Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Last meal in Provence: Le Mas d'Aigret

Le Mas d' Aigret is nestled at the base of the fortified walled city of Les Baux de Provence. From the moment you arrive, you know you have reached a special destination. The view from our patio was a panorama of olive groves and vineyards spanning from the mountains to Arles. The rooms were well appointed, and the property featured a pool, restaurant, and boules court! We settled onto our patio had some of our rose left over from Tavel, and enjoyed an amazing sunset following the seemingly unending daylight of summertime in Provence.  The hotel was the perfect base to explore Les Baux and its surrounding vineyards. We were able to spend two evenings climbing through this ancient city well after the tour buses had left for the day. At sunset, the town was eerily quiet and we had the streets all to ourselves. From our patio we could hear the rustle of the flag atop the castle walls. The town itself features a 13th century castle and a 16th century city. They have their fair share of tourist stores selling lavender and linens, and tourist restaurants, but they also have unending views, and some of the most interesting architecture we found in Provence.

As for dining, we chose to spend our last night dining in the restaurant at Le Mas d' Aigret. We were not disappointed. Our last day, the Mistral winds had kicked up making a meal on the patio unlikely, so we were treated to dinner in the ancient troglodyte cave room that is built into the hotel itself.  Our charming waiter described the menu and we opted for the three course tasting menu and a nice bottle of local red wine. To start, I had a nice basil pesto ravioli with fresh percorino cheese. The herbs were light and flavorful and the ravioli was perfectly cooked and buttery in the pesto sauce.

As a main course, I chose the fish which was served whole, roasted with pasta and fresh vegetables. It was light and flavorful. For a girl who used to not eat a whole fish, I had come a long way! This was no longer a challenge and I can appreciate the beauty and preparation of a whole fish.

Finally for dessert, I couldn't resist the creme brulee. It was light and served dusted with cocoa powder. The food and hospitality at Le Mas d' Aigret are unsurpassed. We were welcomed and able to be as connected or solitary as we wanted during our stay. I loved the quiet afternoons at the shady pool and the gorgeous views from our porch. I will return to Les Baux. It was all I expected from Provence.

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