Thursday — September 22, 2016 — Anne & Jay visit Gordes and Roussillon. For us, les Olivades in St. Remy

Another gorgeous day.

Anne and Jay decided that today they would visit the “perched village” of Gordes and the nearby Abbaye Sennanque, famous for its fields of lavender. If time allowed, they would also visit Roussillon, famed for its red and gold stone, charm, and character.

Gordes looks like it is carved out of the cliffs, with buildings and foliage sprouting from the stone, all with fantastic views of the valley below. We shared one of our most prized tips with them – the spectacular Bastides de Gordes, a luxury spa hotel/resort right on the cliffs, with fabulous dining, now augmented by the establishment of a restaurant from three-star chef Pierre Gagnaire, our favorite. While Gagnaire costs about the same as a small car, the Orangerie is a more affordable, but still superb, dining option. It is a large terrace, shaded with trees and umbrellas, with spectacular views. The menu is fairly simple, but appealing. The service is impeccable. The other dining options in Gordes are mostly cafés and bistros serving okay, but not great, bistro fare. We always make a point of dining at the Orangerie when visiting Gordes. It doesn’t get much better.

In short order we got an email and photo from Anne & Jay, a shot of a glass of white wine on the table with vistas of the cliffs and flowers in the background. We were happy they were smitten. Anne fell in love with the salmon carpaccio, while Jay had a “fabulous” chicken BLT with frites. In keeping with the posh surroundings, he ate everything with a knife and fork. They decided that despite having the mas to live in on a return visit, a weekend at the Bastides, with its spa and atmosphere would be a great treat. The Bastides isn’t for everyone – a bit formal and a little pricey, but it’s worth every penny..

After that, they took a trip to the picturesque village of Roussillon and then home.

David and I headed for Molleges to have lunch at Chez Ju, but found it booked solid (not surprising,)  so headed on to St. Remy where we had a great meal at Olivades, a long-time favorite.

Driving home, we decided to stop at Domaine Hauvette, whose wines we love. In typical French fashion, there are signs everywhere directing you to Hauvette, ostensibly to taste, buy, etc. We showed up to find a sign that said “no tastings,” “no visits.” And so it was on to the mas and a short pause before a fabulous dinner at Potager du Mas. The setting was perfect, on the outside patio, and Franck made the night special. Rather than bore you with yet more descriptions of food, take a look at Bev’s Flickr photos – they say it all. We can say that we had the best wine of our visit – a Vacqueyras blanc from Arnoux that was spectacular.

And so it was down the road to our home in Provence. Tomorrow is market day in our little village. We need nothing, but is always fun.




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