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ile sur la Sorgue France (near Avignon)

SFGourmande Oct 4, 2011 10:37 AM

Hi - does anyone know this area? Looking for interesting restaurants for a group and activities. Anything unusual. Anyone know of wineries or farmhouses that make lunch or dinner for groups?

I know these are random questions, but I am going to be there in May with family and we don't know the area that well.


  1. Parigi Oct 4, 2011 10:44 AM

    The area is called the Luberon. If you put "Luberon" in the search box (top right), you will get many very current and informative threads. The magnum opus is Kurtis's reviews. Just trace his steps if you are unsure.

    1. m
      masha Oct 4, 2011 01:46 PM

      Les Carmes is a B&B ("chambre d'hote") in the adjacent village of Le Thor. In addition to meals served to houseguests, their restaurant is available for small groups. The kitchen is operated by the owners' son, Michael, who is a professionally trained chef. Food is excellent. Here is the link:


      9 Replies
      1. re: masha
        boredough Jun 5, 2012 02:12 PM

        Have just learned that Michael packed up and moved to Birmingham (England) in November, where he supposedly opened a restaurant. Right now, his mother is doing the cooking at Les Carmes. Our friends are staying there but have not yet dined on her food so I cannot report on their experience.

        1. re: boredough
          masha Jun 5, 2012 02:30 PM

          Oh no! I am sure that Anne is a competent cook but Michael had a high level of professional training and experience beyond what one ordinarily encounters in a small B&B. I'll be interested to hear your friends' report.

          1. re: masha
            boredough Jun 6, 2012 12:23 AM

            Yes, from what Anne told us (mother's do like to brag), Michael's restaurant "should be getting a Michelin star", as he previously either owned or worked in another starred restaurant. His reason for leaving was that the town of le Thor would not permit him to open a (real) restaurant, so he gave up after years of trying. (She blamed this roadblock on the fact that he's English and therefore an 'undesirable' chef for the villagers & the village.)

            1. re: boredough
              masha Jun 6, 2012 08:57 AM

              NB, on further reflection, I think that the son's name is James. Isn't Michael (Mike), Ann's husband? No matter, it's unfortunate news.

              1. re: masha
                boredough Jun 6, 2012 09:29 AM

                You are probably right. I met Mike, the father, but just assumed (from your posts) that the chef was Mike Jr. If Anne mentioned her son's name, I didn't catch it.

                1. re: boredough
                  masha Jun 7, 2012 12:49 PM

                  Sorry, I'd not expanded my original post & did not realize that I was the one to introduce the mistaken name into this thread. Any word from your friends as to the food?

                  1. re: masha
                    boredough Jun 8, 2012 12:03 AM

                    I just received a msg from our friends who said their dinners were 'exceptional' (in a good way!) ... so I've asked for more details. Might not hear anything further until they get back home next week, as they will be on the move for several days.

                    1. re: boredough
                      boredough Jun 16, 2012 04:12 AM

                      Sorry to say I don't have a better description or analysis of our friends' meals at les Carmes. But they loved the whole experience there, and would definitely go back.

                      1. re: boredough
                        masha Jun 18, 2012 08:36 AM

                        Good enough for me.

      2. p
        Pammel Oct 5, 2011 07:31 AM

        With all due respect, Isle sur la Sorgue although not too far away is not in the Luberon but rather in the Vaucluse plateau in the plains of Comtat Venaissin. Kurtis's lengthy review which you will find in a Luberon search is outstanding and a good source for you, especially for restos to the east and southeast of Isle sur la Sorgue.

        1. p
          prestose Oct 5, 2011 09:07 AM

          I would like to recommend Le Mas des Grès (http://www.masdesgres.com/). It's a small inn run by Nina and Thierry Crovara. He's the chef and she's the innkeeper. It's very close to Ile-sur-la Sorgue. The Mas des Grès has been our "home away from home" for years now--the welcome and the food are always outstanding. May is a really busy month, so you need to reserve as soon as possible.

          1 Reply
          1. re: prestose
            mangeur Oct 7, 2011 11:39 PM

            We can second this (Mas des Grés) recommendation. Most comfortable rooms, bountiful dinner, delightful hosts.

          2. s
            SFGourmande Oct 7, 2011 02:01 PM

            Thanks for the tips!! Can't wait to experience the area and check out your recommendations!!

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