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May 15, 2012 02:40 PM

Provence and Cotes du Rhone

I am leaving on a Wine and Art Tour in about 10 days. We start in Marseille and end in Lyon. Some meals are not included, and perhaps there are too many dinners at the hotel in Arles. I will not have time nor transportation to go outside of the towns. I would appreciate suggestions for the following:

Lunch in Les Baux de Provence
Lunch in Gordes
Dinner in Avignon
Lunch in Lyon (a bouchon open for lunch is desired)

This is, of course, if I am sober enough to make it to the restaurants. We are visiting 10 wineries for tastings, one of which is E. Guigal whose 2007 Cotes du Rhone is one of my house wines.

Thanks--suggestions from these boards have been outstanding.

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  1. Les Baux: This perched village has a collection of unremarkable touristy cafés (in my experience). But if you have the time, energy, & euros, you could walk to the Oustau de Baurmanière - which likely won't be too far from wherever your transportation leaves or picks you up (at the bottom of the mountain).
    Gordes: There isn't much to offer in this village proper either, but if view counts for anything, then have lunch at the Bastide de Gordes ( The view/site should compensate for whatever the cuisine may lack, which, I must add, I haven't tested in several years. Maybe another Cher has been there recently....?
    Avignon: Hiély-Lucullus
    and if you are allowed to escape from your hotel dinners in Arles, be sure to go to l'Atelier Jean-Luc Rabanel

    1 Reply
    1. re: boredough

      Thank you, info is copied and will make its way into my folder.

    2. ditto Osteau de Baumaniere and Hiely!

      My favorite lunch in Lyon is at the brasserie Leon de Lyon. (I know, it's not a bouchon.)

      BTW, love Guigal wines... esp Brune et Blonde!

      1 Reply
      1. It isn't my place to suggest a detour, Le Fourneil in Bonnieux is about 20 minutes from Gordes, a stunning drive, and worth the trip. It is the single place in all of France that we had superb food, as expected, but at incredible prices, with an accessible and fun wine list that was priced to enhance the experience and not ding the pocketbook. The one real reason is the service... the rare, exuberant, thrilled that you are there service. We just ate there last night, and I saw your note. We did some climbing and hiking in Buoux, and it was a perfect luberon base for all the towns, including Gordes.... not much in Gordes, and if you can afford a little extra time, a one star michelin restaurant (I *THINK* - at 22 - 27 Euro for lunch is too good to pass up.

        Sorry if that is precisely what you did not need, but I am at a loss for Gordes. Spend more time in the Luberon if at all possible. It's enchanting. But, so is all of it... =)

        1 Reply
        1. re: unclefishbits

          Thanks, that sounds wonderful, but I am constrained by time and mobility. Another superb recommendation outside of Gordes: Le Mas Touteron. I can't get there either.

        2. It is a shame you don't have transportation because there are many wonderful places to eat a short distance from all of these towns. We live part of the year in the Vaucluse and have had the chance to try a lot of restaurants. We like Hiély-Lucullus but I think we have enjoyed our meals more at Essentiel Restaurant in Avignon. I have attached a link to a recent post I wrote about the restaurant on my blog.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Pammel

            Thanks. Essentiel has been added to the list.

            1. re: Karen1440

              Ditto l'Essential........had a very nice dinner there back in January

              1. re: tito

                Thanks to you, as well. I leave on Thursday. It's been 4 years since I've been in France and that was Burgundy. Au revoir!

                  1. re: Karen1440

                    I am beyond thrilled and happy for you... and a wee bit jealous as I am trying to work, having just gotten back. =) Make every second count, and be gluttonous! Cheers, and safe travels.

                      1. re: Karen1440

                        "I think that the realization of oneself is the prime aim of life, and to realize oneself through pleasure is finer than to do so through pain." - Oscar Wilde

                        (me too... and I will stop posting and let you enjoy)


                        1. re: unclefishbits

                          I love Oscar Wilde and his outlook on life. Paraphrasing: It is sad to lose one parent, but to lose two is irresponsible.

                          I go check the weather in Provence and then get off the machine.

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