A note from our founder
A considered journey
The inspiration for the name of our brand is the island of Lerins, a small group of islands on the French Cote D’Azur, a fifteen-minute boat trip from Cannes, the home of the iconic film festival.
I have an apartment near Cannes and looking out of my window the first thing I see is the island of Sainte Marguerite, the largest of the islands. Behind it, hidden from view, is the second inhabited island called Saint Honorat, the home of an order of Cistercian monks.
As you fly into Nice airport the route usually takes you over the islands, and between the two are a large number of pleasure boats, as the thin strip of water there is crystal clear, which is great for swimming and snorkeling. There is also an underwater Eco Museum with six sculptures by the British artist, James de Claire Taylor.
I often go for walks on the islands to get away from the bustle of Cannes. A ferry leaves from Cannes’ port to each island every 30 minutes. They are an oasis of calm and great for a picnic on the rocky shores of the islands. The islands are protected. There are no cars and waste has to be taken off the islands by visitors. The varied flora and fauna are one of the main attractions of the islands. Walking along the trails you will see eucalyptus, pine, oak, and olive trees. I love to find a quiet spot to take in the atmosphere, the smell of the pines and read.
The history of the islands goes back to Roman times and over the years have been occupied by the Franch, Spanish, Turks and in the 2nd World War by Nazi paratroopers. It is now owned by the city of Cannes.
Sainte Marguerite, the larger island (3kms by 900m), has a Fortress and Maritime Museum. The prison cell in the Fortress is famous for incarcerating the Man in the Iron Mask at the end of the 17th Century. His identity was never disclosed although some commentators have speculated that he was the illegitimate brother of Louis XIV.
Sainte Honorat is within a stone’s throw of its neighboring island. It is the home of an order of Cistercian monks who have been on the island since 1869 when the monastery and church were built. Monks had lived on the island since the 5th century but were frequently attacked and finally driven off until the Cistercian monks returned.
The monks grow and produce excellent wines. The pinot noir is particularly good. They also grow lavender and make honey which can be bought in their shop. Like Sainte Marguerite it is a haven of tranquility and a pleasure to stroll along the paths, see the plants, trees and vineyards, listen to the birdsong and enjoy the peace and harmony that nature brings.