I first came to this extraordinary Provencal hamlet, ‘Le Grand Banc’ when I was eighteen, by mistake, an interloper. I was supposed to be going to a Greek island with two Etonian brothers and had been told very little about our journey. Our hazy plan was for Brother 1 to drive me to the South of France, sleep somewhere and pick up Brother 2, and then on to Greece.
I had never quite believed in the Greek island holiday and as I am always reaching for new experiences and being surrounded by Etonians all my life was not my ideal plan, ‘here’ seemed a welcome, fascinating refuge.
“Hi ” said Hank, linking his arms through mine, “would you like to meet Jeremy? ” “I would indeed, ” I said with new found confidence. Leaving the brothers behind and picking my way through lines of gorgeous sunbathing girls and boys my age, I headed toward the cave/workshop where a shy man with intense green eyes , dressed in just a sarong was intently at work. This was Jeremy Fry, inventor, engineer, the man who started James Dyson. Simply one of the most interesting people that I have ever met.
By the end of my first evening, Jeremy had decided that I was not going to Greece and I ended up staying a month and I have been friends with the Frys ever since. I remember writing to my mother and telling her where I was staying and being told to come back immediately, which I ignored.
Le Grand Banc is the perfect place to hold a party, it easily sleeps 26 people, and has a great chef/team. It’s also great for families who like holidaying together or multi-generational groups. Cycling fanatics will love the hills of the Vaucluse. It has a little slice of magic.
Thank you, Le Grand Banc and the Frys for changing the direction of my life and opening my eyes.