Goult & the Luberon!

One of the perks of blogging is that you meet some interesting and fun people!

I had met a great Canadian couple in Nice last year via Facebook, and they invited us to visit them this summer while they were staying in Goult.  I had previously visited Lacoste, Bonnieux, and Lourmarin, but so it was that we drove to the Luberon and had a long weekend visit and sightseeing stay with Teresa of French Provençal Touch with a Twist and her husband, Adam.  Gordes, Menerbes, Isle-sur-la Sorgue, Goult, and the Château de la Canorgue (the setting in the film “A Good Year,” which was based on the book, “A Year in Provence” by Peter Mayle) were our target areas.  Browsing through Goult’s annual brocante market and antique stalls in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, enjoying the regional foods and rosé wines, getting to know our hosts, and even dancing salsa & bachata with the hostess in the courtyard (did I mention enjoying the rosé wines?) made for a wonderful and memorable stay. We can’t wait to make this an annual friendship event and look forward to visiting the Luberon again next summer with them – I should take my dance shoes next time, although they wouldn’t do well in the gravel!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Cucuron in the Luberon

If you have seen the movie, “A Good Year” featuring Russell Crowe and based on Peter Mayle’s book, A Year in Provence, you will probably recognize the Place de l’Etang in Cucuron in Provence from one of the scenes in the movie.  I recently ate lunch at a restaurant located beside this village pond, as well as visited the wine shop at the Chateau la Canorgue film location in the movie.  (The chateau is a private, family residence and not open to the public.)  I even purchased a couple bottles of the wine “Le Coin Perdu,” which isn’t drinkable for a minimumcoin perdu of one year with 3-5 years being optimal – what a special souvenir from the beautiful film location of a lovely movie.

Movie trailer HERE

Place de l'Etang

Place de l’Etang

chateau la canorgue

chateau map

Restaurant l'Etang

Restaurant l’Etang

wine with rainbow

wine with rainbow

Escargot entree

Escargot entree

Fish main dish

Fish main dish

Cesar salad

Cesar salad

 

Lourmarin in Provence

A recent trip to the Luberon included a stop in Lourmarin, a charming town to stroll, shop, and café hop, not to mention the final resting place for the French philosopher, Albert Camus.

According to France Today, “Camus’ first visit to the region, in 1937, was brief but in 1946 he came from Paris with three fellow writer friends and actually stayed with them at the Château, in Spartan rooms set far apart which felt spooky at night, his at the bottom of the tower. Armed with the carefree camaraderie and joie de vivre of youth, Camus loved Lourmarin – witness his letter of 1947 to his friend and poet, René Char, who hailed from nearby L’Ile-sur-la- Sorgue:  “The region in France that I prefer is yours, more precisely the foot of the Luberon… Lourmarin, etc.”  Camus was just 46 on January 4, 1960, when he died near Sens in a car crash on his way to Paris– snatched midlife, as if to stage an ironical metaphor of the absurdity of life which was central to his philosophical preoccupations.”

 “L’absurde naît de la confrontation de l’appel humain avec le silence déraisonnable du monde.” 

(“The absurd is the product of a collision or confrontation between our human desire for order, meaning, and purpose in life and the blank, indifferent “silence of the universe.”) 

 Camus gravesite Camus headstone

 

Strolling through the town, I  witnessed le football fever for “Les Bleus” before a World Cup match, saw many amusing store front novelties, including an American song lyric sung by Jimmy Hendrix, and passed lovely fountains….all in a picturesque backdrop in the heart of Provence.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fontvieille in Provence

Our friends had already booked the hotel, so we followed suit and arrived early to take a look around the lovely setting at Hotel Val Majour in Fontvieille.  I hadn’t heard of this small town in Provence, but it certainly seemed centrally located to all the major sites – one of our friends was born in Cadenet, knew the area well, and so, did the booking.  The three-star hotel and pool settings were tranquil and beautiful, the staff was very friendly, the breakfast buffet top notch, and the bar service excellent.

Val Majour Hotel

 

Hotel map

signFor dinner, the receptionist recommended a couple restaurants (with one in particular) situated in the town’s main square, about a 10 minute walk from the hotel.  So, off we went and found the #1 recommendation, “La Cuisine au Planet,” with its inviting terrace.  We luckily got the last tables for our group, as they started telling arriving customers to come back around 9:30p.m.

IMG_0045

And boy, did we get lucky!!  The meal was fantastic, service was impeccable and friendly, and the prices were reasonable – we ate, drank, chatted and laughed throughout the evening – happy to have to walk back to the hotel, since we were so full from the three-course menu – what a lovely, delicious evening!

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Marquis de Sade & Ice Cream in Lacoste

My visit to the town of Lacoste, home to the former castle of the Marquis de Sade, was indeed flavorful!  One of many perched villages in the Luberon: Gordes, Menerbes, and Roussillon, Lacoste is small, with a population of only about 400 habitants.  But don’t let that fool you – this town is host to the Savannah College of Art & Design, which offers classes in fine arts, architecture, design, fashion, film, photography, sculpture, and theater.  This town is also home to the fashion designer, Pierre Cardin, who bought the chateau and surrounding area.

There are art studios and cafés, one being the Café de Sade where I ate lunch.  IMG_0017What I first noticed was the art-sy placemat and the great selection of menu items – wait, is that lavender ice cream?!   Lunch was delicious, but I ws looking forward to tasting this flavor of dessert.  It was very creamy and full of lavender flavor – not even Fennochio in Nice compares (which I tried after returning home).  It was absolutely the best flavor of ice cream I have ever tasted (my opinion)!

(hover mouse over photo for caption)