La Filaventure, the brand new museum of Brun de Vian-Tiran

Connoisseurs of French-made quality blankets will know the name Brun de Vian-Tiran, the oldest cloth-weaving factory still running in France. For eight generations and down two centuries, the Brun family has been travelling the world in search of the finest wools to weave at its l’Isle sur la Sorgue manufactory. Now they’ve opened a new museum to showcase the wonderful saga of their family business.

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The House of Candied Fruit opens in Luberon

There’s one Provençal speciality that’s not very well known, but it’s very photogenic – candied fruit! Vaucluse has long been a kitchen garden of France, and this technique preserves the fruit so it can be eaten in winter – especially at Christmas, when glacé fruit forms one of the traditional “13 Desserts”. As the candied fruit capital of Provence, Apt has just opened its Maison du Fruit Confit (House of Candied Fruit), where visitors can discover these magic ingredients and learn how to cook with them.

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New programme at the Lavender Museum

There’s no mystery about it – the reason the Lavender Museum has become a Provence must-see is that it offers visitors something new every year, and we can only congratulate it! This year there are themed activities, such as the gourmet trail giving visitors the chance to finally taste the lavender (yes, really!) and a ‘tour for the nose’ giving an unforgettable sensory experience. And there’s more!

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Jon Chiri, a Californian chef in the Avignon covered market

Amid the tumult of Avignon’s covered market, this tall, intrepid Californian happily rises to the challenge of dishing up delicious French “bistronomy” in this temple to Provençal gastronomy and agriculture – and always has a smile on his face! At his friendly stall between the Nyons olives and Bouzigues oysters, you can choose lunch from the chalkboard menu – or brunch on Sundays – and even join in a Tuesday cookery class (or book a private class).

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Carré du Palais Wine School now open

This is the wine school Avignon has been waiting for, so it can fully embrace its reputation as the capital of Côtes du Rhône wines. The school opened in November 2017 in the magnificent Carré du Palais building opposite the Pope’s Palace. Its raison d’être is to showcase all the variety of the Rhone Valley vineyards to beginners and connoisseurs alike.

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New theme park: Parc Spirou

The brand new Parc Spirou amusement park is opening on 1 June 2018 between Avignon and Carpentras. Unsurprisingly, it’s themed around the Spirou comic strip. And although Spirou himself is the park’s symbol, the attractions will be based on Spirou and Fantasio cartoon books as well as other characters from the Dupuis stable, including Marsupilami, Lucky Luke, the Daltons and Gaston Lagaffe. Something for all the generations to enjoy together!

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