At the end of the ‘season’ we’re all a bit “marketed out”, but as the days grow shorter, the clocks go forward, things quieten down, it’s not too hard to fall back in love with the traditional Provençal market – especially ones like Coustelelt which is as local as you can get.
These are some of the sights that we just cannot get tired of …..
Every Tuesday we go with a group on a GR – a Grande Randoneé. A hike by any other name. They’re usually about 7km + in length and we take it pretty easy, stopping for a nibble and water (some quaff a little home made Slough Gin!) and a great social catch-up.
The latest one started in the one-horse (without the horse) village of Lioux in the Luberon. Lioux is dwarfed by a plateau like mountain, La Madeline, all of 7km long and 800 metres up, dating back 30 million years – we looked up and thought “Oh well, at least we won’t be climbing that”. Well, we did! And, it was worth it – the views spectacular with Roussillon, Joucas and Gordes in the distance. Lioux has 248 inhabitants (6.4 to the square kilometer), but lie all French villages a local Mairie and infrastructure.
Autumn weather brings on a proliferation of mushrooms in the Luberon. We enjoy photographing and admiring them, but are rather hesitant in picking and cooking them. This does not stop te locals, who forage to their hearts conent, and, if they’re not sure, they pop off to the local pharmacy and here Norman and Sophie pronounce ‘oui’ or ‘non’.
French pharmacists study the fungus extensively in their university degree and are the point of reference if you’re not sure.
And, looking down…
There are some times when you HAVE to HAVE a burger. Even in France, and not from the Golden Arches, either. We had heard about this little Bistro in the unremarkable siding of Le Chene, close to Gargas along the D900 National Road between Apt and Coustellet in the Luberon.
The restaurant interior os chicly decorated but we plumped for the sunny terrace. Owner Damien is super-cool, laid back but efficient and pleasant.
“Hamburger Maison” said the Menu du Jour. Wow! 9€ of tasty beef, salad and some home style potatoes. It appears that Friday is when the hamburger pops on to the menu. However, this is not just a burger joint – the menu is good, the food tasty (cooked on the premises – important these days) and affordable.
What also pleased us was that they serve table wine in a carafe/pitcher. No expensive bottles for lunch, thank you.
Hurrah of all hurrahs! They take bookings online, actually look at their compters and reply on line. Well done Damien!
To book and for more information, click here.
Those of us who live in the little Provençal villages that dot the landscape and give the unique character to the area, have always delighted in the rather quirky fact that we have no street numbers. The “Postie” knows everyone and the mail is delivered promptly and (usually) accurately.
However, some bureauocrat within the organization known as La Poste, has decided that this state of affairs can continue no longer – the residents must have street numbers. As we all know and have become used to, nothing is simple in France. A letter on official stationary, sets out ‘le parametre’…
* everyone must have the same type of number plaque – provided by the local Municipality
* the numbering system in not chronological – it is done on how many metres you are from the nearest intersection. This results in our next door neighbours having number 190 and we have 294!
* the plaque must be placed 1,8m from the ground; close to your letter box; on the right hand side of your entrance; in full view of the road.
What do you do in our case? Our wall is 1m high; our letter box is on the side of the wall; fortunately, our wall is on the right hand side and in full view of the road. So, we achieve 2/4. We wait to see if the are committed to excommunication for failing on two of the ‘parametres’.
We’ll let you know.