Le Petit Café in the Majestic Oppède-le-Vieux

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Some things just don’t change. Don’t you love it when you return to a place and it feels like nothing has skipped a beat while you were gone? Like le Petit Café located in the breathtaking Oppède-le-Vieux. The same white dog sitting on a spool in the center of it all.

We had another amazing meal at this restaurant. It really is an extremely enchanting place in the evening, located in the very ancient village square. This time we parked our car a good 15 minutes away so as to enjoy a surreal walk before dinner with a backdrop of vineyards, the Luberon mountain, and the ruins of Oppède. This made for a romantic yet scary walk back later in the dark, all the time wondering if a wild boar would present itself.

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Being that le Petit Café is a Mediterranan-inspired restaurant, what better way to start our meal than with the most delicious olives and bread! For our main course, we chose the côte de veau with lemon and vegetables and the pavé de saumon à la plancha with risotto and ratatouille. The food was so fresh and delicious that this restaurant is now number three on our list of Provençal favorites.

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And for dessert, crème citronnée sur lit de fruits and tiramisu maison. Voilà!

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Happy and content, we must now venture in the dark back to our car through the enchanting Oppède-le-Vieux. Can’t wait to return to le Petit Café.

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À bientôt!

Beaune—A Jewel of Bourgogne

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After much writing about Provence, it’s time to get back to Burgundy. After all, that’s where it all got started. Yes, Provence is intoxicating, and it has its hold for sure. But Burgundy, and really all of northern and central France, has the type of charm portrayed in fairy tales. Filled with sleepy villages, châteaux, rolling hills, vineyards, and canals, Bourgogne is the essence of charm.

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The town of Beaune, a jewel amid the most dreamy of winemaking villages, is often considered the wine capital of Burgundy.  Though I usually prefer small, sleepy villages, the larger town of Beaune is one classy place, filled with fine restaurants, cafés, museums, wine cellars, and gourmet shops.

It’s an absolute must to sit at a café on the Place Carnot looking out at the charming carousel, medieval rooftops, and enchanting cobblestone streets.

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Wine tasting opportunities are endless. Though a bit touristy, the Marché aux Vins, right by the famous Hospices de Beaune, is a very fun, casual experience. The cellar offers a self-guided tasting tour, where you help yourself to the wine as you walk from barrel to barrel through a candlelit cellar. I can handle that!

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Not to be forgotten is the outdoor market, held on Wednesday and Saturday morning. Filled with gastronomic specialties, this market is one of the most beautiful markets in France. The medieval village comes alive on market day. The regional delights abound. There is also a small section of brocante stands set up, where many treasures await—perhaps an old Dijon mustard jar or a vintage coffee grinder.

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One can get lost for days with much to do in this town. Beaune is truly a Burgundian jewel of culture and elegance. A visit must also include a drive—or better yet a bike ride—on the Route des Grands Crus through the famous winemaking villages of Volnay, Pommard, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, and Santenay, all surrounded by gorgeous vineyards.

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À bientôt!