If it is true that everyone belongs to two countries, their own and France, then for many of us, to land in France is to come home, if not legally then spiritually.
Quite when you cease to count how many times you’ve stayed there is usually hard to recall. For me, it must be nearly twenty years ago. Perhaps it was the time we were staying – long before its name became so familiar in wine lists – in Beaumes de Venise, near Orange in northern Provence. The village nestles against the foothills of Mont Ventoux and lies on the easterly edge of the plain that stretches, flat and hazy, past Carpentras to the Rhône; and the place is now once again, as in the time of Pliny, well known for its honeyed and beguiling muscat wine.