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Feb 18, 2009 08:08 AM

Provence for a Week in May

My husband and I will be in Provence, based in Malaucene, from 23-30 May. Restaurant suggestions/regional products not to miss/top 20 wines to try ideas welcome. Thanks in advance.

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  1. I live part-time in Vaison la Romaine--we picked it because the food and wine is so great in this area. Malaucene is about 10-15 minutes away.

    In Vaison itself the BIstro du'O is a great modern bistro in the medieval town. Great food and excellent, well priced wine list. The same couple own Le Grand PRe, which just earned a Michelin star 1-2 years ago.

    La Bartavelle, Le Bateleur, and Mosaik are smaller, good places in town. Lou Canestou is an amazing cheese store; the owner, Josiane, was made "Meileur Ouvrier de France" several years ago, and she supplies the best restaurants in the region. Le Bonheur suit son Cours is a nice wine bar and bistro. A decent pizza place (Pizzeria de Vieux Vaison) in the medieval town, across from Bistro du'O. In addition to a wonderful Tuesday market, there are several excellent vegetable markets, many bakeries. Peyrerol is a fabulous place for pains au chocolat, croissants, brioche, macaroons, and pastries, plus ice cream in summer.

    There is a wonderful place in Malaucene--Le Pont de l'Orme. It is set back a little on the road to Suzette.

    Le Restaurant le St Hubert--specializing in game in season is in Entrechaux--about 10 min away. Very old fashioned with very nice service and a pretty patio. 15 euros copious prix fixe 3 course lunch.

    Le tourne au Verres is a very nice place in Cairanne; nice wine list by the glass, and food ranging from good to excellent. Lunch is 23 euros for 3 courses but no choice.

    La Beaugraviere has one of the world's greatest Rhone wine lists and excellent food; fabulous truffle dishes in season. Meals at 27, 45 and 110 euros. Robert Parker always comes in winter (several times ) for truffles.

    The wine villages of Cairanne, Gigondas, Vacqueryas, Sablet, seguret are about 10-15 min away; Chateauneuf-du-Pape is 25-30 min.

    I have lots more information on food and wine in the area, as I prepare lots of details for my renters. Please email me ( if you would like more information.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sderham

      I have read your reviews about Vaison and would like to know if you can recommend a nice bed breakfast in your area. Thank you

      1. re: lmassarweh

        L'Eveche in the medieval village is lovely and about 5 min walking downhill to the "new" town. Very quiet with almost no traffic. In fact you can drive to the Eveche--though i do not recommend it-- but you have to park outside the medieval, about a 5 min walk.

        La Bastide de la Combe is another lovely place, a few minutes outside Vaison. You can see from the photos that it has a more country-like setting. Takes about 5 min to drive into town.
        Patricia Wells suggests both B&Bs to her students.

        Another place that I like but is not a B&B is the Domaine du Crestet about 5 min from Vaison. They have 5 rental units with a one week min stay. I have stayed there quite a bit; the Dutch owners are friendly and great, and the views are very nice, spectacular actually.

    2. We have a house in Sablet and live there part of the year. We are on the other side of the Dentelles de Montmirail from Malaucene, not a terribly long drive. There are many wonderful restaurants and wineries in the area. In Sablet, there is a wonderful restaurant called Les Abeilles. In neighboring Gigondas, there are two wonderful restaurants: Les Floret and L'oustalet. There are a number of very good restaurants in Seguret which is designated as one of the most beautiful villages of France. By the way, Le Grand Pre is in the Town of Roaix. Maybe closer to where you will be is Le Four a Chaux in Caromb.

      For sderham, where is Mosaik? Somehow I have missed that restaurant if it is in Vaison. Also, where is Le Beaugraviere? I have missed that too. We will be in Sablet in April and I like to try new places.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Pammel

        Hi, Enchantee. I live in Vaison part of the year (hoping to make it longer.)

        Mosaik is in Vaison-la-Romaine, on the Cours Taulignan. The Beaugraviere is in Mondragon; you go the A7 autoroute entrance at Bollene but do NOT take the autoroute. At the traffic circle take the exit to Pont St Esprit. Then follow signs to Mondragon and the Beaugraviere.

        Le Grand Pre, just outside Vaison, is the best restaurant in the area--best food, best wine and best service (IMHO.)

        If you ( or anyone) would like a detailed write-up of restaurants, bistros, and anything related to food in the Vaison area, please email me:

        Did you go to Les Abeilles in 2008? I have been there prior to that, but can't figure out if it is open.


        1. re: Pammel

          Hi, again, Pammel:

          Not only are we neighbors in Provence, but also in the U.S. I live in Calistoga. Do you live in the town of Sonoma?

          1. re: sderham

            Thank you for the additional information about Mosaik and Beaugraviere. I will definitely plan to try them out. I want to try and get around to eat at all of the good restaurants in the area.

            I would be very sad if Les Abeilles closed. I really like the restaurant and Johannes a lot. We ate there twice in October 2008. When I went back in November, the sign said it was closed till mid December. Our Sablet neighbor told me she scheduled some cooking classes for some of her guests for this spring. I also just checked the web site for the restaurant and it has been updated within the last couple of weeks so I assume it is open.

            It is a very small world. I don't live in Sonoma but do live in Sonoma County, specifically between Windsor and Healdsburg. I can't wait to go back to Sablet in early April. My first activity will be to the Tuesday morning market in Vaison.


            1. re: Pammel

              Thanks, Michael. I'm happy to hear that you have eaten recently at Les Abeilles. Will try it again as soon as I am back in Vaison--but not sure when that will be.

              1. re: sderham

                Thanks for the suggestions! Much appreciated.

        2. Try Crillon le Brave... extraordinary location, hotel, restaurant. Roasted lamb from their hearth, amazing provencal menu. Have a glass of wine on their patio overlooking vineyards and mountains.