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August Honeymoon in Provence - Avignon, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Lex Baux de Provence

Ferme de la Huppe did not seat anyone inside - they turned away walk-ins rather than make a table inside. the evenings as I mentioned were glorious and sitting outside at 8, 9, through midnight was pleasant, save the bugs.

Aug 31, 2012
datopone in France

August Honeymoon in Provence - Avignon, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Lex Baux de Provence

"Hmm, in order not to annoy you, ideally restaurants should print up English menus for no one to read, except, well, you.
No wonder Sartre said l'enfer c'est l'autre." //

Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. I of course do not expect a restaurant located deep in the French countryside to have an English menu. I would have thought, however, that a restaurant located in a hotel would. I speak enough French to pleasantly begin and end a conversation and courteously enter a store, restaurant, ask for directions, etc. I do not, however, have the command of French vocabulary required to digest a French menu such as Capelongue's. I attempted to use the Paris Food Lover's app by Patricia Wells on my iphone, but the amount of ingredients listed for each dish on the menu...well, made using the app annoying. I was annoyed, as was I'm sure the lovely waitress who tried to explain each item. An English menu would have been, well, less annoying.

As for the annoying Brits, they seemed to annoy just about everyone, including the nice young French couple dining next to us at Capelongue who asked to be moved to a table at the other side of the restaurant in search of respite - and in response to which one of the young British diners cried sarcastically, "Daddy, I think we've ruined their date." Because we did not want to be a further annoyance to our lovely waitress, my wife and I did not complain, and instead listened in shock to their lesson in ignoramus.

Aug 30, 2012
datopone in France

August Honeymoon in Provence - Avignon, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Lex Baux de Provence

"Provence is much more than taking a pic in front of a postcard monument and hurrying back to the car, on to another postcard pose." // depends what one is after. most villages were like Goult. I don't believe one needs to see too many of them...it is not as though there is historical or cultural significance attached like there is at say pont du gard. If you go to Saignon (the most charming of all the small villages we visited) and eat at le petit cave, one will have an adequate idea of what a Provincial villages is like, and may eat among the better of the Luberon restaurants.

We had a very special lunch at auberge de la loube - a Provincial feast of carrots, squash, tomatoes, cantaloupe with mint (most restaurants had something like this), tzatziki, beets, cous cous, hard boiled eggs, artichoke, hummus, eggplant, and caramelized onions that tasted more like honey than onions - where we sat next to a group (2 couples in their 50s-60s) of Brits (theme of the trip) who riddled off Luberon villages they'd visited juxtaposed to 1-2 word adjectives (e.g., good, bad, like, dislike) as though it were a grocery list. What's the point? I don't see what is to be gained from running to and from these villages regardless of whether one has 1 day or 1 month to spend in the luberon.

Don't get me wrong. We loved our time spent in the Luberon. We loved the food, the hike above Lioux, the market, the pool at the hotel relaxing with rose and French cheeses. I personally couldn't have spent any longer there than we did. But that's me.

Aug 30, 2012
datopone in France

August Honeymoon in Provence - Avignon, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Lex Baux de Provence

I'm back after a very relaxing and totally amazing honeymoon. I've so much to write – a lot of food and wine were ingested, and will write a detailed blow by blow trip report, but wanted to quickly get back to everyone with my favorites of the trip, and a few other brief notes and observations. Thanks again for all your help & counsel.

1. Note: August was not at all too hot in the Luberon or too congested to enjoy. maybe coming from New York and having been raised in LA I have a different sense of hot/humid and congestion/traffic, but I found the Luberon to be temperately hot, and empty
2. Review: Best meal from start to end was at Capelongue, though they were the only restaurant to not have an English menu, which was annoying
3. Review: Best single item was a tie between the foie gras at Le Petite Cave, the sunflower truffle at Capelongue, and the rack of lamb at L’Arome
4. Observation: Most annoying award goes to the English – we had many encounters with groups of Brits at various restaurants, sites, etc., and found them to be vapidly arrogant and offensively loud
5. Review: There is really nothing to do or see in many of the towns we visited for dinner. For instance, we went to Goult 2 hours early for our dinner at La Bartavelle and ended up leaving after 30 minutes. The town was deserted aside from maybe 4-5 small groups of mostly French tourists, and a dozen or so locals. There were maybe 10 shops in the town, of which 5 were open
6. Review: The market at L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue was awesome…a highlight of the trip. I liked that it was mobbed…and there were ample stands to support all the people. Parking was easy – people are regularly coming & going from the lots so it’s just a matter of waiting a couple minutes in a lot nearby until someone leaves
7. Review: The canoe trip to the Pont du gard was a great way to spend the day
8. Review: The hike along the falaise at Lioux was long, but worthwhile, and offered a great way to see the real Luberon
9. Observation: Arles – a very cool mini-Paris. We spent only 1 night here, and I wish I had done 2 instead, and cut down the Luberon by 1 night. Really want to go back and explore this city.
10. Review: Best meal for the price was hands down Le Petit Cave. The food was fantastic. I easily could’ve eaten there 3 days in a row if we had spent more time in Luberon
11. Observation: In America tasting menus are restaurants’ devices to rip off their customers. In France, they’re the norm, and in many cases more reasonably priced than ordering individual items off the menu

Aug 28, 2012
datopone in France

French menus

nice! better than a book, the iphone ap is where it's at. I downloaded it ($4.99) - the glossary alone is worth much more than that. the link above w/ the pdf is good too, but the ap will come in very handy and I'll look less like an American tourist and more like an American a-hole on his phone at dinner. I suppose the latter is better in France! lol

May 29, 2012
datopone in France

Good Bar with Craft Beer and Good Food to Watch the Ranger Game Tonight

it's pretty rare for any bar to have tvs outside. I'm even struggling to think of any in Los Angeles. TVs and sun don't go together all that well. if the game is that important, reschedule your plans. otherwise, bring your phone to get the updates.

May 25, 2012
datopone in Manhattan

French menus

Anyone have any good book recommendations for brushing up on French - something focused particularly on food would be ideal...so I can understand the menus at the restaurants in Provence.

May 25, 2012
datopone in France

August Honeymoon in Provence - Avignon, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Lex Baux de Provence

ok thanks!!

Apr 29, 2012
datopone in France

August Honeymoon in Provence - Avignon, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Lex Baux de Provence

thanks for the advice. hadn't considered that. what is the dress code at these restaurants? no jacket required, I'm assuming?

Apr 28, 2012
datopone in France

August Honeymoon in Provence - Avignon, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Lex Baux de Provence

Parigi is a treasure trove!

Apr 28, 2012
datopone in France

August Honeymoon in Provence - Avignon, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Lex Baux de Provence

thanks again Parigi! I think I may just have to embrace the crowds.

Apr 23, 2012
datopone in France

August Honeymoon in Provence - Avignon, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Lex Baux de Provence

ok, thanks for the input. sadly, I arrive in Luberon on Saturday and depart on Friday, so I will miss the Lourmarin market altogether :( I'll skip the Roussillon market..thanks for the advice.

Apr 23, 2012
datopone in France

August Honeymoon in Provence - Avignon, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Lex Baux de Provence

Parigi!! C'mmon! just when I think I have it all done & perfected...alas.

how does the Thursday market at Roussillon compare to the Sunday market at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue?

what if I switch around my Thursday & Sunday plans...so now, as follows:
Sunday -
-visit Lourmarin & Cucuron
-visit Ansouis and the Val Joanis vineyard-garden in Perthuis
-dinner at Auberge La Fenière
Thursday -
-visit the market at Roussillon
-visit Abbey de Senanque or Mur de la Peste
-lunch at Freme de la Huppe (they're closed Sunday, which is why I was eating at Les Bories)

Apr 23, 2012
datopone in France

August Honeymoon in Provence - Avignon, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Lex Baux de Provence

thanks everyone for all your help. I have all my reservations set now...I'll be sure to follow up with my reviews:

Staying at Le Domaine de Capelongue
•Les Bories in Gordes - Sunday 12 August 1:00PM Lunch
•La Bartavelle in Goult - Monday 13 August 8.30 PM Dinner
•La Petite Cave in Saignon - Tuesday 14 August 9:00PM Dinner
•Le Sanglier Paresseux in Caseneuve - Wednesday 15 August 8.30pm Dinner
•Auberge La Fenière - Thursday 16 August 9:00PM Dinner

Staying at L'Hôtel Particulier
•Chez Rabanel - Friday 17 August 9:30PM Dinner

Apr 23, 2012
datopone in France

August Honeymoon in Provence - Avignon, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Lex Baux de Provence

thank you soo much Parigi!! I will most definitely follow up with a full report...and pictures of the shell bridge! I am very excited for this trip.

Saturday
Drive to Bonnieux -- Bastide de Capelongue -- and have dinner at the hotel

Sunday
1. Visit the Apt morning market, and get a small picnic there to go (save for dinner)
2. Late lunch at the Ferme-Auberge Le Castelas in Sivergue
3. Visit Ansouis and the Val Joanis vineyard-garden in Perthuis

Monday
1. Visit Lacoste and Menerbes
2. Drive to Goult and a walk to the falaise in Lioux
3. dinner at La Bartavelle in Goult

Tuesday
1. wineries near Apt
2. tour Saignon
3. pre-dinner apertif at Auberge du Presbytere in Saignon
4. dinner in Caseneuve at Le Sanglier Paresseux

Wednesday
1. either drive up to Vaison -- or visit other villages in the Luberon
2. dinner at Auberge La Fenière

Thursday
1. depart early from hotel in Bonnieux and drive to Collias
2. pick up food from Maison Gouin in Coustellet for picnic later
3. rent a canoe from Collias to go up to Pont du Gard
4. drive to Arles
5. dinner at Chez Rabanel
6. stay the night in Arles at Nord Pinus

Merci!

Mar 02, 2012
datopone in France

August Honeymoon in Provence - Avignon, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Lex Baux de Provence

I am deeply appreciative, Parigi - I did not anticipate the amount of travel required in my plans. I have revised them per your recommendations.

Saturday
Drive to Bonnieux -- Bastide de Capelongue -- and have dinner at the hotel

Sunday
1. Market at L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
2. picnic at Fontaine de Vaucluse (too far?)
3. dinner at Auberge La Fenière

Monday
1. Drive to Goult and a walk to the falaise in Lioux
2. dinner at La Bartavelle

Tuesday
1. wineries near Apt
2. tour Saignon
3. dinner at Auberge du Presbytere

Wednesday
1a. either deal w/ traffic at head to CDP to visit the bigger wineries -- or --
1b. tour Lacoste & Menerbes
2. other dinner suggestions near the hotel in Bonnieux?

Thursday (is this too much??)
1. check out/depart early from hotel in Bonnieux and drive to Collias
2. rent a canoe from Collias to go up to Pont du Gard
3. drive to Arles
4. dinner at Chez Rabanel
5. stay the night in Arles at L'Hotel Particulier

Friday
Train/Flight to Paris :(

Mar 02, 2012
datopone in France

August Honeymoon in Provence - Avignon, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Lex Baux de Provence

This trip is very much a compromise between me and my fiancé. The first four nights in either Cannes or Saint-Tropez for her...and the next six nights in Provence for me. Recommendations on my proposed itinerary below are greatly appreciated.

Avignon, Bonnieux, or Les Baux de Provence:

After relaxing on the beach in either Cannes or Saint-Tropez, we drive to Provence for 6 nights (Saturday through Friday) and stay either:
• Avignon -- La Marinde, or
• Bonnieux -- Bastide de Capelongue, or
• Lex Baux de Provence -- L'Oustau de Baumanière or La Cabro D'Or.

Dinners - La Beaugravière, Serge Chenet, , Auberge La Fenière, Chez Rabanel, L'Oustau de Baumanière

Wineries - Beaucastel, Chene Bleu, Domaine La Barroche,

lunches/things to do:-
1. L'Oustalet (followed by a walk at Dentelles Montmirail)
2. La Bartavelle (along with a visit to the village of Goult and a walk to the falaise in Lioux)
3. Auberge de la Loube (with a visit to the Fort de Buoux)
4. Auberge du Presbytere in Saignon
5. rent a canoe from Collias to go up to Pont du Gard
6. walk through the Luberon valley (Parc Naturel Regional du Luberon)
7. day trip to Valence for visit to Chapoutier, St Peray hike up to the castle ruins, and dinner at Restaurant Pic

8. Markets:
a. Vaison-la-Romaine
b. Sunday market at L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
c. Friday market in Lourmarin

anything I've missed? anything I've included and should cut?

Merci!

Mar 01, 2012
datopone in France