We stayed in an Air-BNB apartment with three bedrooms and three baths, living room and kitchen with a wonderful patio overlooking the rooftops with the hills in the background.
There is much to explore in the city centre, within a short walking distance of our apartment, scores of restaurants bars, bistro’s, pizza parlours, and dozens of sidewalk cafes.
For Dejeuner (breakfast) there are dozens of Patisserie Boulangerie and cafes that serve the traditional Petit Dejeuner (little breakfast of croissant and coffee).
There are but a few ‘fine dining’ establishments one finds or expects in the big cities of Paris, London, New York or Chicago which avoids the car payment costly meals with expensive wine lists.
Wine selections are moderate and modest with focus on Southern French regional wines from Cotes de Provence, Luburon, Languedoc, the Rhone River valley regions, and a handful of offerings from Bordeaux and the Borgogne.
During the day, the main Cours Mirabeau street is filled with a festive market with scores of merchants setting up pop-up stands selling sportwear, jewelry, art, leather goods, nougats, cheeses and regional fashions.
Street musicians play to the crowd at all hours and at prime time a small band played to the crowd as couples danced nearby.
A highlight of our visit was an evening with our ‘host’ family, Jean Claude and Mireille, parents of Phillip who was an exchange student that lived with us on two different tours. His residency and friendship with our son Alec contributed to Alec’s fluency in French. Visiting the region to see Phillip and meet his family was one of the reasons for our trip, together with our son and Viv, his fiancée, to the south of France.
We dined in the garden in a delightful setting in the back yard below the picturesque Meyrargues Chateau castle up on the hill above the house.
Before dinner we enjoyed a couple of preparations of tapenade, made from olives and olive oil pressed from the trees on the property. We then enjoyed pate' foie gras, both served with baguettes and an assortment of breads. These were served with a wide assortment of juices, waters and wines starting with Veuve Virey Champagne Brut Rose, then Veuve Virey Champagne Brut.
Our dinner course was accompanied by a selection of wines from Jean Claude's personal wine cellar - Gevry-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Bourgogne (Red Burgundy) followed by a 2007 Domaine de la Maurelle Gigondas Southern Rhone, leading to a Bordeaux, Bernard Magrez, Chateau Perenne Cote de Blaye Cru Borgeois 2004.
Bernard Coillot Gevry-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Bourgogne
Bernard Magrez Chateau Perenne Cote de Blaye Cru Borgeois 2006
Turning to the cheese course, we were served a selection of six French cheeses – Roquefort, a creamy Camembert, Goat Cheese, a cow’s milk cheese, an Ementhaler and a Brie. All were delicious and each was presented with a tutorial on its history, geography and preparation.
The cheese course was accompanied by one’s choice of the selection of wines and of course champagnes.
The lavender and honey was an incredibly unique signature offering from the Luberon - a fascinating experience – a cross between a culinary sensual overload