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Trip Report France bed and breakfasts and restaurants in Provence, Vaison La Romaine, Uzès, Paris

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May, 2013 My partner and I travelled for 14 days in Provence and Paris in May 2013. Below are the best B&Bs and restaurants encountered during our trip. We list only experiences and people we found particularly wonderful.

During our trip US $1 = €0.78 swittetATpathDOTorg

The itinerary:
* Arrived Paris for two nights.
* Vaison La Romaine, Provence in B&B (chambres d’hote) for five nights. (Rented car in Avignon and drove to Vaison.)
* Uzès, Provence in B&B for five nights.
* Paris two nights.

To see this text with pictures:


Our Paris hotel--the Grand Hotel Français--was comfortable (though the room and bath are cramped by American standards). The owner and manager, M. Syad, is friendly and clearly cares about his guests. His staff are helpful--all speak English well--and breakfast is generous. The hotel is located near Place de Nations and a block from the Rue des Boulets metro stop.

Grand Hotel Français
223 Boulevard Voltaire 75011 Paris
t. +33 (0)143712757

Nearby the hotel is a charming bistro with excellent food called Chez Mamy. The friendly, funny, animated young man behind the bar is one of the new owners and was running the place, along with one waitress, the two nights we dined there. The bistro was the long-lived achievement of Mamy until she retired in 2011. The new owners chose to retain the name; Mamy still lives upstairs and is proud that the tradition continues.

The bistro is a fun and lively place--at 8pm, it is very quiet, but all ten or so tables and the bar are packed by 9. There are lots of hugs and kisses as patrons come in the door. Our first meal there was wonderful, and we decided to return the next evening to try a few other items. We probably would have returned for a third meal (still lots to explore on the menu) if we hadn’t had to fly back to the US. Chez Mamy represents good value in Paris, considering the excellent and exciting character of all the items we tasted.

Chez Mamy
3, rue Jules Valles, Paris
t. +33 (0) 143 48 74 68

Vaison La Romaine, Provence

Based on recommendations in the Rick Steves Provence guide, we booked at charming L'Evêché, a B&B in the medieval sector of Vaison. It is a lovely old house and the hosts, Jean-Loup and Aude Verdier, are warm and welcoming. They serve the best croissants and pain au chocolat we have tasted anywhere (they have lived in Vaison for 35 years and likely are close with the best bakers).

We stayed in the Bleu room, our friends in Rose. The two rooms sit at either end of a hall and there are no other guests on that floor. Bleu has a very nice view over the old and “new” towns.
Read the TripAdvisor reviews--people rave about L'Evêché and so do we. L'Evêché does not accept credit cards, only cash, so hit the ATMs early.

L'Evêché B&B
14, Rue de l'Evêché - Cité Médiévale
F- 84110 VAISON La Romaine France
t. +33 (0)4 90 36 13 46; 33 - (0)6 03 03 21 42

Avoid driving into Vaison’s medieval village, especially from the eastern end of the road (near the Roman bridge). Entering the village that way you’ll encounter many tight spots, difficult turns, and loads of tourists with running kids, making driving hazardous, especially if you have a larger car.

Instead, approach the medieval town from the west, near the end of the longer bridge across the river. Parking is easy on the western road--there are several large lots just before the road narrows, and it is not difficult to wheel bags to L'Evêché from the highest place a car can easily stop. In May there always were spaces for us to park overnight, for free, with no security problems (we left nothing in the car).

There are plenty of restaurants in Vaison, we recommend two in particular: La Lyriste (new town) and La Belle Etoile (medieval town). Both serve excellent food and wine with a friendly welcome. La Lyriste represents particularly good value.

La Lyriste
45 Cours Taulignan, Vaison
t. +33 4 90 36 04 67

La Belle Etoile
5 Place du Poids, Vaison
t. +33 4 90 37 31 45

Uzès, Provence

We found Richard and Judy Jarvis’ 781 B&B through TripAdvisor. They are British and have invited guests into their home for the past eight years. The wing is a two bedroom suite with two baths. It can sleep two to four. If there are only two of you, the second bedroom becomes your dressing room. That room has two single beds, a desk, and lots of storage. The other, smaller bedroom has a double bed and some storage. 781 provides the most luxurious towels--we need some like those at home!

Because of the second room, at the last minute we were able to host the friends we had been traveling with in Vaison for one night in Uzes before they left the country. They paid full rate for their room, as did we, then we had the full suite to ourselves the next four nights for the “single room” price. There is plenty of room to park in the front yard/garden. Again, it’s cash only at 781.

781 B&B
781 Route d' Ales Uzès 30700 France
t. +33 (0)4 66 59 57 17

We took our hosts up on their offer of dinner one evening (a “family style”, two course meal costs €15 per person, including wine). Richard often is the chef, but that night Judy made her specialty, coq au vin. The food, the wine, and the evening were wonderful! Be sure to ask about Richard’s pottery collection, all the clever pieces were created by an art school friend. The comments online about 781 are accurate and the Jarvis’ deserve the high ratings they receive.

It takes 20-25 minutes to walk into Uzes from 781 (~1.5 kilometers). Don’t walk on the main, busy road. Ask Richard or Judy about the old, alternate road with a bike/walking lane. Most of that walk is quiet and pleasant and generally flat, and a section of it runs through charming countryside (we enjoyed lots of birdsong and blooming poppies during our visit). Walking home was good exercise after some great meals, and was much preferable to parking in Uzes (especially on market days.
Uzès also has many restaurants. We particularly enjoyed Bec à Vin (it has an inventive menu; charming owner and hostess Chloe lived a few years in Australia) and Le Bistrot du Grézac (offers traditional menu; it is not on the main squares and is not tourist oriented).

Bec à Vin
6, rue entres les Tours
t. +33 (0)4 66 22 41 20

Le Bistrot du Grézac
Place Bellecroix
7 Rue Saint-Étienne
t. +33 (0)4 66 03 42 09