Day 4 in Provence – Gordes market, Village Des Bories, Musee de la Lavande

Day 4 – Gordes Market> Village des Bories> Musee de la Lavande> Lunch at Carcarille> check-in at Avignon hotel> Dinner at L’Essentiel

I was so reluctant to check out from our hotel as I knew it would be the best hotel we stayed at during our trip. I totally fell in love with the scenic Gordes and will definitely make the effort to come here again for the lavender fields.

It was Tuesday when we left Gordes and it happened to be the Gordes market day. It was quite difficult to get parking space after 9ish as it gets crowded, so it was lucky that we were quite early as we wanted to fit as much into the day as possible. It is definitely worth it to come earlier, as when we left, we could see that our parking spot was in heavy demand, and the line of cars already parked had grown so far, we couldn’t see the end! The morning market is the perfect place to buy local produce and have a picnic. For us, it was our breakfast spot and there are so many food samples there!

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We stopped at a stall that sells paste and bought some aioli and tomato paste. It was really good and I finished them within 2 weeks upon my return home. If I ever go back to Gordes I will stock up on the paste. I had felt a bit guilty to buy a couple of pastes, as Mr Map had eaten so many samples, I felt the store owner would shout at us if we didn’t buy anything.

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Most of the stalls have food samples and the generous cheese store owner even gave me the truffle cheese to try. I had to drag Mr Map away after he sneakily grabbed more than one sample, the owner seemed to give him the evil eye.

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Gordes market

Opening hours: every Tuesday morning

After getting our tummy filled at the Gordes market, we were heading to Village des Bories. We stopped at the view point on our way and took more photos of Gordes.

You can find this view point while you drive along Route de Cavaillon.

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Our GPS was not very helpful. We put Village des Bories in the GPS and it didn’t really get us there. In the end, we had to look at the road signs to get there. It is an interesting historical village with stone huts but there isn’t much to see. We made a quick stop there and left after taking a few photos.

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Village des Bories

Opening hours: open everyday 09:00 till sunset. 20:00 at the latest (information from lonelyplanet.com)

Address: Les Savournins 84220 Gordes

Ticket price: €6 for adult, €4 for children (age 12-17)

Official website: http://levillagedesbories.com (in French)

I was a bit disappointed at Les Agnels Lavender Distillery as we missed the guided tour and decided to visit Musee de la Lavande instead after looking at alternatives close by. It is more commercial than Les Agnels Lavender Distillery and has a lot more things for the tourists to see. It is run by Le Chateau du Bois, a French brand famous for their lavender products.

I immediately went to the gift shop when we got there. They have a lot of nice lavender products which make perfect souvenirs from Provence although their price is more expensive then those lavender products which are sold at other gift shops.

We tried different lavender products there and ended up buying more stuff then we expected. When Mr Map looked at his watch and gave me the nervous look, I knew we were running out of time. Thus, we didn’t join the guided tour and headed straight to lunch.

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Musee de la Lavande

Opening hours: Open 7 days a week from 1 Feb to 31Dec (except 25 December). See their official website for opening hours details

Address: 276 Route de Gordes, 84220 Coustellet, France

Ticket price: €6.8 for adult, €5.8 for students, children under 15 years old with parents are free

As we left the museum around 1, we needed to find a restuarant for lunch as soon as possible. A lot of the restaurants that we wanted to go to, don’t serve food after 2pm, and once you miss the lunch hour, the restaurants will be closed before reopening for dinner service. After driving around the area and checking google for recommended restaurants, we decided to drive back to Gordes for lunch, as there seemed to be a lot more choice. Luckily we saw a sign for a lunch spot whilst driving past Carcarille and made a quick u-turn to stop there for their set lunch.

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We love this tomato appetizer very much. It was so simple but tasty and sweet and quite spectacular. Mr Map was quite envious as he chose the duck terrine instead, and after tasting my tomato, I had to stop him from stealing more.

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All the dishes were quite good and we had an enjoyable lunch there.

Carcarille Hotel & Restaurant

Address: Les Gervais sur D2 84220, Gordes

Remarks: 3-course lunch menu is about €25

We drove to Avignon after lunch and would stay at Hotel de I’Horloge for 2 nights. Our hotel is located in Avignon city center and it was quite challenging to find a parking spot. It took us almost an hour, circling around before we found a parking spot on the street that was not too far from our hotel. Once we checked-in, Mr Map immediately took a power nap! This is one of his unique traits, and I have started thinking whether I should change his name to Mr Nap instead of Mr Map.

I went to do some shopping at Sephora while he was taking a nap. You can find most shops located in Rue de la République.

When Mr Map woke up, we went to a famous ice cream place called Regal Glace. It is famous for having lots of different flavours for their ice cream. I ordered the lavender flavour again and this time the flavour is even stronger. Mr Map almost ran away from it.

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Regal Glace

Address: 2 Place du change, 84000 Avignon, France

Official website: http://www.regalglace.fr/#/showreel

We walked around the Avignon for a bit before getting our dinner. I picked a Michelin bib gourmand restuarant L’Essentiel for dinner. It located within 5mins walk from our hotel and we made a reservation through our concierge. We ordered 2 different set dinner menus that cost €36 & €48.

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Our amuse bouche

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Soft boiled egg with truffle

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Salmon tartar & lettuce salad

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Mr Map’s favourite roasted pigeon

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Poached fig with nougat glace & chocolate fondant with Pistachio ice cream

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The outdoor dining area is quite romantic at night. Overall we enjoyed the meal but it was a bit pricey.

L’Essentiel

Opening hours: open every day except Sunday & Monday from 12:00-14:00; 19:00-21:45

Address: 2, rue Petite Fusterie, 84000 Avignon

Official website: http://www.restaurantlessentiel.com

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This carousel reminds me of our trip in Florence.

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There are many street performers around.

Which place is your favourite in Avignon? If you enjoy reading my blog, feel free to follow me on twitter @MinionTravel to get the latest update.

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