Joucas—My Favorite Village of the Luberon

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Just the name Joucas alone is pretty. There is something about this village, some je ne sais quoi, that just makes it mine. I could imagine myself living here. It’s quiet, peaceful, scenic, charming, pretty. Yet, it’s not far from the shops and restaurants in Gordes, Goult, and Roussillon.

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Joucas is a little perched village with just a small épicerie and a fantastic bistrot. The cobblestone walkways winding through the village along with the blue shutters against the ancient stone walls just ooze charm. Joucas is an artists’ retreat.

Bistrot la Terrasse is spectacular at night with enchanting views of the Luberon, cypress trees, vineyards, the gentle Provençal breeze, and the village of Roussillon all lit up from afar. The food at the bistrot is very good and reasonably priced, from the omelettes and frites to the plat du jour. Yet, it’s the intoxicating view at sunset that beckons one to return.

A visit to la Terrasse could be combined with a stop at the nearby village of Lioux for a hike either before or after lunch. We had no problem at the very end of August getting a table for lunch or in the evening without a reservation, but I think people are catching on to this place. So reservations are highly recommended.

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À bientôt!

Meursault—The Most Charming Burgundian Winemaking Village

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It doesn’t get much more charming on the Route des Grands Crus than the winemaking village of Meursault. This storybook charming village, filled with character, is a dream. From the moment you arrive in the centre and view the château with the fountain bubbling forth until you sit down in the village square and have un café or your first taste of one of the great Meursault whites, you will be in bliss.

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The white wines of Meursault, made from chardonnay grapes, are considered some of the world’s best, along with its neighbors Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. The unique Burgundian terroir produces Meursault whites that are crisp, rich, buttery, full of minerality. I would describe it as tasting the golden color of autumn in a glass. The wine shop in the centre of the village offers glasses of the region’s delicious whites for five euros. You can sit outside and enjoy the view of the château.

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Café across from château

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It is absolutely a must to wander off the beaten path onto the back roads of the village to walk through the gorgeous vineyards and discover the hidden charms.

Hope you enjoyed this little escape for today to the charming village of Meursault.

À bientôt!

 

What to Eat in the Alsace

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From the boulangeries and pâtisseries to the charming, relaxed winstubs, one will not go hungry in the Alsace. Be it the hearty stew known as Baeckeoffe (a meat and potato casserole) to the Flammekueche (also called tart flambée, a delicious thin-crust pizza with cheese, bacon, and onions) to the ham with mustard to the choucroute (sauerkraut with ham and/or sausage) to the Munster cheese—not to mention the Kougelhopf, bretzels, and cookies—the Alsace has a lot to offer. It’s a good thing we were active on our visit, between biking, running, and hiking, to burn off some of those calories.

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Boulangerie

 

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Ham with mustard at Hôtel Arnold Winstub

 

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Alsatian Flammekueche

 

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Baeckoffe

 

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Choucroute

 

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Hôtel Arnold Winstub

And to further tempt us, free cookies were being given out all day at the pâtisseries in Riquewihr, the village where we were staying.

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Yes please!

 

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Gorgeous sign in the village of Eguisheim

 

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A winstub

And for dessert . . .

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Kougelhopf of course!

À bientôt!

 

A Grueling Ride up Mont Ventoux or Relaxing at a Spa?

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Though my husband and I enjoy spending our time together meandering villages while in Provence, he feels a constant tug at his heartstrings luring him away toward something else. Being a cyclist and being in France, a cyclist’s dream, he is constantly enticed by the sight of Mont Ventoux towering in the distance beckoning him to conquer.

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Ventoux towering from the streets of Venasque

Though it’s hard for me to compete with the “Giant,” we’ve come up with quite an interesting arrangement on how we both can enjoy ourselves while apart. He drops me off in a gorgeous village, where I explore and enjoy a spa treatment at a five-star resort while he tortures himself with a grueling ride to the top of Ventoux. A lovely arrangement! Wouldn’t you agree?

We meet afterward, bubbling over with excitement as we tell of our adventures. Back home I would never waste money on luxurious spa treatments—money that could be used for more important things, like a trip to France. But this newfound arrangement, just in Provence, is quite a treat. And if you’re going to indulge in a spa treatment, what better place than in a vaulted stone room surrounded by lavender in Provence!

I can highly recommend the spa at Hôtel Les Bories in Gordes as well as the Spa des Écuries at Hôtel Crillon le Brave, both gorgeous resorts. I was pleasantly surprised that the Spa des Écuries was giving a 20 percent discount to those who were not staying at the hotel. Extra money for me to enjoy a cappuccino and a glass of wine on the hotel terrace overlooking the beautiful countryside while waiting for my “Tour de France” cyclist to return.

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This is actually from another time in Menerbes, but you get the picture

And if one has to wait, I can think of worse ways to pass the time than at this spot below.

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Le Renaissance, Gordes

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Happy cyclist meeting up in Gordes

Until next time Ventoux. I look forward to watching you from a distance while relaxing.

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À bientôt!