Provence – Produits Frais de Qualite

It’s been a while since I have written a proper post here and I hope I still remember how to do it. I promise to practice more now and publish my stories frequently for those who are looking for nice places to eat during their holiday trips, especially as I have visited lots of fantastic places myself recently.
If you have any recommendations for subjects of next posts I would love to hear them.

Provence is my number one summer holiday destination (apart from my parents’ home in Poland obviously) and I wouldn’t mind moving there for good one day. But till this dream actually comes true I make a clever use of my holiday allowance and spend at least few days there every summer. And so I did this year as well.

The title of this post (and the opening photo) come from my favourite place in the whole Provence – a little wine bar in Tourrettes-sur-Loup.

I discovered Tourettes during my first visit to Provence. As it usually happens with such places it was a pure coincidence – we just got lost coming back from Grasse to Vence, took the wrong way and were surprised by a small medieval town which emerged from nowhere behind the hills. It’s not mentioned much in travel books which makes it a bit less crowded with random tourists than other similar places.

This year I made sure we came to Tourrettes almost every day – for a glass of perfectly chilled rose, to watch men of the village playing le jeu de boules, or simply to sit down somewhere close to Place de la Liberation and observe life going on.
Stress is not a term understood in that part of the world and it aways surprises me how easily I adapt to this simple lifestyle myself. It takes less than a  day to slow down and start actually walking instead of running which is the only way you move in London. I usually get few mean looks on my first way to work after holidays as I tend to walk as if I was still somewhere in Provence.

But coming back to the wine bar, La cave de Tourrettes (8 rue de la Bourgade) is not just a bar, it is a wine shop (which prides themselves to sell wine directly from producers only), little restaurant open almost the whole day and an institution for all cool people from the village. There is a little terrace with 3 tables at the back to enjoy beautiful view over the mountains and few more seats in front of the bar if you prefer more lively environment. Food is exactly what is says to be – fresh quality products, and maybe the best we had this summer. Wine can be bought to take away from the little shop but I can’t think of a bigger pleasure than slowly sipping glasses of wonderful rose on a nice and hot (to be honest there isn’t much else than nice and hot there) afternoon, you know that time when it’s still too early for dinner but probably too late for a nap and you suddenly find yourself a bit restless… In Provence the choice is simple, I just go to my favourite wine bar ;)

There is another place worth checking in Tourrettes, I mentioned it already in my post about breakfasts, Auberge de Tourrettes (11, Route de Grasse). This is a hotel and a restaurant run by Danish people who deliver truly Provençal taste, well maybe with a slight Scandinavian touch. Their breakfasts are legendary as well as their dinners (I am known to have eaten 8 courses at one go there!). I like as well popping in for coffee, served with freshly baked biscotti, drunk on the terrace overlooking Antibes and the sea.

Mougins, another picturesque little village, was made famous by many artists who frequented it since the beginning of last century. Among them there was its probably most famous inhabitant – Picasso who spent in Mougins his last 12 years. The Museum of Photography has many portraits of Picasso and other artists of that period.
The most surprising about Mougin for me was the number of restaurants there. The selection is huge and it’s not an easy choice to find the right place to eat.
Relying on my intuition I selected Resto des Arts (rue Marechal Foch) – looked a bit less posh than other places, at the end of a little street so I knew it must offer something more than just a nice atmosphere and a good view. And I was right – the place is amazing, with great food, friendly staff and thousands of paintings, photos and greetings from more or less famous guests on the walls. Plus, apparently, this is where famous French chefs come when they are in Provence as I once read. Not bad ;)

This year we came to Mougins on Sunday, Resto was closed so I had to to trust my intuition once again and chose Le Rendez-Vous de Mougins (Place du Commandant Lamy). I won again ;) What a great place for a Sunday lunch! The menu is quite long but like most of other guests we just went for a formula and Isabel’s salads. Isabel is apparently a young pretty women with blue eyes and dark hair who sells the best vegetables at the town’s market.

In Vence you have to try roasted chicken in Auberge des Seigneurs (1, rue du Dr. Binet). This is a family own hotel and restaurant situated in charming 17th century building. The place is run by mother and daughter, two lovely ladies, with a little help from their two beautiful (and fat) cats.

Their traditional roasts are to die for. I should probably write a post with my favourite rotisseries one day – keep reminding me – and this one would definitely be in top five.

Each woman is given a red rose when leaving the restaurant as well.

The above is just a beginning. I have other stories about Provence for you and would love to tell you more about Tourrettes, wonderful places at the seaside, my trip through 7 little medieval mountain villages, eating in Monaco… Keep checking Food and the City this month.

See you soon.

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