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HeatherinArles's Profile

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Paradou as base for 5 day Provence trip?

I whole-heartedly agree that Paradou/Maussane is a wonderful base for this part of Provence. Mid-September is completely gorgeous to boot. I would also recommend Pizza Brun and L'Oustaloun as well as stopping by the Jean Martin boutique for excellent picnic tapendades, etc. plus the excellent olive oil at the Coop in Maussane (these two villages are pretty much one long village BTW). Drinks on the square in Maussane are the essence of Provence. I don't know the Maison du Paradou but do know Provence Post and if she says that the folks run a good show and are foodies, well, that is good to hear. And Paradou is a short drive away from Arles with many fine eating options. As completely different as they are, I would go for a meal at Rabanel over L'Oustau de Baumaniere, not to mention that the team from L'Autruche that has taken up at the gorgeous hotel Nord Pinus (at the very least worth a drink in the bar). Yes, staying in St. Remy would make things a bit easier but it isn't the same country experience as what you could have in Paradou.

Sep 01, 2012
HeatherinArles in France

salad in arles or environs

Just wish they were a tiiiny more welcoming to non-hotel guests. And the prices for a mojito on the terrace? 15€ :O

Aug 19, 2012
HeatherinArles in France

salad in arles or environs

It is! I hope that you went inside as well--the room is so gorgeous as is the bar (not run by Fabien and Ouira but very cool). They are planning to develop a wine bar in the back this winter and I will really look forward to it. They are the nicest couple so I am thrilled for them that such a big investment is paying off for them!

Aug 19, 2012
HeatherinArles in France

salad in arles or environs

Hey there Theresa, I am glad you enjoyed it! Yep, the team from the Autruche has moved to the Brasserie Nord-Pinus at the hotel of the same name. I would have updated here save that I haven't yet been myself--although everyone I know that has gone has loved it. The space is much larger, much nicer and they are upping the ante on the menu, hence the price increase. I think that they are going after their first star and I bet they will get it! And glad that you liked my town--yes, do come back!

Aug 19, 2012
HeatherinArles in France

16 Days in Provence and the proposed Itinerary and Restaurants

PS. My hunger got the best of me last night but one thing that I think deserves mentioning: Toussaint is a serious holiday here and things really do close down completely, at least in Arles and the region, just something to keep in mind.

Sep 16, 2011
HeatherinArles in France

16 Days in Provence and the proposed Itinerary and Restaurants

Wow, this is one looong thread! I think that I got through most of it with only a few bouts of nodding off. Unfortunately, I have forgotten most of what I wanted to say but will try and kick in a bit if it isn't too late. I highly, highly recommend the idea of renting ONE home base for this trip aside from your arrival/departure evenings (and yes, I love Avignon). Either Maussane or Paradou would be great for that and there are wonderful opportunities to be had this time of year. And yes, I too think that you are really planning far, far too much. Still! Vaison is a day. Arles, my home town, is definitely a day--especially on Saturday! That said, my bet is to do a market swoop and then take your goods to the Bar du Marché, if you order a bottle (whether you finish or not and I believe it is in the 10 Euros area) they will look the other way as you dive into your goodies. I have no idea where L'Affenage came from as I can't think of a single local that eats there. The chance to eat at Rabanel for dinner after the market is the must do! Just go with an open mind and time on your hands--and don't let them rush you either! While I like Cilantro, I think that it is rarely truly exceptional--La Chassagnette would get my vote in its stead or for a lower down the Michelin chain experience, L'autruche (you could also eat light there with their "after the market" menu). Jardin des Arts also surprises me--don't let the website fool you! It's pretty but nothing more.
I have a good friend who is Setois, I will try to get ahold of him (busy dude) to get a proper recommendation.
I actually really like Sous les Micoucouliers but prefer it for lunch if it is still warm enough to sit outside (it might or might not be).
I also prefer La Place in Maussane.
I would totally skip the market in St Remy. Bunch of silliness compared to what else you have planned.
For Nimes, there is also a huge Les Halles there as well, open 7 days a week. Just a thought.
For Avignon, I think that the experience at METropolitan, inside the courtyard at the Collection Lambert is positively lovely. Not mega gourmet but really clean flavors. Then to stroll it off in the museum is sublime.
Loumarin is also a great base, driving and munching wise. You'll find your way, just follow your nose!
L'Isle sur La Sorgue is a great Sunday--the market, the brocante, lunch, the antiques dealers and then, on the road out of town to Apt, not far is a stand called "Les Fruits de L'Isle" (I think!! Something like that) on the left side as you leave town and you will notice the signs for fresh truffles. The man that runs it is delightful and he has so many yummy things to take with you.
Time to make dinner!

Sep 15, 2011
HeatherinArles in France

Provence restaurant recommendations_Arles and Cassis

Well, perhaps I am too late but I can help a bit with suggestions for Arles and maybe a few others.

As I just mentioned on another post, I am currently loving L'Autruche in the rue Dulau but I prefer to go for lunch as I feel that they are pricey for dinner. I was just there on Saturday and was delighted by my meal: coco beans with fresh crab and agrumes to start followed by a duo of fish with a brilliant green basilic sauce and grilled veggies. The host felt that our portions were a bit small and so sent out another plate for us. Lovely.

I also prefer Le Cilantro for lunch but only because the ambiance is more pleasant. Perfect service.

For a casual evening, there is a nice courtyard at Querida for tapas, similarly Chez Ariane when there is a jazz/manouche trio on the weekends.

Rabanel is still the best meal that I have ever had here and I do believe worth the splurge although the experience is very specific and not everyone's cup of tea. I would go the evening and enjoy!

I love the square in Maussane and would recommend either La Place or L'Oustaloun depending on the weather.

I personally can't justify the prices at L'Oustau de Baumaniere but if you can, the Wahid brothers are doing wonderful work there.

One other idea: Sous les Micocouliers in Eygalieres (close to St Remy) for its gorgeous setting and fresh food (young chef trained at Robuchon, Ducasse and Senderens).

Sep 05, 2011
HeatherinArles in France

salad in arles or environs

Now this killed me so I finally joined up so that I could offer a reply. I live in Arles and rule number 1 is to NEVER eat on the Place du Forum. I wish I had seen this beforehand! Sadly, there are many touristic restaurants in Arles that rely on a huge COSTCO like store called Metro in Nimes. It is open to professionals only and sells, amongst other things, frozen lunches and dinners. Scary but true.

The "16" is specialized in salads but is closed on Sundays. For a very casual lunch, I prefer the Cuisine du Comptoir. Their formule is 11€ and with that you have a giant fresh salad, a tartine of your choice (foie gras or duck and emmenthal are my piggyesque faves) and either a glass of wine or an espresso.

For more than a salad I would heartily recommend L'Autruche, my current favorite for their lunch menu at 17€--it is where Rabanel eats on his days off...very, very fresh and an incredible buy for the money.

As for La Chassagnette, I remember that they used to have an additional garden off-site as well that was run by the same team--not sure if that is still the case.

And just a thanks for all of the great advice that I have gleaned as a lurker!

Sep 05, 2011
HeatherinArles in France