La Belugue and a Dreamy Couple in Provence

Vineyards border the property of La Belugue, in the town of Beaumont-de-Pertuis, Provence France. Mary Gilman photo.
Vineyards border the property of La Belugue, in the town of Beaumont-de-Pertuis, Provence France. Mary Gilman photo.

La Belugue Gives You Back Your Sparkle

By Max Hartshorne
GoNOMAD Editor

Kelly and Philippe.
Kelly and Philippe.

We sat on the terrace after breakfast, the birds still chirping and swooping over the village hay fields and vines, and I asked one of the owners of an inn about their lives as innkeepers and bartenders, after long careers in the corporate world.

Kelly Goehler is the proprietor of La Belugue, a small wellness inn in Beaumont De Pertuis in Provence, France. She shared her and her husband Philippe’s story.

They cut quite a figure, well-dressed and well spoken, Kelly with the soft lilt of her native Nashville and Philippe with his Provencal accent. Both are warm and friendly.

“So my dream in founding LaBelugue was really to create a  space for people to come shut down their computers. Be creative, get in touch with the world, and get in touch with the beauty around you. And, really, you know, I’ve worked in corporate for 20 years of my life. I, and you said also Philippe was also corporate.

Relaxing Space: La Belugue

Yeah. And, so I understand what it’s like. To have your creativity drained. And I think having spaces like La Belugue where you can have a relaxed time, learn something new, be in a beautiful environment, and in Provence it is an unmet need. And I think that that’s what I really wanted to create here.”

The massive outdoor table at La Belugue is the perfect place to eat the meal you just cooked with Kelly.
Dining al fresco at La Belugue is the perfect place to eat the meal you just cooked with Kelly.

GoNOMAD Travel PodcastLISTEN TO KELLY on the PODCAST

We visited La Belugue in June 2023 and quickly fell into synch with Kelly and her kitchen. It was divine! Outside, the temperatures were sunny and bright, and we set off to find a farmer’s market where they had zucchini flowers.

These floppy yellow bundles, or fleurs de courgettes,  aren’t always easy to find, even though the vegetable markets of Provence have staggering assortments and gleaming examples of nearly any kind of produce.

Provence is one of the world’s best places to cook since the ingredients you need are all so handy and plentiful. To obtain the goat cheese we’d include as our starter, we visited a woman who raises a huge herd of goats and picked up three different varieties of flavored goat cheese.
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We had them for a minute until the rascal German Shepard plucked them up and ran away with them. Oh well, he’s happy and there are lots more disks in the cooler. Kelly reads her audience, knowing when to take a trip to the market and when to bring out more fruit for the elegant breakfast on the terrace.

Local goat in Mirabeau, Provence.
One of the rams at the goat farm in Mirabeau. Mary Gilman photo.

Uniformly Stunning

The setting is, well, uniformly stunning. Back behind their spacious house is a deep lawn, and on the other side are farm fields, and around the corner, their own barn and two horses.

The  Provencal cooking class with lunch is offered at La Belugue center on enrichment wellness. It has a photography course taught by a professional photographer and cooking classes with Kelly who is also a French-trained chef.

Or guests can just enjoy being by the pool and relaxing and letting the day roll. She said her mission is to bring your sparkle back, so let it happen.

Vineyards surround La Belugue in their small village.
Vineyards surround La Belugue in their small village.

 

Fleurs de Corgette, zucchini flowers.
Fleurs de Corgette, zucchini flowers.

A Typical La Belugue Day

So tell us about sort of the typical day. Tell us about the routine. Kelly continues.

“Well, we typically start the day with some sort of exercise, whether it be a hike or yoga.

Kelly leading the cooking lesson at La Belugue.
Kelly leading the cooking lesson at La Belugue.

Then we go for a  lovely breakfast with beautiful fresh-baked croissants and pan au chocolat,  and then we usually move into some type of creative workshop during our retreats, whether it be photography or writing or painting or things of that nature whatever they choose they want to do.

It’s set up in advance, or do you have a program that they just followed?

Mindfulness, Photography, and Cooking

“We have retreats that are planned in advance. So we just recently left one retreat last week. The theme was mindfulness, photography, and cooking.

So we basically focused on being mindful around your surroundings, looking at what you’re passing by so quickly, like a beautiful flower or a beautiful poppy field that you can just completely didn’t notice…we are trying to notice more around us.”

A refreshing dip in the pool hits the spot at La Belugue.
A refreshing dip in the pool hits the spot at La Belugue.

The hilltop village of Beaumont-de-Pertuis plays a role in the Inn, as Kelly and Philippe run a very popular wine bar that attracts locals and visitors with music, small plates and local wines.

The tiny village only has a few dining options, so this open-air offering is welcomed.

Nearby towns include the small village of Mirabeau, where the famous movies Jean de Floret were filmed, a sleepy place with a little plaque memorializing the popular 1980s films.

Ten Years in Provence

Kelly has become fluent in French proudly passing the citizen’s language test and has made her home in Provence for the past ten years.

The couple met when they both working in corporate jobs in Singapore. Philippe cuts quite the figure–a gifted linguist, piano player, yacht captain, and businessman.

But like Kelly, he’s given up the big corporate computer company job to be the right-hand man to Kelly, helping keep the three rooms ready and manning the grill when needed.

He is also the main driver, when the couple takes guests out on excursions, to pick up supplies at a goat farm, or find that vegetable needed for the recipe.

Find out more about La Belugue in Beaumont-de-Pertuis, Provence France. The author’s visit was sponsored but the opinions are all his own.

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