You might know it under the name of “La Gueulardière”. This beautiful house dating from 1785 in the heart of the village has just been completely renovated and given a new look. 17 rooms and suites decorated in the French Napoleon III style with a few Art Deco touches, and a promising new “brasserie chic” style restaurant… We love it!
When you have cut your teeth as a chef in the capital of gastronomy – Lyon – and you set up in France’s back garden and the capital of Mediterranean cuisine – Vaucluse – there’s every reason to hope for success! Jean-Marc Villard dispenses cookery lessons at home, near Gordes, in his specially fitted kitchen. He has been teaching culinary arts à la française for 25 years now, mainly to international students. His students all leave laden with recipes, handy tips and smiles on their faces.
At the Auberge de La Fenière, the form remains the same but the content has changed radically. Reine Sammut continues to delight us with her sophisticated cuisine and this wonderful Luberon restaurant is still a must. Now Nadia, Reine’s daughter, is on the scene, with her culinary and cultural project of “food for everyone”, determined to make the establishment open to all, including those with food allergies and intolerances.
Close to Orange and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this château standing in 9 hectares of grounds used to be one of Diane de Poitiers’ hunting lodges. For the past 15 or so years, it has been a charming hotel. Bought out and converted in 2014, it opened anew in spring 2015, with a new, eco-friendly approach based on organic produce, feng shui and geobiology. There are 24 rooms, a gastronomic restaurant, 420m² dedicated to events and seminars, an organic vegetable garden used by the chef, cooking lessons and theme weekends in a château atmosphere.
Stroll through Gordes with a guide, visit a melon farm in Cavaillon, find out about the Vaudois’ tragic destiny in South Luberon, learn the story of the ‘Pope’s Jews’, or take in the Mediterranean flora and fauna on the borders of the Durance River with a naturalist bird-loving guide. The Luberon-Monts de Vaucluse Tourist Information Office lays on themed tours all year round for individuals and groups. A great way of getting to know this famous mountain and Nature Park better.
Art and wine go well together, as we well know. The Domaine des Peyre is a new planet in the AOC Luberon galaxy, with its penchant for contemporary art well visible from the entrance. At the gateway to Luberon, it displays its many charms: a cellar in a former bastide village, works of art neatly displayed all over a gallery and environs, a meeting room featuring bare stone walls with adjoining kitchen, available for cookery lessons, and five luxury gîtes, which may be rented for a whole week or weekend.
Olive oil growers in south Luberon since 1998, producers of award-winning olive oil, Carine and Roland Coupat have now turned to milling. It’s the culmination of an adventure which started out as a return to nature, giving them full control over production quality. They welcome groups and individual visitors to their bastide in Cadenet, for guided tours of the mill and the olive grove along marked trails, tasting sessions and an introduction to the various fruity tastes of olive oil, training courses to learn about olive growing, cookery lessons, etc.
New in Avignon in 2015: the Collection Lambert, one of the finest contemporary art collections in France, re-opens after being closed for a year and a half for works, with a floor space doubled. Les Luminessences Sound and Light show, which offers a powerful 3-D vision of the history of Avignon, will run sessions in English. Lastly, the town will have its official, prestigious venue to show off the wines of the Rhône Valley: le Carré du Palais.