A delightful meal & a slightly ‘hairy’ cycle home

A few months ago one of my blogs was titled ‘D is for Dining Out’ – to be honest this isn’t something we get to do that often without the boys – and when we’re with them we have to make sure that the restaurant serves something they will be happy to eat. With this in mind we usually find ourselves visiting restaurants that would best be described as ‘family-friendly’, which tends to rather limit our own dining experience as we have to walk past restaurants that look more intimate or have more unusual menus.

As such, you can probably imagine our excitement when (a couple of weeks ago) we spent 3 ‘grown-up’ nights in Fontaine De Vaucluse and could eat dinner wherever we fancied – we were determined to enjoy it.

There were a couple of Restaurants that we’ve walked past for years & were really keen to visit, so we booked these before we set off and decided to leave the third to chance. I’m happy to say that we weren’t disappointed by any of the ones that we ate at.

We had booked our first evening at the Auberge De Lagnes http://www.aubergedelagnes.fr  which is located in the heart of the old village, opposite the Pharmacy, with its terrace on the opposite side of the road to the Auberge itself.

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We have a real soft spot for Lagnes – it was where we stayed when we first visited the area 25 years ago & has been a favoured place for our family holidays since. Over the years that we have been visiting we have seen the ‘Auberge’ change to become a delightful little restaurant with a delicious menu – so this had to be our first stop and it certainly lived up to our expectations.

We cycled the few kilometres to Lagnes from Fontaine De Vaucluse on a beautiful evening & were shown to a table on the terrace, where we could watch the shadows shift up the building opposite as the sun started to set. The terrace is beautifully laid out with a central feature, which creates a natural barrier. The result is that all the tables seem to be well-spaced, creating a more intimate atmsophere than you tend to find elsewhere

A central stone feature on the terrace

A central stone feature on the terrace

The menu was just as lovely as we had hoped and we spent some time making our choices whilst we enjoyed a Kir and accompanying tapenade and olives

As always you can eat ‘A La Carte’ – but there are also some lovely fixed price menus and we plumped for these – hubby choosing the 38€ menu

And I the €33

The meal was as delightful, just as we had hoped, with each course being beautifully cooked and full of flavour ……………………although when we were telling our eldest about the meal he told us that if we ever tried to make him eat ‘raw’ tuna he would lock us out of the house (just reinforcing the fact that a meal like this would be lost on him!!)

Starters:

Seared 'sesame-crusted' tuna with black radish &

Seared ‘sesame-crusted’ tuna with black radish & cucumber salad (not ‘raw’ just perfectly cooked rather than cremated in the style prefered by our son!)

Mille-feuilles of 'Coeur De Boeuf' tomatoes, courgette & mozarella

Mille-feuilles of ‘Coeur De Boeuf’ tomatoes, courgette & mozarella

Main Courses:

Veal with

Veal with a cream & ‘Cepe’ sauce

Cod with

Cod with lemongrass & coconut milk

Desserts:

Hubby's favourite - a bit of everything

Hubby’s favourite – a bit of everything

Tarte Tatin caramelisee

Caramelised Apple tart

The whole meal was accompanied by a delightfully chilled bottle of local Rose

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After the meal, the sun had set & the village was now lit by street lights with blue neon shining out from the top of the Church (which was a little bizarre).

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We still had to cycle back and decided to take the Route Touristique that climbs out of the village across the hill back towards Fontaine De Vaucluse. It was only then that we discovered that the bikes we had rented didn’t have any lights fitted to them!!

I think it is best to describe the cycle back as being slightly hairy at times – we pulled over whenever we heard a car behind and somehow managed to avoid the occasional deep rut in the road as it hair-pins steeply down towards Fontaine De Vaucluse. My mind went back to a similar trip my hubby had done a few years ago when he thought there were some rocks in the road only for them to transform into Boars, stand up & run off as he approached – I imagined a similar thing happening again and found I managed to cycle up the hill rather more quickly than I had done it earlier that day!

I was (as you can probably understand) relieved to arrive safely back in the village, cycling past the beautifully lit Chateau………

The beautifully lit Chateau De Fontaine de Vaucluse

The beautifully lit Chateau De Fontaine de Vaucluse

……… before arriving back in the heart of the village, which looks so different at night with the lights reflecting on the River

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The following evenings we ate in the village, finding great restaurants and enjoying 2 more ‘grown-up’ meals out – it also meant we didn’t have to worry about trying to cycle home without lights again.

Next week we head back to Provence – this time with the boys, so our restaurant choice will again be slightly restricted, but perhaps we may just ‘push our luck’ a couple of times to try to enjoy evenings …. and food ….. like this again.

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