Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sunday evening we drove over the Alpilles to visit our friends, Christine, Philippe and Jean-Pierre at their hotel, Riboto-de-Taven in Les Baux. As usual, Jean-Pierre outdid himself with preparing taureaux (bull from the Camargue) and sole. Both dishes were delicious. Philippe matched the meal perfectly with a beautiful white Rhone wine from Chateau Rayas. Monday we needed to catch up on chores and then lounged around for most of the day. We ate a simple shrimp salad for dinner, with a bottle of Terres Blanches blanc de blancs (great and under 10 Euros a bottle!)

Today (Tuesday) we visited Gordes, a hilltop village near to Menerbes (the town made famous by Peter Mayle, author of ‘A Year in Provence’). You wind your way up and around the village past Château de Gordes, find a spot to park and walk. Today’s weather was cloudy, very little sun and in the mid to high 70s. Unusually warm for this time of year.

Gordes is a popular tourist destination with its expensive restaurants, hotels and shops. It’s also quite a beautiful village with magnificent views of the surrounding valleys. We arrived just in time for lunch, of course, and had a great meal at La Bastide, which also has a four-star hotel and spa www.bastide-de-gordes.com, all clinging to the side of the hill with spectacular views. The meal was simple but superb, fresh local melon with muscat and Serrano ham, followed by a pesto infused penne rigate with shrimp and fresh vegetables. David paired it with a St. Joseph white which was wonderful. The wines in the area aren’t terribly well known in the U.S., but are excellent and – best of all – affordable, especially after Burgundy.

After lunch, we strolled around the town; peeking in and out of stores, then drive back to the farmhouse in Eygalières.


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