Crestet—On the Route de Charm

DSC01133.JPG

Crestet can be described as what I like to call Burgunesque, a word I made up for places that remind me of the rural charm of Burgundy that I first fell in love with. This village is not in Burgundy but in the gorgeous Provençal countryside with a view of Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail.

DSC01154.JPG

Winding streets, vaulted passageways, cobblestone steps, flower boxes, and stone archways lure you in to have a wander.

DSC01135DSC01142

After an ordeal getting to Provence, with a ten-hour delay in Munich that caused us to arrive at our rental in the mountains at 2:00 a.m., I was coming down with a cold on the day we visited Crestet. My husband, however, persisted on having me climb these narrow, steep steps, which I couldn’t resist myself.

DSC01130.JPG

If visiting the nearby most-stunning village of Brantes, be sure to stop off at Crestet as it really deserves to be on the Route de Charm. In fact, there’s a collection of small villages in this area of the Vaucluse that have that specific charm factor: Aurel, Brantes, Monieux, Séguret  and, of course, many more to be “discovered.”

DSC01155.JPG

À bientôt!

Brantes—This Is the Village to Beat!

DSC01094

Suspended across from the mighty Mont Ventoux is a village that can only be described as jaw-droppingly stunning, as it is surrounded with breathtaking Alpine scenery and filled with rustic charm.

DSC01103.JPGDSC01062

Brantes has been on my list for years to visit, as it was described as a place of total peace and serenity and a home to artists and craftsmen. And I have to say, it is the most stunning of them all. So much so that we went back a second time.

DSC01121

This quiet village has two wonderful casual places to eat. On our first visit, we ate at la Poterne, which has a stunning view of the village and Mont Ventoux. The omelettes were delicious, the kind of French omelettes we crave when we are back in the States. What a deal to have a delicious omelette, a grain and carrot salad, and local beer and wine—all with a view to die for—for under 15 euros! I’ll take it over any Michelin-starred restaurant any day. Again, it doesn’t cost a fortune to eat really good in France with the focus on fresh and local ingredients.

DSC01087.JPG

DSC01084

As we meandered the streets, we stumbled upon a local artisanal beer brewery—la Géante de Provence la bière du Ventoux—owned by a couple from London who craved the slow-paced life of rural France and left behind the hustle and bustle of the city to start a business of their own and raise their daughter in a remote village with a school of just 11 students. Both restaurants in the village serve this local beer, or you can taste and buy some from the brewery.

DSC01117.JPG

As we continued to wander the cobblestone passageways, we saw an interesting stone bridge off in the distance to go investigate. We found ourselves at les Gorges du Toulourenc and enjoyed cooling off with a wade in the river before heading back to the Luberon.

IMG_4070.JPG

If you are looking for a remote place with breathtaking views and the rustic and charming character of rural France, this is the place. This village and the surrounding villages, especially Aurel and Crestet, are remote and peaceful and of course just filled with charm.

DSC01059DSC01105DSC01101DSC01109IMG_4041À bientôt!