Saturday, January 28, 2012

Great Bargain Dining in Aix en Provence

It can be difficult finding great, cheap places to eat in the centre of Aix (especially on the Cours Mirabeau) but I recently followed up a friend's recommendation to try Le Comté d'Aix, tucked away down a side-street in the Old Town. It proved to be a real find. Click here to read more.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mining Art in the Quarries of Lights

The Cathedral of Images near Les Baux de Provence has been closed for a year. Now it's reopening on 30 March with a new name, the Quarries of Light, and a stunning new son et lumière show exploring the tormented relationship between Van Gogh and Gauguin. To whet your appetite, I've posted a gallery previewing what you can expect. Click here to read (and see) more.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A British Flavour For This Year's Festival d'Avignon

Avignon's huge and exciting drama festival doesn't kick off until July and the full programme won't be revealed until mid-March (stand by for updates here). But it has already been announced that this year's event will have a distictively British flavour, thanks to the presence as Associate Artist of Simon McBurney, the founder of Théâtre de Complicité, now simply known as Complicte. Click here to read more.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Taste Great Local Wines In Aix For One €uro A Glass

I discovered this nifty little wine bar on a recent trip to Aix - it opened recently in October 2011 and already has a cult following among locals. Expect that to grow fast when the tourist season kicks in. Tucked in among the rows of restaurants on the Forum des Cardeurs, it's the perfect spot for a pre-prandial apéro, or to linger for an hour or two. Click here to read more.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Stand by for the Aix Music Festival

I know it's still a way until the summer <sigh> but this is an early heads-up for the Festival d'Aix, one of Europe's most important classical music festivals. Alongside Avignon (theatre) and Arles (photography), it forms the Big Three of Provence's July cultural landscape. Tickets go on sale at midday on 1 February and business is likely to be brisk, so stand by your keyboards at that time. The full programme will be announced on 26 January but early details are already available of the operas lined up in the programme, including two world premieres. Click here to read more.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Passion for Pagnol

Seems like Daniel Auteuil has a passion for Pagnol. The actor's international breakthrough was in Jean de Florette (1986) and his first film as director was The Well-Maker's Daughter, also by Pagnol, last year. Now it has just been announced that he will direct and star in the writer's most celebrated work, his Marseille Trilogy (Marius, Fanny, César), in Provence this spring. Click here to read more.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Avant-Garde Art for Kids

As I'm on a bit of an art kick at the moment, I thought I'd flag up this show, opening today at Marseille's great little Préau des Accoules Children's Museum. Ten contemporary sculptures are here for kids to explore, including Nana by Niki de Saint Phalle, a gloriously langorous reclining figure from 1972. Click here to read more. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Paying Tribute to the Father of Op Art

Though we've lived in Provence for well over a decade, we'd never got around to visiting the Fondation Victor Vasarely, a museum in Aix dedicated to the man often described as the father of Op Art. So we decided it was about time to check it out and found quite a few surprises - both at the Fondation itself and when we started to learn about the sad and turbulent story behind it. Click here to read more.