La Bastide de Tourtour

The 23 room hotel-restaurant, located just past the church perched at the top of the hill in Tourtour, is perfect for a romantic getaway in the Winter.

It was a bit chilly at the beginning of February and Tourtour is known to be windy but the charm is still very much alluring and the views from the village were breathless. At first I was disappointed we didn’t have more sun but then I realised I was getting some really good photos of cloud formations and the lighting was decent. A walk into the village from the bastide is an easy 10 minutes. Tourtour is about a 25 minutes’ drive from Cotignac so you could easily go there just for lunch or dinner.

The dinner menu formulas start at 35 euros and includes an amuse bouche, appetiser, main, and dessert. The great thing is that you can choose anything on the menu to compose the formula which makes this restaurant extremely good value for money. The ambiance is lovely too, not too bright, not too dark – maybe the only thing missing was some soft jazz in the background (there was no music and I kept hearing a baby crying on the other side of the room, but nevermind). My husband chose the “perfectly cooked egg” as an appetiser and apparently this is a specialty that takes a long time to prepare properly by golly, it was amazing. I chose the foie gras starter and it was rather copious and made with pistachios, but I enjoyed every bite. For mains we chose beef fillet with a port sauce (absolutely delicious) with sautéed artichokes which seemed like a nice change from potatoes. For dessert we had a lemon tart with lime sorbet and an apple crumble. I preferred the lemon tart, revisited. To wash it all down we chose a red Côte de Rhone Gigondas wine which was perfect and since it came in a 50 ml bottle, it was easier to finish.

The exterior of the hotel is impressive, a proper bastide complete with turret that houses its main staircase. The interior is also pleasant, albeit the tacky art (sorry, I just wasn’t a big fan of it – you’ll see bits and pieces on the walls in the photos) which had price tags on each so they were for sale. There were also some antique printing machines made of wood that looked interesting but didn’t seem appropriate (it would have looked better to be more minimalist here) as decoration for the middle of a turret. So at times it seemed a bit crowded with furniture. But the lounge area and restaurant were full of natural light and tables well spaced apart to be very comfortable. The service was also very good. Every member of staff was pleasant and helpful, gracious and polite.

During the low seasons the hotel often pomotes their better rooms for a small fee. We took the “Prestige” room (slightly bigger with separate shower, bath, double sinks and toilet as well as exceptionally beautiful South and East facing views) for 30 euros more than we paid for the “Comfort” room on the website Vente Privée, so a total of 210 euros, that included a continental breakfast for two (this was really good with coffee/tea, fresh orange juice, fruit salad, croissants, baguette, butter and jams and even some ham and soft cheese). With wine and aperitifs our dinner came to about 90 euros for two. Use of spa (two jacuzzis, heated pool and sauna) was unlimited and uncrowded at this time of year making it a relaxing and luxurious experience. This time of year is cold in the Var and besides bundling up and going for nature walks there isn’t much else to do here. The Bastide de Tourtour is a 4-star establishment so it is not as luxurious as a 5-star (like the Chateau de Berne in Lorgues for example) but then the prices are more affordable and the views are incomparible so I felt it was worth the cost for a one-night treat away. There are also some lovely bars that stay open in the village (a short walk away) for dinner or aperitifs and the people are always friendly to visitors.

La Bastide de Tourtour : https://www.bastidedetourtour.com/en/

Montée St Denis, 83690 Tourtour Tel: 04 98 10 54 20