Crazy About Bonnieux

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I must admit, at first I wasn’t crazy about the village of Bonnieux. I thought it was a little too busy, a little rougher around the edges than some of my favorites in Provence. But after staying two weeks just below the village, I am now smitten.

Each day as I walked the steep street up into the village and took my time slowly exploring the narrow cobbled streets, I began to get this village. Now it is a part of me, a place I can’t wait to return to.

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With cascading houses clustered on the side of a hill, Bonnieux is filled with cafés, excellent dining, boulangeries, and views, views, and more views. The photogenic walk up the 86 steps to the top is a must with views over the Luberon valley to Lacoste, Gordes, and beyond.

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But the best is walking up the road behind the village against the Luberon mountain. Once you get close to the top, duck into the narrow alleys to explore and discover the charming doors, windows, and pots of flowers. You will have this all to yourself. This side of the village is even more stunning than the valley side.

There is no shortage of places to eat. As mentioned before, our new gold standard for the region is le Fournil. Also, la Bergerie is fantastic. And simple yet delicious Bretagne crêpes can be had at le Tinel crêperie.

Bonnieux is truly belle Provence. A place to return to again and again. A place that stays with you.

À bientôt!

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RESTAURANTS:

Le Fournil: Place Carnot; phone: +33 (0) 4 90 75 83 62; closed all day Monday and for lunch on Saturday.

La Bergerie: Chemin des Claparedes; phone: +33 (0) 4 90 75 89 78; closed Sunday evening and all day Monday.

Le Tinel:  Place Gambetta; phone: +33 (0) 4 90 75 61 28.

L’Arôme: I have not dined here yet, but it looks wonderful. The most charming setting with tables spilling out onto a narrow street.  2 rue Lucien Blanc; phone: +33 (0) 4 90 75 88 62; closed all day Wednesday and for lunch on Thursday.

Maubec—Pure Enchantment

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While I love the popular Luberon villages as much as the next person, I’m always on the hunt for the authentic, remote, captivating places that one just dreams about for years to come. I kept hearing mention of Maubec as a small, authentic French village and had it on my list of villages to visit one day. I was not disappointed. It made our top memorable evening experience of the trip! In fact, we returned two more times in a two-week period.

Old Maubec, sitting at the foot of the Luberon, is quiet, mysterious, peaceful; yet it is just minutes away from the bigger villages. It’s the type of place one would love to return to at the end of a day of sightseeing for peace and serenity.

For an unforgettable experience in ambiance, it is an absolute must to arrive in the evening for a simple, delicious meal at la Bergerie, which is a pizzeria with an outside terrace overlooking the vineyard and the picturesque baroque edifice illuminated at night. It is pure enchantment!

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La Bergerie might not be a Michelin-starred restaurant, but the food is very good. Serving delicious, creative pizzas and hearty regional dishes, it’s the kind of place where locals go. In fact, we recognized the cook from a café in Gordes who was there eating with his family. But again, it’s the enchanting ambiance that is memorable.

Make sure to arrive before dinner to walk the mysterious cobblestone streets around the belfry. You will feel like you have gone back in time.

Pure enchantment indeed. À bientôt!