Posts Tagged ‘Avignon’

1.  Air France have announced ‘MiNi’ a programme of low-cost flights starting on 6th February.  One-way tickets will cost 49-79€ to their destinations from Marseille (Alger, Amsterdam, Athènes, Berlin, Beyrouth, Biarritz, Bordeaux, Brest, Casablanca, Copenhagen, Istanbul, Lille, Lyon, Marrakech, Milan, Moscow, Nantes, Paris CDG & Orly, Prague, Rennes, Rome, Strasbourg, Tel Aviv, Tunis, Venise and Corsica).  They say that passengers will have the same ground facilities and drinks/snacks in flight, but will not be able to choose their seats or change or cancel tickets. Bags will cost 15€ each.  Thanks for Claire for the info.  Details here: http://mp.mpaeroport.fr/a/?F=ktm5apznvswpsczwj3nsfqvhbxv3lbwc8lkz9xlbrx77bevcjfb6xpa-3723459

But I do wish they would also fly to Londres! 

2.  Casino St Jerome and Carrefour are now stocking Cathedral City Cheddar…so exciting.

3.  The Decathalon store in town which has been sitting empty now for over 2 years is going to be a Monoprix Gourmet.

4.  If you have a big jar full of heavy change in the house, you can make great use of it with the launch this week of the Pieces Jaunes campaign. pieces_jaunes

It was started 24 years ago by Bernadette Chirac and has raised massive amounts of  money for children in hospital – funding educational items, play areas, parent-and-child rooms, and bright and cheerful decor in the wards.  Collecting boxes are at La Poste and Carrefours.

5.  Avignon have launched their ‘Avignon Gourmand Guide 2013’ which has lots to interest you if you are going there for a day out.  It contains details of:  Foodie Events, Chefs’ Recipes, Cooking Classes, Gourmet Shops and Restaurants….maps too.  And, good for them, it has English translations throughout.  It’s an excellent publication and you can download it here:


Have a fun MP2013 weekend!





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It’s gardening season and right on cue La Provence has brought out one of their ‘hors series’ on the subject: Jardins et Balcons. Costing 2,80€ and available from news kiosks, it’s a mine of information on indoor and outdoor gardening here in Provence – what grows well and when to plant.  It’s even got a section on making a vegetable garden on the terrace – not for me, I’m afraid; I’d rather sit and admire the view.  But I do like their descriptions of eight local gardens to visitpour s’inspirer et s’amuser’.  Here are their recommendations:

Parc de Baudouvin in La Valette du Var.  This 18th century Provençal garden has terraces, ponds and vegetable gardens specialising in old local varieties.  Planned by a landscape architect called Michel Racine, great name, it was awarded ‘Jardin Remarquable’ status in 2009.  All sorts of events take place.  Also ecological – they have ‘une Green Attitude’.

Jardin des Papillons, Digne-les-Bains

They have 137 types of day butterflies and 320 night species, 10% of all the varieties in the world. To support the butterflies there are 500 different types of wild plants.  In the hills above the town, there are great views and they provide tables for picnics.

Parc Olbius-Riquier, Hyeres. 

This park was left to the town and has developed into a botanical garden with exotic hothouse;  apparently it’s a favourite for Sunday family walks as there are shaded walks plus a petit-train and carousel.  They have animals (goats, monkeys, ponies) and lots of rare trees around a lovely lake.

Domaine du Rayol, Rayol-Canedel, between St Tropez and Le Lavandou

This is not so much a park as a natural coastal area which has been protected since 1989.  It is full of Mediterranean species and vegetation and there are guided tours.

Parc de Villecroze, the Var

Backed up against rocky cliffs, this has an amazing waterfall, caves, 19th century gardens – and it’s protected from the Mistral.  They have just established a play park for the little ones.  The nearby village was founded 2000 years ago and has narrow streets with arcaded buildings.

Jardin des Doms, Avignon

Situated next to the papal palace, you can walk up through the gardens and fountains to admire the view of the Rhone, the famous bridge and the town itself.  If the weather is clear, you should also be able to see Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail.

The statue (right) is Venus who is in the middle of a small lake – there is a café there or space for picnics.

Parc Borély, Marseille

Opposite the sea at the end of the Prado, this is a favourite for families.  Another ‘Jardin Remarquable’ this has Chinese trees, Japanese features, plus lots of Mediterranean species.  The original plane trees bordering the walkways were a casualty of WW2: American soldiers used the park to store munitions and the wooden cases harboured a killer mould.  It’s now replanted with lime trees – adding to the total of 1000 trees in the park along with 4600 rose-bushes of 380 varieties.  There are medicinal plants, an area for climbers plusa garden for 400 plants which live without watering.  It’s a favourite spot for picnics and even sporting events.

Parc du Mugel, La Ciotat

This is an oasis of Mediterranean planting between the massive cliffs and the sea.  It was started in the nineteenth century with successive private owners developing the range of species.  Today it is managed by the Bouches-du-Rhône council who have put up panels to describe the varieties of plants. Palm-trees, cacti and bamboos abound – all against a backdrop of Mediterranean blue.  Indeed you can climb to the belvedere at 82m for stunning views of the coast.

Full details – locations, opening times and entry fees where applicable – are all in ‘Jardins et Balcons’.



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