Category Archives: Cuisine

Le Mas de Cotignac – accommodation and table d’hôtes

Recently written up in our local newspaper the Var Matin, Le Mas de Cotignac offers Michelin standard “voluptuous” accommodation for even the fussiest of guests. If you are looking for a romantic break, a tranquil vacation, or a weekend getaway without the kids, this is the place to unwind and be luxuriously pampered.  They are located just outside the village. Le Mas de Cotignac is an exceptional bed and breakfast with table d’hôtes (possibility to book lunches and dinners) with swimming pool and jacuzzi.  And their service is also top notch and attentive to guests’ every need. Continue reading Le Mas de Cotignac – accommodation and table d’hôtes

Chateau de Berne – hotel, restaurant, and spa

Chateau de Berne used to be a small upscale auberge tucked into the middle of their vast property but nowadays boasts five stars for its hotel and spa facilities. They have invested heavily in making the resort top-notch with super equipment and amenities to excite and attract even the fussiest of upscale visitors. Continue reading Chateau de Berne – hotel, restaurant, and spa

Les Baux de Provence

Tourists from all over the world who visit the South of France flock to Les Baux and it’s not surprising; the region is already stunning but what makes Les Baux stand out is its dominant stone chateau and the white rocky hills that surround it.  From the top there are sweeping views across Arles, Camargues and the Alpilles. Les Baux is in the department of Bouches-du-Rhone (13) and about one hour and a half’s drive from Cotignac in the Var. Continue reading Les Baux de Provence

Moissac Bellevue and Le Bellevue restaurant (bistro)

Just 23 minutes’ drive from Cotignac just passed Aups and on the way to Regusse is the quaint, tiny, and off-the-beaten-path Medieval village of Moissac Bellevue.

What struck me most at first was how clean the place was. Not a piece of trash nor dog doo doo on the streets could be found, well manicured (but not obsessively neat) gardens, sculptured art decorating some exterior walls, and warm cosy feeling to the village that is home to not more than about 160 people. The centre is host to a beautiful, large fountain and the bistro called Le Bellevue which almost always sells out of spaces for lunch diners. Continue reading Moissac Bellevue and Le Bellevue restaurant (bistro)

Restaurant Le Relais Saint Ser in Puyloubier

Off the beaten path of the Ste Victoire mountain (Bouches du Rhone) lies this gem of a semi-gastronomic restaurant-inn with pool and gobsmackingly beautiful panoramic views facing south and stretching across the Ste Baume and Aurelian mountains. The service was just a little slow (due to being FULLY booked up on a Sunday) but the food was worth the wait. We arrived at 12pm and ended our meal at 2pm. Continue reading Restaurant Le Relais Saint Ser in Puyloubier

Fleur de Sel restaurant in Grimaud

Gastronomic cuisine with a casual atmosphere – some of the best restaurants here do not have Michelin stars. Fleur de Sel could easily be awarded one though – their food is certainly good enough. Grimaud on its own is a village worth a detour. It’s one of the prettiest old-walled-castle-villages in the Var.  Take a morning walk around in the nice weather then stop off here for a seriously satisfying French cuisine experience under a big olive tree on their terrace. You might get a little visit from their cat too, but he’s tame and sweet. Menus start at 36 euros but well worth it.

http://restaurant.michelin.fr/restaurant/france/83310-grimaud/fleur-de-sel/3uiw61kt

La Crémaillère in Le Val

Authentic and tasty Provençale dishes with a little twist; this restaurant is not fancy but it’s got a talented chef that knows how to satisfy even the most fussy diners. Their baked crab ravioli (Ravioli de tourteaux) is my favourite dish there and their salads are amazing too. Fresh fish, a wonderful duck-breast with fennel dish plus yummy vegetable accompaniments and a great lunch menu. Add to that friendly service and good wine choices – what’s not to like? Worth a visit!

La Crémaillère (just 14 mins drive from Cotignac towards Bri

gnoles)
23, rue Nationale
83143 Le Val
Tel : 04 94 86 40 00

http://www.lacremaillere-leval.fr/

Michelin Starred restaurants in our region for 2015

The Michelin Guide has finally been published for this year (1st of Feb) and there is plenty of choice in our region (PACA: Provence Alps Cote d’Azur). There are only three, three-starred restaurant in our neck of woods, however: The first is Le Louis XV in Monaco, then there is the other well established Petite Nice in Marseille, then finally the newest La Vague d’Or in St Tropez. But do not expect to spend less than 300 euros per person on dinners here!

MONACO : Le Louix XV, Hotel de Paris ***

Marseille: La Petite Nice***

St Tropez: La Vague d’Or***

LES ALPES DE HAUTE PROVENCE (DEPT. 04)
Château Arnoux — La Bonne Étape *
Manosque — Dominique Bucaille *
Moustiers Sainte Marie — La Bastide de Moustiers * Continue reading Michelin Starred restaurants in our region for 2015

Cotignac’s Autumn Food Festival

The sun came out to shine on some very colourful food at stands on the Cours Gambetta in Cotignac the 5th of October. Every year at this time the village celebrates the flavours of Autumn and this year saw it’s 10th anniversary! There was also a soup competition by local amateur chefs (an American with her tomato-curry soup won this year) as well as a huge meal organised by the Tourist office and even a celebrity television chef (Ruben Sarfati) who demonstrated his culinary talents by cooking cray-fish ravioli in front of a crowd. Continue reading Cotignac’s Autumn Food Festival

Fête du Coing (quince festival)

If you have never seen a quince before, you’ll be charmed by it’s pear-like appearance and delighted by the variety of cuisine it can be used in. From tarts to tortes and candy to jelly, this multi-purpose fruit goes a long way here in Provence. It’s Cotignac’s pride and joy and every year the village celebrates its heritage and harvest in October. This year the festival will take place on the 19th of October and it’ll be well worth a detour if you are in the area.  Continue reading Fête du Coing (quince festival)

Food ‘Amour restaurant, Salernes

It’s new, it’s cosy, it’s not pricy and it’s Salernes best restaurant today – Food ‘Amour is stirring a buzz around the area for its outstanding cuisine (refined, gastronomic – worthy of a Michelin star in my opinion). The restaurant opened just one month ago but already they are having to turn away diners at the door for being booked up. I had the smarts to visit them on a Monday lunch hour (they are closed on Tuesdays but open the rest of the week for lunch and dinner) and was not disappointed. For 28.50 euros my friends and I dined on amazing amuse-bouches of crunchy filo and smoked salmon with crême fraiche, warm toasts with prochiutto and tomato, an entrée of cod on bed of creamy leaks and crunchy bits of fresh bacon (or rascasse with Mediterranean salsa), a main of giant prawn and scallops risotto with safran (or guinea foul and sweet potato mash), and the most sensory-overload dessert of Pavlova covered in fruits of the season: berries and sliced peaches – all artistically and beautifully presented.

The owners were trained around the world but are French. Their attention to detail is frankly, quite extraordinary for the prices they charge.

I give this joint a 9 out of 10 but it’s pretty close to perfection.

Indoor and outdoor dining (next to main church). Food ‘Amour 4 rue Pierre Blanc 83690 Salernes Tel: 0981 93 19 49

-Susana

Les Pins restaurant in Sillans-la-Cascade

Marlon with creamy risotto Les Pins, Sillans la Cascade (1) Lemon ravioli Les Pins, Sillans la Cascade (3) Les Pins, Sillans la Cascade (4)

With “menus” starting at 31 euros (for three courses), this restaurant is the nearest-to-Cotignac-for-gastronomic-cuisine and it’s reasonably priced to boot.  Fresh fish, beef from Coutances (delicacy) and organic vegetables are the highlights here. There is a lot of choice in the 50 cl bottles of wine too, if you do not feel like drinking an entire bottle.  Continue reading Les Pins restaurant in Sillans-la-Cascade

Cotignac Bakeries (Boulangeries)

What’s the first thing you do in the morning when on vacation in France? Go to your neighbourhood boulangerie, of course, and pick out your croissants and baguettes for breakfast. And if you do as the locasl do, you should also think ahead and buy bread for lunch and dinner as well since the bakery will close for lunch hour and not re-open until 4pm in villages like Cotignac. Continue reading Cotignac Bakeries (Boulangeries)

La Petite Marmite, Montfort-sur-Argens

This place is for the locals-in-the-know. It’s just a little restaurant but it certainly has BIG TASTE. The chef here uses the freshest ingredients and the best olive oil, it’s hard to believe how inexpensive it is. I thoroughly enjoyed the home-made ravioli stuffed with goats’ cheese and honey and drizzled with tomato and basil confetti – it was so tasty I kept thinking about the next time I’d have it again! My partner dined on a spicy steak tartare with artichokes and red onions and the biggest house fries I’ve seen since my days in America. Daily lunch specials: an appetiser and main, or main and dessert starting at just 13 euros. Do all three courses for 18 euros – a total bargain.

Les Trois Marches Restaurant

At the bottom of Le Cours Gambetta, closest to the fountain (that is just butting against the old lavatoire) is Le Trois Marches restaurant, our favourite for grilled meats (like duck with honey), pizza, and fresh home made fries that’ll make any child or adult very happy. In fact, I go there just to eat these frites because they are next to extraordinary just by themselves! Continue reading Les Trois Marches Restaurant