Posts tagged Sablet
Provence: Special Restaurants

Salut Provence!  Outdoor Terrace at Les Abeilles I've been lost in writing about Provence for nearly a month. If that is not proof enough of how special Provence is to me. I have so many more postcards to send you from Provence, but my own garden, in my own Mediterranean climate is beckoning me home.

I'm going to end "Postcards from Provence" mentioning two very special restaurants in Provence that completed our visit. It is hard not to get a truly delicious meal any where in Provence. All of the bistros and restaurants are just divine. You can't go wrong. The menu and ambience's of Les Abeilles restaurant in Sablet, and Le Mas de Tourteron restaurant outside of Gordes, are however, special dining experiences.

Les Abeilles Les Abeilles in Sablet, centrally located to many places of interest like the famous village of Gigondas and its hearty Rhone wine, as well as Mount Ventoux, one of the highest peaks in the area, and famed as a route often on the cycling Tour de France. Les Abeilles is also a small hotel, restaurant, and bar. We stumbled upon this gem towards the end of our visit, and couldn't ask for a better dining experience. Chef Johanes and his wife Marlies, make sure everyone has a wonderful dining experience and visit.

Our dinner at Les Abeilles was something like being in the midst of an ongoing "three-act play". I have never had that dining experience before. Each table in the tiny restaurant had its cast of characters and drama. Although my husband and I were into our own dinner and dining experience, we couldn't help but observe the other tables and their perspective dramas unfolding. Maybe there is a play to write, about this dining experience in my future.

Besides having a wonderful dinner, we happened to meet a new lifetime friend that night, just part of the ambiance of the evening. A young German doctor, who is also a serious bike rider, and enthusiastically rides Mount Ventoux, whenever his vacation time permits. Restaurant Les Abeilles, 4, rue de Vasion, 844110 Sablet, (tel) (0)4.9012.38.96, Les Abeillles.

Entrance to Le Mas de Tourteron, Gordes

Le Mas de Tourteron Le Mas de Tourteron, like the Bistro du Paradou, was also a restaurant we had tried to dine at on our first trip to Provence, and eventually succeeded in having a Sunday lunch there, our second visit.

Le Mas de Tourteron is a very unique and romantic restaurant, owned by self-taught chef, Elizabeth Bourgeois, and her sommelier husband. It is a lovingly restored centuries-old mas, (farmhouse), which also use to be the site of an old silk cocoon farm.

Elizabeth is near legendary for her farm recipes, and has a large kitchen garden. Le Mas de Tourteron has its own garden setting, and just exudes romance. My husband and I were celebrating an early anniversary Sunday lunch, but I could imagine someone's very special evening, and "being proposed to" here.

Inside the restaurant, Elizabeth's antique and vintage bird cage collection hung throughout on its stone walls, woos diners with charm. Le Mas de Tourteron is very special, and very pricey. I suggest reservations, as days and hours vary slightly throughout the year. For a treat, dine at Le Mas de Tourteron, chemin de St.-Blaise, Gordes, (tel) (0)4-90-72-00-16, Le Mas de Tourteron.

Salut Provence! Your magic, beauty, and charm simply astounds me! I hope to return, once again, as soon as I can.

Provence: Rural Countryside & Villages

Lower Rhone Valley And Town of Sablet Provence is so large and diverse, it really is hard to describe it all. When traveling by car, one is often fooled by the distance and time it takes to get around. Although there are some highways, a lot of the roads, are secondary roads which meander and wind through the small villages, towns, and countryside. In fact, "the mode" of getting around Provence seems to support the relaxed tempo of life here.

Approaching the Medieval Village of Gordes

In the Luberon region of Provence, the large regional Luberon Park protects the countryside from random development and preserves its wonderful valley floors and rising Luberon foothill views.

The wind can be a factor in Provence. There are actually several winds which occur in this region. The mistral, probably the best known, originates in Siberia and barrels towards Provence through the Cote du Rhone valley, sometimes with violent force and sometimes for days. During a mistral wind, everyone has a favorite legendary "mistral story" to tell.

Overlooking The Village of Bonnieux

Many of the hillside villages are from medieval times, and some started as Roman beginnings, when that was the best way to defend yourself from invaders. Often well-preserved, and with commanding views, these villages have wonderful bistros, weekly markets, honey-stone churches to explore, village tradition, artisan crafts, and lively local culture to take in.

Provence is soothing and peaceful visually. How can you not be moved looking out at its verdant quilted patchwork countryside, gentle rising foothills, valley floors, and vast blue horizon, seemingly untouched for centuries. Incredibly, you can still experience fields of happy sunflowers, acres of scented lavender, flocks of sheep migrating, producing olive groves, and noteworthy vineyards, as part of normal everyday Provencal life.

Springtime in Provence, when these photos were taken, show how simply beautiful the countryside is. Much of the landscape in spring consists of budding vineyards, gnarled mature olive trees, towering cypress, blossoming fruit trees, climbing roses, blooming wisteria, and the dramatic red poppy in mass.

Have you been to Provence in the spring? What is your favorite memory?