Avignon and St. Remy, 4 days in September
We had such a wonderful time in Provence last October, that we are returning for four days in early September. Need some insight and suggestions on the following:
Avignon Sunday dinner. I have read most of the prior posts. Would prefer to dine outdoors. The reports on L'Isle Sonnate sound great; La Mirande mixed. Any updates on these two, as well as other ideas? Christian Etienne is closed Sundays.
St. Remy and environs. We are returning to St. Remy, which we loved last year. (Once again staying as Mas du Cornud, just out of town). One of the downers last year was having to leave before fully exploring the Wednesday market. This time we will not have time pressure. (BTW, we were not big fans of the Isle-sur-la-Sougue market). We will have a car, and love to explore, which we did a lot of last year. Would love to hear suggestions and ideas, particularly regarding restaurants, especially with outdoor dining, in both St. Remy and nearby towns.
Here are some Chow highlights from or prior trip.
a wonderful dinner at the home of someone we met, with both local and Chateauneuf du Pape wines;
very good first night dinner at Le Bistrot des Alpilles (I do not remember what my wife ate other than an other-worldly mushroom entree...I had leg of lamb, great Soupe Chocolate dessert, and we shared a great 2004 Chave Crozes Hermitage--total 100E);
dinner at Cabro d'Or in Les Baux...nothing really special, expect the single best dish I had on our ten day trip in France was the Turbot Carpaccio!
Chateau Dalmerain...we asked our captain at Cabro d'Or to recommend a local wine. We loved the wine (2000 vintage) and visited the winery the next day. Beautiful 2-3 mile country lane drive from where we stayed. Two delightful and charming young people work there. Bought both the 2000 and the 1999.
Joel Durand Chocolatier...great chocolates, wonderful people. About as good as it gets. In the heart of St. Remy
I always recommend Auberge de la Loube in Buoux near Apt. The food is very good year after year. Sunday brunch on the patio is always a treat. Not far from there in the small perched village of Saignon is a small but very good restaurant called Hotel du Presbytere. We had two good dinners there last year.
. . . and there is also a wonderful market at Arles on Saturday mornings. Not to be missed if you're in the area.
Co-incidentally, wife and I will soon be staying a week (8/31-9/7) at a B&B in suburb of Avignon and looking for the same thing. Last visit to Provence was 2000 and we had good meals in St-Rémy (La Gousse d'Ail) and Les Baux (restaurant at the entrance to the château - La Reine Anne or Jeanne, I think). Neither extraordinary but both quite good.
Where is the Château Dalmerain vineyard? would like to find it.
We passed through this town several times in 2000, including a weekend when they were celebrating an annual feast. Most of the townspeople were in costume and they held a big lunch - paella was the main dish - in a large courtyard near the main road to St-Rémy. We tried to buy meal tickets but they were sold out. This may sound strange to many people, but the French really know how to throw a good party and to enjoy themselves while there. These folks were having a ball with food, drink and music by brass bands in costume.