When dining out context plays such an important role that it’s sometimes difficult to focus solely on the meal. This is why I’m ambivalent when it comes to eating at 3 starred restaurants.
It’s very difficult to focus on the food when there’s a complex dog and pony show going on around you.
I have rarely left a 3 starred establishment talking about the food, rather, I tend say things like “Did you count how many people were serving us?” or “My water glass never got below half-full!”
Dine at a 3 starred restaurant and you will no doubt walk away dazzled, but given the choice I’ll spend my hard-earned Euros at a good old mom and pop establishment anytime. Continue reading
It seems one of my favorite spots in the south of France, The Auberge de Tourrettes, has been sold and is now under new management.
The news hit me like a ton of croissants.
Village view from the the back terrace
The Auberge has held the top spot on my “favorites” list for many years.
This small property on the outskirts of the village of Tourrettes sur Loup has housed my wedding guests, organized superb wine tastings, and provided me with countless delicious meals and glasses of wine.
I always looked forward to a quiet dinner on the small terrace with the ever-present aroma of fresh flowers and the sublime view of the Mediterranean across the broad Loup Valley.
Will it ever be the same?
Will the new owners continue to operate with the same attention to detail and service?
I’ll try to let you know soon….
Click here for information on Le Stuff’s French Riviera Mini Cooper Driving Adventure!
Into The Back Country
I recently posted tips for driving the celebrated, and often congested, corniche roads. I would now like to offer a few suggestions for those wishing to break free from the constraints of traffic by heading north into the vast arriere pays (back country).
Begin your journey in the tiny hamlet of Pont du Loup and head west on D2210 in the direction of Le Bar sur Loup. Bar is a beautiful and uncrowded working class village that sits on the side of a hill overlooking the Loup Valley.
Consider having lunch at the recently renovated L’Hostellerie du Chateau (the food is sublime) located in the town’s main square. You may also want to stop by the tourist office (just steps away from the Chateau) and make arrangements for a guided village walking tour.
Le Bar sur Loup
Auberge des Gorges du Loup
Pleasant, affordable accommodations and a good restaurant in the tiny town of Pont du Loup.
L’Hostellerie du Chateau
Beautifully renovated 14th century chateau in the the main square of Le Bar sur Loup. Exquisite restaurant and 6 tastefully decorated rooms.
Continue east from Bar on D2210 in the direction of Pre du Lac. As you enter Pre du Lac take a sharp right onto D3 and begin twisting your way up to one of the most beautiful villages in France Continue reading
Domaine St Joseph is a small vineyard comprising roughly 3 hectares of olive trees and well-tended vines. The grapes from those spoiled little vines produce surprisingly sophisticated wines and aperitifs, and even if they did not, you would have trouble finding fault with this charming place.
Located in a residential area below the main village of Tourrettes sur Loup, Domaine St Joseph is the perfect stopover for those seeking a more intimate wine experience.
Call ahead to schedule a tasting.
Gérard et Julien Bertaina – Proprietors
160 chemin des Vignes 06140 Tourrettes sur Loup
Le Stuff’s Definitive Location Guide to Alfred Hitchcock’ s Classic Film
Series Post #5
At the end of post # 4 the police were fast approaching Robie’s villa just outside the village of St Jeannet.
The police enter the house and ask the former jewel thief to accompany them to the station for questioning. He agrees, but asks if they will first allow him to change into something a bit more formal. While changing in his bedroom he fools the police into thinking he has escaped by car. And so begins the famous chase scene that takes viewers through some of the most picturesque villages in the south of France (apparently this was was also one of the first cinematic sequences filmed from a helicopter).
The first town we see is Le Bar sur Loup. Le Bar is a picturesque, working class village that looks pretty much the same today as it does in the movie, with its dramatic, fourteenth century chateau dominating the town center. Notice the old railroad bridge at the edge of town. Continue reading
Alec Harvey, Features Editor for The Birmingham News, has been kind enough to submit Le Stuff”s very first Guest Post. For those of you who are regular Le Stuff readers, you may remember I posted a story in July about the, um, transmission problems Alec encountered early on during a Spring 2007 trip to France. I really do hate to mention it again, but honestly it’s just too difficult for me to let it go.
So thanks Alec for your contribution, and I very much look forward to our next adventure. I encourage everyone to pick up a copy of The Birmingham News, one of the nation’s most respected newspapers, and to check out City Scene, found in the Entertainment section every Friday. There’s no better way for hipsters like you and me to get a handle on the goings on in The Magic City. Finally, “Alec Harvey’s blog and column” (does this guy ever sleep?) can be read at http://blog.al.com/aharvey.
Two years ago, I fell in love with France .
I had visited Paris the summer after I graduated from college, and I probably fell in love then, too, but the nearly 25 years that had passed had dimmed that affection. What remained were memories of good food and a little too much good wine, but not much about the people and places I encountered.
This time, I don’t expect the love affair to end. Visiting the countryside of France is much different from the hustle and bustle of one of the world’s greatest cities. The villages have a quaintness that Paris can never duplicate, and their charm – and that of the people that inhabit them – is not likely to fade.
If you’re planning a trip to the South of France Continue reading
View from the terrace
I want to tell you about one of my favorite places in the south of France.
It is a calming, simple place.
It is a small country inn with eight rooms and an excellent restaurant.
The rooms are understated, clean, and comfortable.
The bathrooms are large.
There is no air-conditioning.
It is very quiet at night.
It is the Auberge de Tourrettes.