It started some years ago: A bunch of us got together for a Sunday morning brunch in l'Isle sur la Sorgue. It was Sunday November 6, 2005 to be exact. A sunny, crisp morning typical for late autumn in the Vaucluse. As we kept talking about our travel and gourmet experiences in the Provence, Eve came up with the idea to put our combined wisdom on paper. Ron pointed out that paper is rather passé, you blog nowadays. Unanimous approval! First we wanted to keep the blog accessible only to our group - a bunch of friends living in New York City, London, Zurich and two "Anglos" from Avignon and Vaison la Romaine. Just for fun and to keep in touch. As none of us is a professional writer we thought we best keep our ramblings to ourselves. We named the blog after the mistral wind which was blowing that day: Chez Mistral was born!
The limitations of a blog became apparent after a couple of months. It is difficult with Wordpress to keep things in neat order and tedious to look for some restaurant or B&B after a year or so. Also more and more of our friends and acquaintances wanted to have access. So we decided to set up Provence-Hideaways, a website dedicated to travel in the Provence. Written by us, Provence aficionados for other Provence aficionados.
What made us continue and expand Provence-Hideways over the years? Apart from the possibility of financial reward and the usual ego trip? The many enthusiastic comments we received from our readers over the past years. In August 2009 we had 25.000 visitors to our website, up from a few hundred 4 years ago. While the ego aspect continues to work, the financial reward is slowly creeping up a steep hill. In the mean time our group has expanded. Eve left with her husband to live in downunder. We now call ourselves Travel Writers Coop. Because that's what it is, a cooperative effort in a virtual office stretching from the Provence to Switzerland, Germany, England and the US.