Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence is a town in Southern France in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.  You might know the name by the rosé wine (AIX) or the birthplace of impressionist painter Paul Cézanne.  Either one, the “City of a Thousand Fountains” was a lovely town and would highly recommend visiting.  We enjoyed strolling the stone streets of Old Town Aix where there are lots of quaint corners, restaurants, boulangeries and squares.  During our two night stay we got a taste of Provencal life including a day trip wine tasting which we will talk about in the next post. 

Boutique Hotel Cezanne:

Boutique Hotel Cezanne is located 5 minutes from Cours Mirabeau, the wide thoroughfare in town. Immediately walking through the front doors, I knew we picked the right place! The interior décor was chic, modern and clean.  There was an outdoor terrace that had a bar which was lovely to sit in after a long day of walking around town. Though the bar wasn’t open (due to Covid), we were able to order wine from the front desk.  The rooms were nice, but if you have a lot of luggage make sure you upgrade your room to a larger room.  Typical European size rooms – small! Luckily we upgraded, but probably could have gone a room grade up.  If we return back to Aix-en-Provence we will be staying at Boutique Hotel Cezanne!   

Place Richelme:

This small, tree-covered square in the pedestrian zone of Aix-en-Provence is the home to one of the best food markets we have been to.  The first time we walked through Place Richelme was on Saturday late afternoon when we arrived so the market was cleaned-up.  The ambiance was still lovely with the market being replaced by tables and chairs, so we enjoyed a Spritz at one of the cafes surrounding the square.  The next morning (Sunday) we enjoyed the morning market.  The assortment of fruits and vegetables were unreal along with the fresh breads, herbs, flowers and lavender.  If only we were staying for a couple more days and had a château to cook-in, we would have bought everything! We settled for some apricots and peaches.  A must visit! 

Au Verre Levé:

We stopped by Au Verre Levé for a snack and glass of wine on the first evening.  It’s on a quiet street where you can sit outside and sip on natural and regional wines.  The menu changes daily and is posted on a chalkboard in French.  You know you’ve come to a local place when they don’t have an English menu option! We decided on the burrata served over pureed tomatoes. Absolutely delicious including the bread! Both of us are gluten-free back in the States, but that went out the door when we travel to Europe.  No wheat belly!  When we were leaving, we learned they sold some local goods including some GF flour.  Knowing that it would be better than US, we purchased two kinds; one to make pasta and the other cookies.  Looking forward to cooking with our French GF flour!

Le Petite Verdot:

I had booked Le Petite Verdot restaurant for dinner based on the constantly positive reviews.  It’s off the beaten path and majority of the people there were locals and/or from surrounding areas.  We sat outside and enjoyed the cotton candy skies during the sunset.  For dinner we started with an artichoke appetizer accompanied by a glass of local white wine.  The dish was unique in that it was almost like a soup.  Delicious! Next course – chicory salad to clean the palate and an order of red wine! For the final course – the seven hour slow cooked lamb shank which was soooo tender.  Highly recommend!  

Weibel Pâtisserie:

Croissant tasting in France is so fun! We started our adventure at Weibel.  Weibel is located right next to Place Richelme.  After the food market we grabbed a cappuccino and orange juice at  L’Unic Bar and walked around the corner to Weibel. The patisserie was beautiful and it was hard to only pick one breakfast treat.  Final decision – classic croissant.  It was so tasty that it brough us back the next day to try the chocolate croissant and the brioche suisses.  Would 100% recommend.   

Le Vieux Tonneau:

On our final evening we had left our dinner reservation plans open as we had been wine tasting and exploring the countryside all day.  The Euro Final Match was also playing – England vs Italy.  We decided to watch the game at Le Vieux Tonneau where they set a tv up outside.  We ordered wine and a cheese board.  It was the perfect French dinner as we weren’t too hungry! Watching the game in a small square (near a fountain!) was memorable.  Most of the guests were locals and we got to meet a mother and daughter who were the most enjoyable people to talk with! Felt like our French family! Merci!!

Merci beaucop !

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