In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport. – Julia Child
I don’t know about you but when my family and I start planning a trip we typically start off by thinking about the food. My sister is in culinary school and did an apprenticeship at a resort in Greece over the summer. We decided to “meet her” in Provence when she was finished. The south of France has been on my travel list for while, as I am sure it is on many food lovers lists, and it did not disappoint. I wanted to stay forever. We managed to packed in a full itinerary, eating and drinking to our hearts content. I was definitely not ready to leave after our quick week long trip. I will keep this a simple introductory post, with restaurant reviews, our cooking class and Lyon to come!
Everyone tells you not to go to France in August because things tend to shut down and everyone goes on vacation. We went anyway. Yes, we had a day where nothing was open (not even the local grocery store, but it was Sunday) we made due and found a local pizza place in town that remained opened, it was actually excellent, and hey, you gotta stay flexible on vaca! Other than that it was beautiful and maybe a little less crowded than it otherwise would have been. As with most of our trips, it consisted of aimlessly wondering through town exploring and eating.
We stayed at an airbnb in Vedéne, a small town right outside of Avignon. It was quaint and off the beaten path, yet only 8km from the city Avignon. The house was amazing with a large deck, grill, hot tub and park in the backyard, and our host was friendly, helpful and even left us with a bottle of Vino!
Places to eat– La Vache a Carreaux– 14 Rue Peyrollerie, 84000 Avignon, France
Marché les Halles d’Avignon- AMAZING Market right in the center of town.
Guide to Local Markets
Things to do – The Popal palace or Palais des Papes in French.
Walk the Pont Saint-Bénézet, the midevil unfinished bridge.
Venture to Calangues at Cassis- a must see beach town
Hike Gorges du verdon– visit moustiers sainte-marie
Saint Remy de provence- roman ruins and van gogh
Where to drink
Chuteauneuf du-pape– most famous wine in rhone valley, saint cosmes & gigondas. Amazing area even to simply drive through. Sprawling vineyards as far as the eye can see speckled with charming wineries, small (and some very large).
Favorite winery we tried- Caveau Bureaux
Best service winery- Clus Saint Michel
Tavel – region north of Avignon across from the Rhone river from Chuteauneuf known for Rosé. In fact this region is the “Champagne” or “Bourdeau” of Rosé.
Distillary- A. Blachére, the distillar was behind the counter giving samples of unique cordials, liqueurs, and more. I highly recommend the Lavender.