Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Voila! A gift to you from FRANCE!


Saveurs de Provence Restaurant- Saint Rémy de Provence

After a long wonderful day of sightseeing we chose this restaurant mostly because it was the first one we came to. We did not have a recommendation. We were not disappointed! 

 My starter was served on a slate plate and not only was it pretty but it was delicious.
We were asked if we wanted water with or without gas. They serve sparkling water in very nice gourmet bottles. By this time we had learned you could ask for tap water and they brought it in the cute little green pitcher.

This lady's smile lit up the room and was contagious. My husband and I both noticed the mood she set for the entire restaurant.

 My main course was lamb with morels and it could not have been better.
 Every course was like an artist's painting with lovely embellishments. I think the words mango and chocolate sauce was enough for me to make this choice. My husband ordered the cheese plate for dessert.

This was our waiter who spoke English which helped us so much. Our meal was such a pleasant experience. The tables were close together because it was rather small. I enjoyed watching people and wished I could know more about them. My husband was so moved by the pleasant lady we couldn't help but notice. He had an app on his Iphone that translated english into french. Before I knew it he typed something in and as the lady with the infectious smile passed and after asking her if she spoke english and she said she didn't he showed her what he had written on his phone. He wrote, Thank you for your beautiful smile! When she read it she just beamed and was so appreciative. It was such a pleasant exchange for us because we felt so welcome in such a cordial atmosphere. I think she may have been the owner but I will never know. 

The whole time we were eating I kept thinking how cute that little pitcher was and wondering where could I buy one in France like it. I wondered if they might have bought it at a local store or the local market which I knew would be in a couple of days. I decided I would try to ask our waiter where I might purchase a similar pitcher. He picked up the pitcher and went to the front of the restaurant. Can you guess what happened? He came back, set the pitcher on the table and said, " VOILA, A gift to you from FRANCE!" Needless to say I was THRILLED and SURPRISED!
This is Part Five in the series of our trip to Provence. Please stay tuned to much more to come. I love to know who is out there reading. If you don't have a blog you can check anonymous and then sign your name. I would be honored you stopped by to visit.

Here is the little green pitcher that traveled from France to my kitchen in Alabama. When I look at it I smile and remember St Rémy.  I wonder what the lady's name was and when her baby is due and what our waiter's name was too. I love how they say, VOILA! If anyone travels to St. Rémy de Provence please eat at the Saveurs de Provence Restaurant!

Provence posts:
 "Provence....One trip is not enough!"
  Provence-Part Deux
  Provence-Part Trois
  Voila! A gift to you from FRANCE!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Provence-Part Trois


After leaving L'Isle sur-la Sorgue we went to Gordes and then onto Roussillon. Forgive me but some of my pictures got out of order so we will be skipping around some. Hang in there, it is all interesting.

Walking up the hilltop we passed  stone fences and storage buildings made from stone that reminded me of pictures I had seen of the village of the bories near Gordes. In reading about the village of the bories I learned that the  twenty stone huts there are built in various shapes both square and round. These ancient dwellings dated from 2000 BC and about 3000 of these still exist and  are scattered over the Mediterranean area. The book, Provence by Könemann has beautiful pictures of this village as well as many other sights in Provence.


Abbaye de Senanque- Picture how beautiful it will be when the lavender is in full bloom. This was in early April. I could close my eyes and smell the fragrance of the lavender thinking about how lovely it will be. Abbaye de Se´nanque was founded in 1148. The monks living there have home produce for sale. We only stopped to make pictures because our list of villages to visit was long.  The lovely coffee table book, PROVENCE ART-ARCHITECTURE- LANDSCAPE by Könemann has a picture of the abbey on its cover.

Traveling away from Gordes.

Roussillon is perched on a clifftop of various shades of red and ocher slopes. The plasters used for homes reflect the rich tones of the red and yellow pigments.

The hilltop village of Gordes. You might be interested to know that this town was in several scenes of the movie,"A Good Year" starring Russell Crowe, Marion Cotillard, Albert Finney, Abbie Cornish, Freddie Highmore and Tom Hollander. More on that later.

We stopped at a small restuarant for lunch with a gift shop where I admired the La Jacquard linens they were selling. Of course, they used the La Jacquard Francais linens on the outdoor tables of the restaurant and they were so pretty.

  Then enjoyed a fabulous lunch with a gorgeous view.

 This is the main square in Gordes where Max Skinner (Russell Crowe) goes in circles in the little yellow smart car looking for the notaire's office. 

I love the couple sitting at the table watching the world go by. Next time you watch the movie look for this scene. 

Fanny Chanel's bistro ( in the movie).  When we found it we had already eaten lunch but we would have loved to have eaten there!

 Fountain where Max waits with a glass of wine until Fanny gets off work. I am not one that likes to watch a movie over and over but I haven't gotten tired of this movie.

Aren't the colors and patinas of Provence delightful?

Almond trees in full bloom. Green spot was on the rental car windshield. It was a wonderful experience I I will  always cherish exploring this pleasant delightful country with my husband. You know it took me a while to post pictures of our trip. There was so much tragedy in our country, tornadoes, flooding and unrest in the mideast that it seemed  an inappropriate time to share our wonderful trip but I will tell you that after forty years of marriage this trip was a gift from God to us. My prayers are still with those in the affected areas of suffering.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Provence- Part Deux

Our first full day began with Sunday Brunch at Chateau Roussan in St Remy. Beautiful and delicious.

 We couldn't believe it but somehow we got lucky and had the best table in the room every time we ate. The view was incredible.

 The french press coffee, bread with very special jams and jellies, chocolate croissants, fresh fruit and cheeses were such a treat.

On the road now leaving St. Remy for a day of visiting little towns mostly perched villages. Our first planned destination was Isle sur la Sorgue. Sunday is market day there.

We are driving along and all of a sudden we see a herd of  sheep taking up the entire road. All traffic stops and waits for them to precede. Of course, I begin making pictures from inside the car a little too quickly afraid I might miss them so they are a little blurred.

It was a lot of fun watching them and thinking -this is a new experience for us.

What a luxury it would be to have these wonderful markets to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, bread, fresh fish, sausages, clothes, linens, pottery and flea market finds.

The smell of lavender was intoxicating.

The video below is not good quality but I wanted you to get a sense of a brief encounter I enjoyed. As I walked along a market vendor was singing a french song and he had a wonderful voice. I kicked myself because I had not taken the time to really learn how to take a movie on my camera but I really wanted his song captured to enjoy again. I began to film him and he realized I was and wanted me not to. I hope you can visualize what a neat experience 
it was. This is also the first time I have inserted a video.
 Finally we get to the flea market I had heard so much about.

 L'Isle-sur-la Sorgue lies on the river Sorgue which once powdered 70 waterwheels that pressed oil and grain. Now, nine wheels remain but they are idle.

I was in a state of delight as I strolled through the market eagerly awaiting what I might find next. Of course, I wanted to find a lovely french treasure but that was not to be. We started out on the wrong side of the market and spent all our time looking at the fresh food only to reach the flea market area and it was picked over. I will know next time. 

Part Duex was to be our second day but there are so many more pictures that will have to be on another post. Can you feel my excitement? 

Provence posts:
 "Provence....One trip is not enough!"
  Provence-Part Deux
  Provence-Part Trois
  Voila! A gift to you from FRANCE!

I am joining Susan for Outdoor Wednesday and  The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays. Check out the others joining these parties.