small B&B occupies a lovely 16th-century house known in this part of France as an hôtel - although L'Albiousse is the only such place in Uzès that functions as a hotel in the English sense of the word. The bedrooms are decorated with exquisite good taste. 'We thought we were choosing contemporary colours,' says Gwilym Cox, the Welsh-born owner. 'But it turns out the muted shades of green and grey are very 16th-century.' +39 4 66 59 15 74; www.albiousse.fr. Doubles from about £130
THE SECRET SIDE OF THE SOUTH OF FRANCE
Uzès is the South of France without the beach or bling, a hidden town preserved in white stone. We find a refreshingly laid-back spot with arty places to stay
...Make sure that you are in Uzès on a market day. On Wednesdays and Saturdays the Place aux Herbes is a tight maze of stalls selling all manner of bread, sausage, fish, hunting knives, olives, flowers and leather purses...
Antiques at L'Albiousse B&B, Uzès