Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A New Wine Route Through the Vineyards of the Alpilles

A few months ago I compiled ten wine maps - itineraries through some of the finest countryside of Provence, along with a list of addresses of vineyards where you could stop off for refreshments en route. The idea was that driving through stunning landscapes and sampling wonderful wines (in moderation, naturellement) were two of the most enjoyable things to do while in Southern France, so why combine them?

Anyway, on a recent trip to Les Baux de Provence, when I was plied with information by the lovely people at the local tourist office, I realised that I'd omitted one of the nicest itineraries of all: a drive through the Alpilles and the Les Baux appellation. I stand corrected, and the Alpilles map is proudly now up online, no. 11 of the top ten wine routes in Provence. Click here to read more.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Park of Family Attractions in a Lovely Provençal Setting

By way of a post-script to my previous post, and in case you're touring Provence with the kids in tow, here's a guide to the Parc de Figuerolles, a huge, 320 acre park of family attractions in a lovely setting among pine woods and olive groves on the shores of one of the largest lakes in Europe. Click here to read more.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Day in the "Venice of Provence".

I quite often go into Martigues for its excellent Sunday market and have always been puzzled why this very picturesque little lakeside town - which calls itself the "Venice of Provence" - isn't on the main tourist trail of Southern Provence. But at least the happy result of this is that you don't have to fight your way through crowds of coach parties and walking tours to explore its colourful canals and quayfronts and cobbled streets and squares. Click here to read more.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Fishy Tale from Marseille

I've been a little quiet for the last couple of days, on account of a nasty gremlin attack on my sister site, www.marseille-provence.info. But, after much tinkering, it's back and I have a moment to report on another great meal I had recently. Just to prove that it doesn't have to be three-star dining, this was at a minute and colourful neighbourhood restaurant with a fishmongery attached, where you pick out your lunch from the victims on the slab. And, what's more, I learned all about the strange but true story of the sardine that blocked the port of Marseille. Click here to read more.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Three-Star Dining at the Scruffy End of the Med

It came as something of a surprise to find out that the one and only Michelin three-star restaurant in the whole of PACA (that huge chunk of south-east France covered by Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) is not in the ritzy millionaires' playgrounds around Nice, Cannes and Monaco, but at the scruffy end of the coast: despite its name, Le Petit Nice is actually in Marseille. Now it's not every day that I dine at a three-star eaterie, but last week, to celebrate a birthday and a wedding anniversary, I went there for lunch. Click here to read more.