Author, curator and heritage-conservationist Julia de Bierre was born in Malaysia and educated at Uplands School on Penang Hill and at Bristol University. After marriage to a Frenchman, Paris becomes Julia’s home and France her passion. She immerses herself in the national history, literature, decorative arts and gastronomy, contributing regularly to specialist publications on these subjects.
She now lives between 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites - the ancient Provençal town of Arles in France and multi-ethnic George Town on the island of Penang, Malaysia. This privilege has made her doubly aware of how important it is to preserve not just our urban and natural environments, but also a slower way of life.
"In the mid-90’s, when I was living and working in a medieval castle in Switzerland, weekends were spent visiting vineyards and châteaux in nearby Burgundy. If a château had guest rooms available, then that’s where I would stay, immersing myself in a gracious world where time seemed to have stopped still circa 1910. I loved the huge bedrooms with antique beds, the splendid brocade curtains and the family portraits in their gilded frames.
There were no televisions but plenty of good books, shared bathrooms down long corridors and the sense that this was a precious experience that went beyond a financial transaction for a comfortable bed.
I’d like to feel that staying in the guest rooms or apartments at Maison Huit Arles continues this tradition of authenticy (although we do provide wifi and ensuite bathrooms! ). As company policy we maintain our resistance to advertising on huge Internet booking sites and we continue to challenge the deadening hand of standardized travel. "
Julia de Bierre