Monday, April 30, 2012

Market Day in the Luberon

There is a market within easy reach every day in Provence, no matter where you are.
Our two favorite local markets are Cucuron on Tuesdays and  Lourmarin on Fridays.

The Cucuron market is on the Etang in the center of the village.

 It is small but has a little of everything. And enough choices of prepared (take out) food to take us through to Fridays market.  No need to cook or go to the local supermarket!

The market always has the basics of a good meal. Chicken, ham, fish, vegetables, cheese etc.

They also have lots of items to tempt you..... soaps, socks, dresses, fabrics..... and are always a riot of colour.

And of course you can have a ringside seat to watch the action, helped perhaps by a pastis....or coffee...

Or you  can always make a lunchtime reservation at La Petite Maison

Lourmarin, on the other hand, is a very large market, taking over most of the village.  It is a destination market for people who live in other parts of Provence. Its prices tend to be a little higher because of its clientele.

However it also offers the same choices in terms of food and from some of the same people who are at Cucuron........

 but has a larger selection of items which tempt tourists......

 The market people are very friendly, take their time in serving you and always have a 'bon mot'!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Restaurants in old Papal properties in or close to Avignon!

Avignon itself has two splendid restaurants housed in old residences of the Popes..

La Mirande

Their lunch time menu is amazing value at around 35 euros .....

This was a Cardinal's residence and would be a fantastic hotel to stay in!
It has superb public rooms so I assume the bedrooms are of a similar style........

And was an easy commute for the cardinal of the day being just across the street from the Palais!!

and Christian Etiene

Their patio is very close to the rather forbidding walls of the Papal Palace!

Lunch time menu at around 30 euros is a fantastic value!

This parsnip soup with breaded mussels was fabulous

as was the lamb which followed .......

The interior rooms were great, with beautiful originally painted walls.....

And interestingly they did not seem to mind having some very young guests!

Across the road from the restaurant entrance was this building with fun windows........

We noticed the CC camera aimed at the entry to the restaurant to presumably catch any intruders who might be after the splendid (expensive!) wine cellar!

Both of these restaurants are nestled up to the Palais des Papes and very easy, close by, parking is the official parking for the Palais des Papes.

And in the hills on the way to St Remy is another country residence, supposedly used by the cardinals to entertain guests, or mistresses we were told!
La Maison de Bournissac
A safe distance out of Avignon if you did not want to have your weekend interrupted!

Their lunchtime menu at 30 euros during the week (and 40 euros for their Sunday lobster lunch) includes wine, water and coffee, so it is actually extremely reasonable for the quality of the food and the ambience.

It has nice older rooms......

We did catch a glimpse into one bedroom and it looked charming..... it would definitely be interesting to stay there.

 The views to the Alpilles are incredible

and it is definitely off the beaten (tourist!) track.
We had enormous difficulties finding it.  We had the address, however our GPS refused to find it! We got to the village Les Paluds des Noves and called the restaurant for guidance. We were told to find the road signposted to Eyraques. Not easy as we were already in the village and the French are not known for having good signposts. We eventually.....15mins later and after another call to the restaurant.....did find a sign for the restaurant. So as advice to anyone thinking of going, do a Google printout first. It is off the main D30 road Noves to St Remy!