More of Provence
We only stayed one night at Couvent des Minimes. The hotel located in an old monastery in the Manes region of Provence. It was just recently renovated and the design firm did an amazing job. They took all modern decor and planted it in an old building. Our room was at the top of the church still located in the building. This was our view this morning.
The drive through Provence is just breathtaking. Gorgeous trees that frame the roads providing shade and beauty. Fields of lavender and of course the final gasp of sunflowers drying up for the Autumn months ahead.
Cheese. I was fascinated with the blue cheese. It is infused with lavender. The cheesemonger has one infused with tomato too. We tried the lavender. It was amazing. This combination of a mild cheese with an earthy flavoring of lavender herbs. Crazy good.
Our next stop was in L’isle Sur-La-Sorgue. If you want to know where all antiques to go die this is the town. I believe you can even buy pieces of old churches here. There is a beautiful creek that travels throughout the town.
We were definitely amateurs because it turns out that on Tuesday most of the antique shops are closed. The real day to go is Sunday but most shops are open Friday-Monday. We just walked the town. Tons of restaurants too.
We had lunch at Le Vivier. A real treat. You know you are in for a good meal when they bring you this to start. A little bite of foie gras, eggplant pate, crunchy Parmesan like cheese and a sage leaf. Wow.
We split everything. Pieces of lobster is inside that crispy casing that has a citrus flavoring to it. To keep the lobster in that is a whipped avocado. On the side is a grapefruit gel and pieces of chopped razor clam in the clam shell. Really interesting mixture of flavors and textures. Also such a beautiful plate.
Took a bathroom break. Had to take a picture of this. The whole restaurant has this goldfish theme. It is hilarious but makes sense since Le Vivier sits over the creek filled with fish. We could hear the rush of the water throughout lunch. So soothing.
Filet of sea bass with pieces of squid ink ravioli stuffed with just a little bit of fennel. The fennel is also infused with super light whipped potatoes that is close to a foam. The broth is a fish consume. Those yellow squares are like eggy saffron sponges to absorb the broth. Light, elegant and delicious.
Believe it or not this is chicken. Chicken rolled in something that had the consistency of quiche but was made of eggplant and bell peppers. The small balls on top are stuffed with pulled dark meat and coated with an eggplant mixture and then deep fried. These balls stick to the chicken pieces with roasted red pepper tapenade. Then rolls of roasted eggplant with small bits of Parmesan crisps on top. The dish is not only unique it tasted amazing.
Next stop was the hotel. We drove to Les Baux des Provence. This is located at the top of the mountains overlooking St. Remy. There is an old fort up there including vineyards and olive trees. The drive is beautiful and the topography is really different. The hotel is located in between those mountains in a flat area. It is pretty cool like a huge rolling mesa. They even have a golf course up here. The hotel is called Domain de Manville. It just opened in January. Might be our favorite hotel yet. We settled in and lounged by the pool.
Dinner is in a few hours and we have to rest up!