afternoon airport area August building car Chateau city coast countryside couple crowd day Europe Festival fine food France garden Gothic history July lamb lavender market middle Music Paris place Provence reason region restaurant River Rue seafood summer sun time town trip Visit water way work
The tiny spa village of Eugénie-les- Bains is seriously remote. Bordeaux is two hours’ drive north; Biarritz is 100 miles to the west. Yet this place is on the radar of most food lovers thanks to French super-chef Michel Guérard. His three-Michelin-starred restaurant gets booked up weeks ahead in summer, and menus start at €135. But just a few minutes’ walk away is La Ferme aux Grives, a sister restaurant where Guérard trials and refines his dishes before they appear on the menu of his main restaurant.
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I used to think that the Côte d’Azur was one long private beach where you had to wrestle with naked Germans for the right to lay your towel out on three square inches of pebbles. The sea, I imagined, was warm fish soup topped with a layer of sun oil. The only places to eat were snooty restaurants, where you couldn’t get served anyway, and the pervading smells were Ferrari fumes and fake lavender essence. Of course I was absolutely right; in July and August, some of it is exactly like that. Read the rest of this entry »
As one of France’s most famously picturesque regions, Provence is packed full of worthy destinations. I chose to make Avignon my base camp. It is a lovely, mid-sized city with plenty of restaurants, shops, history, and day-trip opportunities to make for a great lavender scented vacation escape.
When we arrived in Avignon on June 21st, to my surprise we were greeted by thick traffic and large crowds; not exactly what I expected. But there was actually a rather fortunate reason for all the hustle and bustle. It turns out that on this particular day in France, the national Fête de la Musique (Festival of Music) is held. People pour into the cities to enjoy free concerts held simultaneously throughout the streets. Read the rest of this entry »