Gastronomy

You can eat and drink well just about anywhere in France. But you can enjoy excellent - and, even better, healthy - fare in Provence in some of the most beautiful settings in the world. This section is a guide to the region's fine gastronomy, and to the atmospheric bars, cafes and restaurants, where to linger over even a modest snack is an exquisite pleasure in its own right.

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Marseille Bouillabaisse: The Complete Guide Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Food

BouillabaisseeYou can't go to Marseille without eating a bouillabaisse. But first read our ultimate guide to the rich and complex fish stew which the city invented and has made its own: what it is, where to eat the best bouillabaisse or to learn how to cook it and how some of the city's top chefs are revolutionising this classic dish.

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The Best Sweets and Treats of Provence Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Food

A calisson d'AixProvence, with its sun-soaked fruits and nuts, aromatic herbs and perfumed honeys and, not least, its exotic North African influences, is perfectly poised to produce intensely flavoured, wholly irresistible treats. These are some of the best specialities from all over the region.

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Marseille: Le Petit Nice Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Restaurants

Gerard Passedat, chef at Le petit Nice, MarseilleLe Petit Nice is the only restaurant in Marseille to boast three Michelin stars. In fact, it's one of only two three-star dining spots in the whole of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur - with prices to match. Is it worth it?

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Beyond Bouillabaisse: Unusual Provençal Dishes Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Food

RatatouilleEveryone has heard of ratatouille (pictured right), bouillabaisse and even aïoli - even if they can't always pronounce them. But there is much more to provençal cuisine.

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The Michelin-Starred Restaurants of Provence Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Restaurants

Michelin man Bibendum logoThis is a complete list of the Michelin-starred restaurants in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA) as of 2013-14. And, to make things really easy for you, we've also linked straight to their websites.

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Cavaillon, World Capital of Melons Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Food

Cavaillon melonsCavaillon, in Central Provence, likes to think of itself as the world capital of melons. Its speciality is the Charantais: the small, round ones with blueish-green striped rind, deep orange flesh and an irresistible perfume.

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Avignon: Fou de Fafa Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Restaurants

Facade, Fou de Fafa restaurant, AvignonChallenging the French at this game takes some nerve but, in early 2010, a British couple took a deep breath and set up their own restaurant in Avignon. And within a year, their debut venture has become one of the most popular eateries in town.

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The Wines of Northern Provence Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Drink

Wine label, Chateauneuf-du-PapeThe wines of Northern Provence are very different from their cousins on the coast. Mainly rosés, the southern provençal wines are crisp, dry, light and fruity. The northerners, by contrast, tend to be rich, spicy, full-bodied, dark reds that can be very high in alcohol - as high as 15% - from those long, arid summers baking in the fierce sun.

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Brousse du Rove Goat's Cheese Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Food

Brousse du Rove goat's cheese from ProvenceYou only need to look at the provençal landscape to understand at once why its cheese is so special.

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Pastis de Marseille: The Complete Guide Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Drink

Advertisement for Janot pastisEnjoyed on a sun-drenched café terrace by the sea, if possible while watching or playing a game of pétanque, pastis is the essential - indeed stereotypical - apéritif of Provence.

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The Wines of Southern Provence Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Drink

Glass of provencal rose wineProvence got its priorities right good and early. Wine has been made here for at least 2,600 years, making it the oldest wine-producing region of France.

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Aix en Provence: Les Deux Garçons Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Bars and Cafés

Les Deux Garcons, Aix en ProvenceNo visit to Aix is truly complete without a trip to Les Deux Garçons, the city's legendary brasserie known informally as the 2Gs.

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Marseille: Bar de la Marine Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Bars and Cafés

The Bar de la Marine, MarseilleThe iconic bar of Marseille, the Bar de la Marine was the setting for Marcel Pagnol's famous trilogy of plays and, subsequently, films titled Marius, Fanny and César.

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Christmas Foods of Provence Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Food

Provencal table laid for the Great Supper on Christmas EveForget roast turkey with all the trimmings and mince pies: Provence has its own distinctive, very different but equally delicious eating traditions at Christmas. Click here for a list of festivals and markets where you can see and buy provençal Christmas delicacies this winter.

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Olive Oils of Provence: The Complete Guide Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Food

Olive oil in bottlesIt's impossible to imagine Provence without its silvery grey-green groves of olive trees, or to think of provençal cuisine without the rich, fruity olives and olive oils that form the base of the celebrated Mediterranean diet.

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The Wines of Cassis Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Drink

Bottle of Cassis Bodin wineCrisp, floral and flinty, the wines of Cassis are justly famous, though you might know them by reputation only, for the little appellation is often not easy to come by outside the immediate area. This is a guide to these wines  and to the magnificently located vineyards or wineries that produce them.

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Marseille: La Virgule Print E-mail
Gastronomy - Restaurants

Christopher Pereda, chef of La Virgule, MarseilleLionel Lévy, the Michelin-starred chef, was fed-up with the media omitting the comma when mentioning his restaurant, Une Table, au Sud. Expanding his empire in 2006, he resolved to create a permanent reminder of the crucial punctuation mark. Hence La Virgule (The Comma).

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