For some reason, I woke up thinking about The Shoe Room. What’s that, you ask? Well, it was a room we stayed in once in Valence, France, in a boutique hotel called Maison de la Pra. The maison is a small bed and breakfast in a small town, and frankly, we weren’t expecting a lot of style. We got it anyway.
In the B&B itself, the rooms are elegant and traditional, with a french contemporary twist. They looked large and luxurious on the website. But we booked in the property’s neighboring guest houses, because they were cheaper. We booked The Shoe Room. Which was cool! The room itself was huge and true to its name, there were shoes everywhere – walking across the ceiling and dancing up the walls. Even the closet door handles were shoes.
The apartment complex itself was also interesting. Once you opened the front door, you entered an interior courtyard where the light filtered in at a perfect angle. White walls reflected the light back onto huge contemporary paintings, leggy furniture, a mezzanine library, and odd objects, like the antique wheelchair next to one of the apartment doors.
Our room was upstairs – and easy to spot, because of the shoes on the front door. In addition to the large bedroom, our bathroom was spacious and bright with high, vaulted ceilings – and again, the most flattering light coming in through tall windows.
Valence itself is not a huge tourist destination. There are one or two museums and gardens to explore. The town is very walkable. There is a lovely park with a Mozart pavilion. I found a nice juice bar, and we ate at some decent restaurants (but nothing I particularly remember). In addition, Valence is not far from Lyon and Aix-en-Provence so it makes a nice home base, or it is a pleasant overnight stop if you’re road-tripping to Limoges, Cannes or Nice…
Here’s the link to Maison de la Pra: http://www.maisondelapra.com