Aix en Provence, Marseille, Luberon, Frijols, Wine Tasting, Patisserie..FOOD!
I hope you had something fun lined up this long weekend, its been a busy week for me, seeing another birthday fly by, plus spending four days in lovely Provence!
We arrived there last Friday morning, after catching an early flight (so we had a full 4 days) before heading back on the Tuesday morning. With only a flight distance of less than 2 hours you only take off then realise your ready for landing..
We stayed in Aix on Provence and based ourselves there to travel out to Marseille and visit the villages in the Luberon region. I really wanted to see the French countryside plus villages like Gordes, Fontaine de Vaucluse, Roussillon and Lourmarin which are nestled among hilltops and valleys, these quaint places are a hub of relaxation and feel at some point a world away.
Aix-en-Provence is not really like these villages, but very well-known as the birthplace of Cezanne, you can trail his footsteps around and the main streets are bustling with cars tooting around the roundabouts. But when you venture into the labyrinth of cobbled, truly ‘French’ streets it takes you away from the groups of tourists and students.
The Cours Mirabeau being the main high street of Aix, littered on one side with restaurants, cafes & alfresco dining. However, I was more interested in a recommendation by Tuula from Belle Provence Travels blog, Bechard the ultimate place to get your pastries, cakes and chocolate treats.
Upon walking into the shop, everything is heightened by the golden hue exuding out of the display cabinets, illuminating mini and normal sized beautiful cream cakes, patisserie, from chocolate creme filled eclairs, to the AMAZING Tartes Tropéziennes, two brioche buns, sprinkled with sugar and a chunky layer of custard to sandwich it.
Seriously you just want to put your face in the whole thing, but that’s not the French way ..
We settled for a mix of mini pastries to excite our taste buds, I love how they fill their eclairs with chocolate cream (in the uk should do that more often), custard jelly topped tarts, with crumbly, buttery pastry bases, small berry clafoutis.. All so tempting and delicious, you can pop these little mouthfuls in seconds, they are so creamy, soft , melt in the mouth, we LOVE French patisserie, in fact I think I am officially a convert to cakes,tarts & fresh cream morsels from this country.
I could talk for ages about these cakes but you would probably get bored…
So here are some highlights from my trip…
Tapas of Brushetta, Sauteed mushrooms, antipasti, potatoes with marie-rose sauce with pink peppercorns
For aniseed lovers, fennel, spiced Gibassie, dusted with sugar..
Village of Gordes, Panoramic view
Tiny streets in the village of Gordes leading down to the Boulangerie/ Patisserie..
Croque Provencal, with raclette, more cheese, sauce inside the sandwiched bread.. YUM
Amazing white asparagus, HUGE is size (well alot bigger than our ones in supermarkets in the UK)
Ochres in Roussillon, the natural pigment is used to paint with, its so vibrant and the yellow,red, orange hues are so bright. Its a beautiful place and the nearby village is known as the “red village” where the colour has been used to paint the village walls years ago.
It had to be done a gourmand of a dessert at PataCrepe, crepe with banana icecream, fresh banana, creme and chocolate sauce.. Naughty yet devoured in minutes..
This is half of our journey around Provence over the weekend, god knows how I ate everything you see on this post.. Part Two coming shortly!