Posts Tagged ‘Alpilles’

bandeauThis past weekend saw the launch of ‘Bienvenue chez vous’, a PACA-funded programme which aims to showcase its patrimoine regional to locals. Numerous tourist sites will be opening free or at reduced costs from now until 4th November.

There are 5 themes (Terre de saveurs, Senteurs de Provence, Dans la Nature, Histoire, Arts et Civilisation and Decouverts Economiques.)  Details on http://bienvenuechezvous.regionpaca.fr/front_office/

header-metierdesarts-routegourmandeThere’s a second programme which should be interesting if you have newly arrived or have visitors who want to find authentic culinary or artisanal enterprises to visit.

 La Route Gourmande takes you around artistan patissiers, glaciers and confiseurs who all welcome visitors. There are four itineraries around Marseille, Pays d’Aix, the Cote Bleu and the Alpilles. To give you a flavour of the suggestions for Aix, the drive takes in the Chocolaterie at Puyricard, the Confiserie Leonard Parli for calissons, the Weibel Patisserie, Macarons Meresse, the Liquoristerie de Provence – and so on.

The second programme, La Route des Metiers d’Art is a similar concept but takes you around potteries, people making soft furnishings, oil-mills, violin-makers and jewellers.

Details of both are on this website http://www.provenceartisans.fr/ or you can collect two useful booklets which have details of opening times and of course the maps, from the Office du Tourisme.

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It’s nearly Easter and maybe you are in search of chocolate?  Who needs an excuse!  ‘La Route Gourmande’ is a booklet which gathers together the patissiers, glaciers, chocolatiers and confiseurs working in our region.  It groups them into four itineraries – Marseille, Pays d’Aix, Côte Bleue and Alpilles – and gives full details of each small business.

For Pays d’Aix, for instance, they recommend Chocolat Puyricard (www.puyricard.fr)  who have 100 varieties of chocolate, Au Péché Mignon in rue Chabrier (www.patisserie-weibel-aix.com) for its castel praliné, Confiserie Bremond and Confiserie Leonard Parli (www.leonard-parli.com) for calissons,  Meresse Macarons (www.meressemacarons.com), Pâtisserie Riederer for its tarte aixoise (www.riederer.fr) and Le Moulin du Cacao in Venelles for their pitcholinette provencale (www.chocolateynard.com).

All the itineraries are on-line at www.routegourmade.cma13.fr where you can find the downloadable guide – but the booklet is available free if you go into Confiserie Bremond in rue d’Italie.

If you are going out into the countryside this weekend, why not arm yourself with a copy of the new ‘A Table’ which has just hit the news-stands.

This has over 70 pages packed with ideas and recommendations for eating out in Provence – and also has recipes for if you are staying at home.  There is an interesting section on the initiative Bistrots de Pays  which is a branding umbrella for cafés in small communities where depopulation is a real issue.

Their aim is to be, once again, the centre of village life, providing a welcome, a coffee and a quality meal for both the locals and visitors.  They typically use local products and also serve as outlets for bread, cigarettes, newspapers or basic foods.

‘A Table’ provides a handy map and details of all these cafés – useful to keep in the car while exploring the countryside.  Good to support local enterprise!

Much nearer to home this weekend, there’s a free concert of organ music at the cathedral in Aix.  ‘Joie de Pâques’ includes music from Bach, Mendelssohn, Franck and Dupré.  17:00hrs on Easter Monday (9th) – see www.orgueplus.net.

Happy Easter!



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