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Posts Tagged ‘Puyricard’

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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IMG_5991Looking for a cool place for lunch?  If so, here’s a suggestion: you can step out of a humid street in centre ville, through an 18th century facade, into a 16th century olive press, stone-built, dark and extremely (literally) cool.

La Crepe Sautiere is an Aix creperie which offers Breton cuisine.  Popular locally, it’s been in business for 30 years. Today I really enjoyed a sarrasin (dark flour) crepe with roquefort, creme fraiche and walnuts – delicious – and my dining companion tucked into a Mexcian crepe with ground meat, peppers, creme fraiche and tabisco.  We decided to have pear cider to accompany our lunch and then shared a dessert of crepe sucré – there is a wide choice of flavours but we did like our crepe Abeille which of course featured honey, lemon and lots of almonds.  Good for vegetarians and not expensive (crepes less than 10€ each).  The resto is at 18 rue Bedarrides and is open 12-14, 19:30-23:00.  Tues-Sat.

Not far away, in the Hotel de Ville, is a quiet little photo exhibition which runs through next week.  ‘Puyricard 2013 L’Amepuyricard d’Un Village’ is the work of a local collective ‘Photocontact’ who set themselves the challenge of capturing the spirit of the place in (mainly) black and white.  So they zoomed in on locals planting beetroots, fixing cars, working in carpentry or ironwork, or donning Provencal dress for historical fetes.  We see the chocolatiers at work at the famous Puyricard chocolate factory, nurses at the maternité welcoming new arrivals and even visiting tango-dancers showing their moves to the Puyricard dance club.  It’s a small exhibition but really charming.  And I was struck by the sense of community continuity there.  Give or take the odd camion de pizza, it looks like life hasn’t changed that much over the decades. Recommended!

The exhibition is on until Sunday 15th September at the Hotel de Ville, upstairs in the Salle Pavillon.

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