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Aug 20, 2010 04:48 PM

La cabra d'or booked, need alternatives for day trip to Arles, Les Baux & St Remy

Taking a day trip from Montpellier to Arles, Les Baux & St Remy, the first Saturday in October. We are 4 adults (2 French, 1 Irish & 1 American) and one sophisticated 9 year old french girl. I thought we"d start with a visit to Arles and the market,, have a very nice lunch, visit the chateau and end our day touring St Remy. My restuarant choice was Cabra d"Or but it's booked solid. My second choice, although in a very different catergory was Bistro du Paradus. I was really hoping for something outdoors. I thought about the Oustau De Baumaniere but it's quite expensive. Any ideas? It's a special day.

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  1. That's too much for one day. There is plenty to see in Arles besides the market, which is great on a Saturday. You really should spend the whole day there. The 45€ lunch menu at Jean-Luc Rabanel would be special. St Rémy is of little interest for touring. The ruins at Les Baux are interesting, of course, but it is an event of several hours with Saturday parking and walking around.

    1 Reply
    1. re: beaulieu

      Totally agree with beaulieu.
      St Rémy itself is really not bad but so Parisian - why go for me? But Glanum outside St Rémy is breathtaking.
      But if you have one day, why go to 4, 5 places and see 10% of each, spending most time driving and parking instead of visiting and experiencing?

    2. Thanks for the good advice! What was I thinking? A day in Arles and a memorable lunch. Jean Luc Rabanels sound lovely, but was also thinking of La Chassagnette, Au brin du Thym, Le Cilantro or La guele du Loup???

      1 Reply
      1. re: ceriserouge

        All those bistros that you listed in Arles are good.
        Of course Rabanel is like a temple.
        It may depend on the other restaurants of your trip. Are they all luxury temples on the Rabanel level? In that case you may want to pace yourself with a lighter-hearted bistro like Au Brin du Thym in between two pigouts.

      2. We had an amazing dinner at Rabanel, but it was long,long long. Not to complain, but if you want to do lots of things in a day you might want to choose somewhere else.

        1. Thanks for all the advice, at the end we choice Rabanel for lunch. We did the 7? or 8? course tasting. The other choice was 13 which we thought would be a bit much for lunch. We went whole hog and added the wine with each course option. I thought the food was very, very good. A couple of weird tastes, but altogether excellent. The service was competent and friendly but short of staff. They had an issue serving the wine and the courses in synch. In fact at one point we had to ask for the wine when a particular course was served. The "head" waiter apologized and said they were just overwhelmingly busy. To his credit, every table in the restaurant including the terrace was taken. They really were trying very hard. When we asked for a grenadine drink for my niece, one of the waitresses ran out and got it from someplace outside. Just one extra person on staff would have resolved the problem and given the prices, lunch was not cheap, this should not have been an issue.

          I would return, but now that there is a little colony of several Rabanel restaurants that has sprouted on Rue des Carmes, I think I'll try the one which specializes in seafood next time.
          Our bill came to 388 euros for 4 adults and one child. If you go, my advice is not to add the wine option. Only two to three were really exceptional, stick to ordering a bottle or two.