And we're off for a one-day tour, exploring the finest gastronomic locations that Avignon has to offer!
A unique breakfast
6:30 a.m. Drink an espresso at 6:30 a.m., ideally at Halles d'Avignon. Take your time while watching the vendors unpack their stalls.
8:30 a.m. Do your market shopping at the Halles. The colours, the smells, the tastes... Lavender salt, tapenade, aïolade, 'pieds et paquets' (a Provençal speciality: sheep's feet and tripe stuffed with minced ham, garlic and herbs), crisp vegetables, preserved fruit, calissons, nougat... you'll want to taste everything!
On your way out, pass by the fruit and vegetable cutter as he makes magnificent bouquets — don't miss out on tasting them! Another must-do is a cookery course with Julien Charvet, available on selected mornings.
18, place Pie, 84000 Avignon
Julien Charvet – reservations +33 (0)6 25 36 12 40.
from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Would you like to cook like a chef, with a chef? A visit to La Mirande is in order. This hotel-restaurant's old kitchen hosts the region's greatest chefs in its cookery 'school': Séverine Sagnet, Jean-Claude Aubertin, Christian Estienne, Michel Meissonnier, etc.
There may not be a graduation at the end but there is the pleasure of tasting dishes created on the old, 19th century wooden stove in a beautiful vaulted dining room. Fresh produce, the advice and enthusiasm of a chef, a magnificent setting... All the ingredients are there, so treat yourself!
4 place de la Mirande, 84000 Avignon
+33 (0)4 90 14 20 20.
There is no set timetable at the Maison de Fogasses. Corinne, the owner of this unique place, does things a little differently. Throughout the passing seasons and the events that come with them, she offers culinary workshops, 'Culinary Experience' mornings and even a pop-up restaurant, 'Les fées Mères'. To find out more about the programme, it's best to call ahead.
La Maison de Fogasses
37, rue des Fourbisseurs, 84000 Avignon
+33 (0)4 90 87 25 02.
For chocolate lovers
10 a.m. If you're more interested in chocolate than cooking, visit gourmet chocolatier Aline Géhant (don't miss her ganache with thyme and honey!). She regularly opens her workshop for tastings and courses for children.
15, rue des trois Faucons, 84000 Avignon
+33 (0)4 90 02 27 21.
2 p.m. After lunch, visit the chocolate & patisserie shop, Mallard, and treat yourself to some papaline, an Avignon speciality. This delicacy, made with 'l'origan du comtat' liqueur, and covered with two layers of chocolate, looks a little like a piece of coal. But looks aren't everything!
Don't forget to try the 'bulle du pape', a delicate pear jelly, marinated with origan du comtat. Delicious discoveries are on the horizon!
22 bis rue du vieux Sextier, 84000 Avignon
04 90 82 42 38.
Time for ice cream!
4 p.m. Feeling peckish? Take a trip to La Princière. Myriam, who has a weakness for ice cream, regularly invents new flavours. Her artisanal ice cream is 100% natural and made with real fruit. Among the favourites are raspberry & thyme and the extra dark chocolate sorbets. You may also be tempted by her gluten-free buckwheat pancakes, why not try the one with duck breast and seasonal vegetables?
23 place des corps saints, 84000 Avignon
+33 (0)6 19 20 24 85
6 p.m. It is time for an aperitif. Stroll over to Avitus La Cave, a friendly and elegant wine-cellar bar. On the walls you'll see photos of jazz musicians, evidence of the owner's passion for jazz music. On the menu, you'll find wines from, among other regions, the Rhone valley, spirits and artisanal beer, such as Bal du Luberon. Open late on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening.
Avitus La Cave
11 rue du vieux Sextier 84000 Avignon
+33 (0)9 84 27 57 97.
8 p.m. Time for dinner... at L'Agape. Inspired by the great classics, this restaurant's gourmet cuisine is modern, creative and beautifully presented. My favourite is the fillet of haddock with sweet potato purée and orange juice. The open kitchen also means that you can watch the chef at work!
21 place des Corps Saints, 84000 Avignon
+33 (0)4 90 85 04 06.