Provence foodie excursions, tours, and tastings?
Hi all, we will be in Provence for 10 days towards the end of April next year. We will be focusing around the areas of Avignon, Arles, St Remy, Orange, Carpentras, Bonnieux, etc.
I am looking for suggestions for foodie excursions we can take that focus on local products. Can anyone suggest ideas for chevre farms, olive oil tastings, wineries, chocolate, artisan bread/boulangeries, etc? Basically we're looking for places we can tour, taste, and hopefully shop when we're done. I know of Castelas in Les Baux but that's about it. Any help would be great, thanks!
In Carpentras, the best fromagerie in Provence is Vigier, 23 Place de la Mairie. They are affineurs as well as retailers. In Oppede, for jams ( sounds boring but well worth the visit ) follow the signs to Les Minguets. In Cabrieres d Avignon, the honey shop. For lunch or dinner in Isle sur la Sorgue, le Jardin du Quai. Joel Durand in St. Remy for chocolates. You can also taste olive oils across the street in Huiles du Monde, then pay a visit to the mills later if you want to see more. As nothing is happening at the mills during the spring, sometimes it is not worth the time to visit.
By all means, visit les Beaumes-de-Venise and buy a few bottles of the muscat wine from Domaine de Durban (follow the signs in the town to find it - you will go out on narrow roads but not very far) and the wine at muscat is 3-5 Euros less than in the town.
Also visit Chateauneuf du Pape and try wines at several wineries. At the entrance to the town there is a chocolatier which offers wine and chocolate pairings for 10 Euros. In the town, go to tthe old chateu up on the hill, park your car, and walk a short distance down to the Verger des Papes restaurant for a very good lunch and impressive view of the Rhone and Avignon.
Not far from Saint-Remy (north) is the town of Eyragues and you will find on the northern end of that town Le Pré Gourmand, a restaurant which will impress you at 48 Euros per person. Not far from Bonnieux, above the town of Buoux, is the Auberge de la Loube, where you will eat excellent Provencal food at 31 Euros per person. But call in advance to reserve a place, as it is not open every day as the season moves into winter.
In the town of Coustellet is the Musée de Lavande where you will find lavender products of all kinds. Also in that town, opposite the former train station, is a good restaurant which serves very authentic cous-cous.
Don't miss the market at Saint-Remy on Wednesday mornings. If you go to the chateau of Les Baux de Provence, a good meal can be had at the restaurant found at the entrance to the chateue: La Reine Jeanne.