‘Market day in cucuron & lunch in the town of Ansouis’
During our Provence road trip, we stayed in Lourmarin for three nights and we were recommended by our B&B owner to visit cucuron (only 4km away), because it was Tuesday, the town’s official market day.
Little did we know that cucuron is actually the same little village that was used in the movie “A good year” with Russell Crowe, during the date scene around the beautiful pool (called a bassin) when it starts to pour with rain. I absolutely love that movie especially because of the quintessential provincial beauty and it was quite surreal spending the morning in such a place. I remember admiring the perfectly manicured trees already in the movie, but in real life they were even more breathtaking reflecting against the water in the bassin. Cucuron is a member of the Most Beautiful Villages of France association and is easily explored in under an hour. If you are in Provence, make sure to find out what markets are going on in the different villages near you.
Cucuron, home to about 2000 villagers is a cute little village in the Vaucluse region on the south side of the Luberon mountains. We arrived at the market really early because we wanted to see other village as well. After some flaky croissants and a large frothy coffee in one of the little cafes around the basin, we walked the market and purchased a few goodies to take back home with us. My favourite purchase was the pistachio nougat that could cure anyone’s sweet tooth. This market would be the perfect place to shop for food if we were staying in a villa where we would be cooking ourselves. All the fresh baby vegetable and the smell of aged cheeses and little bars of soap that match the houses around the square. I love the Provence way of life, how all the locals carry a woven basket and shop for a lot of their weekly goods from places like these. These little towns do not support large supermarkets and cuisine in general, is held to a high standard.
Sleepy Cucuron is surrounded with vineyards and olive fields and is home to local farmers, artisans and shopkeepers that hold a strong sense of community for homemade produce. You will find a buzzing wine shop here (where we tried to import wine back home but the language barrier got the both of us) and a well-known Michelin star restaurant “La petit Maison de Cucuron”. The market area leads to the medieval style old town and the highest point leads to a castle, that dungeons only remain.
After our morning stroll in Cucuron we headed to the town of Ansouis, where we had lunch reservations at La Closerie (with 1 Michelin star), also highly recommended by our B&B owner. Buzzing with locals, we loved that the restaurant was a less obvious choice from tourists tucked away in the hidden hills of Ansouis.
‘The beauty of Provence is passing through fields of vineyards with spilling grapes when crossing from village to village’
Ansouis, also in the Luberon region is another town dotted with tiny streets with boutiques and artists’ workshops. With a 12th century medieval castle with a manicured garden, the little town is built on rocky uphill with little gardens around the village giving it a botanical touch. Le Closerie, an odd to Provence according to the Michelin guide is sophisticated and full of flavour in the words of lonely planet. It was a beautiful little terrace on the street overlooking the greenery, but because it was fully booked, we managed to get a seat inside with doors that were open to the street. We drank delicious local rosé and eat an amazing menu after exploring this little town. Afterwards, we walked through the town with fully satisfied stomachs and sat in a little café for an espresso.