Moustiers Sainte-Marie

July 31, 2012

From a distance, you could easily mistaken the ancient architecture of Moustiers Sainte-Marie for the gorgeous cliffs that rise up behind it– but take a second look, and it’s actually a vibrant hiker’s town with restaurants and exquisite pottery boutiques. After a long day’s drive, it was time to settle down for some local wining and dining in the center of town. The welcoming signs of Restaurant Les Comte had us sold. We thoroughly enjoyed a delicious burger and pesto pasta while admiring the camper’s vibe around us before calling it a night.

Pesto Pasta

Pesto Pasta

Restaurant Les Comte and a pottery boutique

Burger and Fries

Around town

Fries

Moustiers Sainte-Marie

 

 

 

 

 

Crillon Le Brave

July 26, 2012

The fresh air and rolling hills, the winding stone corridors, the hourly chimes of the bell tower and the to die for menus are all part of Crillon Le Brave, the quintessential Provencal destination. What was once ruled by Henri IV’s fiercest generals during wars of the 16th century has now evolved into one of Travel + Leisure’s top European hotels for 2012. And well deserved, my time spent there could not have been better. Lounging poolside, a relaxing massage and the impeccable service was all quite lovely, but of course my favorite was the fantastic food shoot that took place with the help of chef, Phillippe Zemour. After our morning at the market, it was down to business in the kitchen. Known for their elegant and refined style, the menu is all locally sourced offering a true flavor of southern France. Although it was difficult to leave, it’s certainly on my list of places that I no doubt will return to once again.

Setting the table on the terrace

Crackelin marinated red mullet and squid, nicoise socca and fennel aioli

Crackelin marinated red mullet and squid, nicoise socca and fennel aioli

Artichoke

Gratin of fish soup

Fricassee of seasonal vegetables, fingerling potatoes and bearnaise reduction

Roasted bull fillet, fricassee of seasonal vegetables, fingerling potatoes and bearnaise reduction

Hotel entrance

Roasted shop veal, green asparagus from olivier’s garden, stuffed potato with white truffle

Terrace view

Bocce ball

Roasted shop veal

Pool area

Asparagus

Fresh bread and rosemary

Seabream in salt crust

Seabream in salt crust

The view

Vegetables from the garden in barigoule refreshed, bacon shavings from bigorre, coriander reduction

Crackelin marinated red mullet and squid, nicoise socca and fennel aioli

Fresh vegetables

Fried cherry with basilic

Fried cherry with basilic

Apricot tart

Apricot tart

Lunch at La Coquillade

July 18, 2012

While driving from Crillon Le Brave to Moustiers Ste Marie, I was told to stop for lunch at La Coquillade, another one of France’s Relais and Chateaux accommodations. While I was slightly unsure if I translated the French scribbles into my GPS accurately, I relied on my surroundings, and was positive that we were driving into the middle of nowhere. But sure enough, in the midst of wine country, signs sprouted up and we were in luck. The dining room was actually closed due to a birthday celebration for the owner, but they were kind enough to allow us lunch in the pool area. A perfect mid-day break, we lounged poolside, taking in the gorgeous views while trying some local rosé, a fresh salad and gazpacho.

Heirloom tomato gazpacho

Fresh caprese salad

Salad

Tomato spread on toast

Vente de Fruits

July 13, 2012

One of my favorite to-do’s while traveling is driving along unknown country roads, windows down, breathing in the fresh air while listening to good music. Cruising through 700 km of France’s finest winding roads, the restaurants were scarce, but the fruit stands, vineyards and lavender fields certainly weren’t. The strawberries and peaches were some of the freshest tasting we’ve experienced. Now if only she delivered to New York.

Lavender fields

Peaches and melon

Garlic

Strawberries

Sunflower fields

Apples

Happy Weekend!

July 6, 2012

I’m back Stateside– with hundreds of photos, a tan and a full stomach from all the deliciousness that is France and Italy. I’ve got hours of exciting editing ahead of me, but wanted to share a couple spreads from my shoot at the lovely Crillon Le Brave, a beautiful French Relais and Chateaux accommodation in Provence that I had the honor of staying at last week. I’ll be back soon to give a full review of all the chef’s best dishes. Have a great weekend and stay cool! x

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