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hikerboy Apr 25th, 2005 03:35 PM

Provence, Vaucluse, & Luberon: sightseeing and dining advice?
Can anyone suggest some "must sees" and also some decent but not-too-expensive restaurants near Apt? We arrive via TGV in Avignon and will stay for 4 nights at a B&B in the tiny village of St Martin de Castillon just outside Apt. We hope to explore Gordes, Rousillon, and some of the other towns in the area for several days. When we leave Apt, we will drive to Cassis for the day, and then spend 2 nights in Aix, exploring the city. We leave Aix on Sunday and will stop at the Isle sur la Sorgue market on our way to Arles where we spend our final 3 nights. We hope to explore Arles, Aigues Mortes, Glanum and Uzes and to see the Pont du Gard. Based on the many favorable reviews here, we have booked for lunch at La Chassagnette, just outside of Arles. Otherwise we have no definite dining plans. I would greatly appreciate any advice, but particularly for the Luberon/Vaucluse. Thanks!


StuDudley Apr 25th, 2005 04:01 PM

Our favorite restaurant in the Luberon is Bernard Mathys - just a little west of Apt in the town of Le Chene. It's a large mansion in a very lovely setting. Barnard will most likely take your order and prepare your meal himself. We've dined there about 5 times over the past 10 years. It's by far our favorite in the Luberon. We've vacationed for about 5 weeks in the Luberon over the past 10 years, and another 8 weeks in other areas of Provence.

The only other restaurants we like as much as Bernard Mathys are all around Uzes, but that's too far for you to drive for dinner.

Do you have my 20+ page itinerary for Provence that I've sent to over 200 people on this & the aol message board? It has my favorite villages, scenic drives, markets, a "Provence Fabric" section, and a "Lavender Route" section. E-mail me at [email protected] if you want a copy, but don't wait too long - we head out for another stay in Provence in about 4 weeks.

Stu Dudley

Underhill Apr 25th, 2005 04:04 PM

Just below Gordes (on a side road winding down) is La Ferme de la Huppe,
an auberge with a fine restaurant. Prices are moderate, especially for what you get. The chef is the son of the owner and is now also the manager.

cigalechanta Apr 25th, 2005 04:25 PM

hi hikerboy, I'm so happy you booked La Chassagnette. Presentation is as lovely as the food. Go early so you can walk around the organic farm or to buy some things in the area.
We like Le Fournil in Bonnieux, Mesclun in Seguret, The Moulin de Lourmarin costs more but dining on the terrace and the food is special, the chef a protege of Marc Vayret. Near by in Silvergues you can book dinner at a goat farm, Les Castelas(the moulin's cheese comes from here.) But even thesimple cafés in the villages like Ansouis and Pertuis are a pleasanrt lunch stop. In Les Imberts, the Mas de Tourteron. There are so many more , these are the few we return to.

elle Apr 25th, 2005 05:12 PM

For casual but good dining in Uzes, we enjoyed Myou (near St. Theodorit) and Au Fil d'Eau, just off the Place des Herbes.

In the Vaucluse, we had a great meal at Le Fete en Provence in Vaison and a memorable lunch at Lou Cigalou in Beaumes-de-Venise.

cigalechanta Apr 25th, 2005 05:26 PM

I didn't mention Uzes and Nimes because they are in the Gard so not really in Provence. But If you have time, Uzes is delightful.

grandmere Apr 25th, 2005 06:30 PM

Just outside Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, le Mas de Cure Bourse for lunch or dinner.

RSSmith Apr 25th, 2005 06:53 PM

I second the suggestion of Le Fournil in Bonnieux. One of our most memorable meals during our last trip to Provence was dinner at Bistro d'Eygalieres (in Eygalieres, near St. Remy). The food was sublime and the ambience very warm and inviting. If you do plan to dine there and are at all interested in gardening, try to also make time to visit Le Jardin d'Alchemiste, a fascinating garden open to the public at Mas de la Brune just outside Eygalieres.

cigalechanta Apr 25th, 2005 07:20 PM

Also the couple opened a less expensive but very good Petite Bru, just around the corner from the Bistro d'Eygaliers (Chez Bru)
In the hills of Les Baux, I like La Riboyo d Tavin.
In Aix, Clops de Violette but tres cher as is the Oustau de Baumaniere that is a special occassion place for those of us who can't afford it's prices routinely.
In Fontville, the La Rigalido,
In Paradou, Le Bistro du Paradou
In Arles, L'Affenage.

StuDudley Apr 26th, 2005 07:56 AM

>>Bistro d'Eygalieres (in Eygalieres, near St. Remy). The food was sublime and the ambience very warm and inviting<<

>>In Aix, Clops de Violette but tres cher as is the Oustau de Baumaniere<<

All three of these places are supposedly excellent, but they do not fit your requirement of "not to expensive". Dinner for two will likely be in the $250 to $350 range.

Also, Mas de Cure Bourse is very nice, but I have difficulty getting home afterwards at night. There are excellent road signs to get you to the Mas, but no signs from the Mas back to your hotel. It's in a forest, & all intersections looked the same to me. I have got lost twice - in the daylight once (we have spent 4 weeks vacationing close to there & I have very detailed maps). Go there for lunch or do a "dry run" if you plan to dine at night.

Stu Dudley

hikerboy Apr 26th, 2005 08:27 AM

Thanks to all for your assistance.
Stu, thanks, I did receive your documents on Provence and we intend to follow your "lavender route". Even though the lavender is unlikely to be blooming, the drive looks very appealing to us. Based on suggestions from all of you, we have added Le Fournil in Bonnieux and L'Affenage in Arles to our dining plans. We will also try the Mas de Cure Bourse for lunch (that is,if we can find it!). In Aix, we plan to wander aimlessly, trust serendipity, and let our instincts and our noses guide us. Any suggestions for lunch in Cassis? We have seen recommendations for Chez Nino and Le Jardin d'Emile. Do you prefer one, or are there others?

We're 5 weeks away from France and counting down by the day (one week in Paris, 10 days in Provence).
Thanks again!


StuDudley Apr 26th, 2005 08:34 AM

>>Mas de Cure Bourse for lunch (that is,if we can find it!)<<

It is very easy to find it - lots of signs everywhere. It's getting back that's difficult.

Stu Dudley

Betty1 Apr 26th, 2005 02:46 PM

Right in your backyard in St. Martin de Castillon (right on the N100), there is the Hotel-Restaurant Lou Caleu. We liked it so well that we ate there twice in one week in 2003. Nice atmosphere, good, reasonably priced food(menus 17 - 32 euros), beautifully presented and nice people. You can have a look at Enjoy Provence!

AGM_Cape_Cod Apr 26th, 2005 03:08 PM

Several places we enjoyed recently near St Remy are:
La Source in St Remy
L’Oustalet Maianen in Maillane
Alain Assaud Le Marceau in St Remy
Grain de Sel in St Remy.
If you want more detail check my trip report for March 2005.

hikerboy Apr 26th, 2005 05:22 PM

Betty-thanks for the lead on Lou Caleu. It looks enticing, it's very close to our place, and if you yourself ate there twice, it must be good! I also read a recommendation by Peter Mayle for the Bistrot de France in Apt, which we will check out and hope that it hasn't fallen victim to the dreaded "celebrity endorsement." I've just read several glowing recommendations for Auberge de la Loube in Buoux---great setting, wonderful service, fantastic starters, and inventive provencal cuisine. Now, how can you fault that? And besides, it's quite near our place.
AGM-Cape Cod- Your trip report is compelling. You have a real eye for the details, and thanks for the resto tips. Le Grain de Sel looks tempting and we have added it to our list.

cigalechanta Apr 26th, 2005 05:37 PM

AGM knows her food! La Loube is very good.
We stayed several days at the Mas Cure Bourse several years ago and happy the figs were ripe that I plucked from the trees on the terrace.
I like Chez Gilbert that faces the port in Cassis.

hikerboy Apr 26th, 2005 05:47 PM

Elle, thanks for the tips on restaurants in the Vaucluse and in Uzes. I've added them to my trip planning document. La fete en Provence seems to be a hotel, with a restaurant. Is that the way you remember it? We will likely go to the
Tuesday market in Vaison-la-Romaine, unless we leave early and head down to Seguret or Gigondas.
Myou restaurant appears to be right in the town of Uzes. Is that right?

grandmere Apr 26th, 2005 06:19 PM

La Table du Comtat in Seguret serves good food and has spectacular views of the Montmirail chain.

cigalechanta Apr 26th, 2005 06:26 PM

Sorry for my typos, it shoukd read Clos and Riboto, My arthritis is very bad this week.

AGM_Cape_Cod Apr 27th, 2005 02:17 AM

Hikerboy- Just remember that Le Grain de Sel didn't take credit cards and plan accordingly. Enjoy and let us know where you go.

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