Animal Magnetism

We've stayed at a few vegan and vegetarian B&Bs, inns, and hotels over the years, and often, it's not the food or the swimming pools or the beautiful landscapes that we get most excited about. It's the animals! At Mas La Jaina in the uber-lovely village of Bargemon in the Var department of southern France, we got to hang out with two resident cats, one dog (not counting our own canine companion, Fanny), six llamas, and two donkeys who nibbled at our hands and let us stroke their soft ears.

Are these llamas cute, or what?! You never know who you'll meet at a veggie hotel.

The food was a pleasant surprise, too; mornings meant gorgeous fruit salads with all kinds of flavors and textures (thanks to goji berries, mulberries, cacao nibs, and hemp seeds), and a bounty of breads served with vegan cheeses, homemade jams, and our favorite: Marmite! Evenings were an interesting melange of culinary influences, from traditional French to Asian and beyond.

Fruit salad is always the first course for breakfast at Mas La Jaina. Pretty to look out, fresh and flavorful to taste! (Even in winter.)

When we weren't exploring the neighboring villages, sipping wine by the fire, or enjoying homemade meals with Dutch proprietors Ingrid and Johan, we were making use of the infrared sauna and hot tub, mini gym (where we tried a treadmill for the FIRST TIME!), and indoor swimming pool. We cannot wait to go back--both with guests on our upcoming Vegan On The French Riviera Tour, and just for a quick getaway by ourselves, too!

In the winter months, guests at Mas La Jaina get to swim in the heated indoor pool; in the warmer months, the natural outdoor pool beckons.

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