My Dreamy Favourites
I’ve been here for over a year so I feel the timing is right to start adding some special places I have found and didn’t want to leave….I have started with Aix en Provence; my home. This is the start of my dreamy list which will grow and grow through villages and towns across Provence.
Aix en Provence
My favourite haunt in Aix. Touristy – yes, but it’s where all the locals go. Classic and atmospheric brasserie in the centre of the action on Cours Mirabeau. Opens early and closes late. http://cafelegrillon.free.fr/
A true, authentic french cafe experience at this little bar with an extensive coffee menu . Watch the coffee beans roasting and look onto the daily food market at the Place de Richelme. Le Brulerie on Trip Advisor
If you want an Americano, international style, then this is the best place to drink it. Delicious food too and international treats from home to buy. http://theprovenceshop.com
An intimate little book shop serving huge muffins and coffee all day. Large international selection of books to browse and buy.
Up near the cathedral, a little place serving fabulous coffee with a huge selection of coffee options.
Coffee to go AS on Trip Advisor
The ultimate patisserie serving all manner of delicious treats and sweets, coffee and teas (Kusmi – my favourite brand). A touch of glamour here.
I found this one on a cold day above a card shop. A gorgeous little hideaway and oh so cosy with a huge selection of teas and the best hot chocolate ever. Lunch and desserts looked very appealing too. http://themandarine.fr
Divine crepes served in an atmospheric cellar cave. The Bretonne owner/chef is charming. A superb choice of crepes which I plan on working my way through. http://crepes.cidre.cie.free.fr
Something a little different in Aix…Simply gorgeous! A little vintage chic run by husband and wife team. Simple menu; one salad, one plat and one dessert. Always tasty and fresh. I love it!
A Table on Trip Advisor
Les Deux Garcons
This is the top tourist lunch spot. Oozing with French charm it delivers every time. Top location, delicious food and mostly great service. Last time I was there I chose the risotto – outstanding! http://www.les2garcons.fr
One of my favourites; quirky and colourful, cozy inside with a few tables outside, Fanny; owner and chef serves her tasty home cooking with love. Gorgeous salads and provencal dishes with amazing desserts. Chez Fanny on Facebook
Spacious, designer-style (I could stay here all day) cafe with a slick menu and plenty of healthy choices. Over 50 petit sandwich menu to choose from plus delicious salads. http://www.papillesbylaurane.com
Tiny little place down a back street. A few tables inside so mainly for very sunny days. Fantastic tapas eaten either wrapped up warm on a cold day or washed down with a glass of rose on warm, sunny days. La Bota on Trip Advisor
Le Petit Resto
Simple little place serving delicious seasonal vegetarian food – buffet style. Terrace under the old plane tree. Simple and charming.
Le Petit Resto on Facebook
Definitely one of my favourites. Atmospheric little bistro and very swish! Service is a little brisk but the food is fantastic. The tagliatelle with truffle cream was wonderful. Full of the local Aixois people. http://www.lechastel.com
A traditional and oh so cozy little bistro down another back street. I loved the warm and very friendly atmosphere. Lots of well known french dishes including beef en daube which I loved washed down with some superb local wine. I loved the jazzy music too. Great little spot… Cafe Jeaunne on Trip Advisor
I’ve been here a few times and last time with a large group of friends. Ooozing with style it’s a place with attitude and is located near a market square with a fabulous terrace. A wide range of options on the menu so easy to choose and I enjoyed the sushi very much. http://www.lamado-aix.com
If I’m looking for something other than French then I’m off to La Riad. Moroccan heaven! Music, candles, gorgeous outdoor courtyard. I never ate this type of food before but now I’m converted. The tagines are delectable (my favourite is chicken with apricot). Yummy Yummy! But the jewel is the Moroccan wine (vin gris) – I have tried both rose and red and both are outstanding. Going back again soon. http://www.leriad.com
Oh my…..what a find. Tucked neatly in between the larger restaurants along the famous Cours Mirabeau, you could easily walk past this one…. Don’t! Dreamy terrace and stylish and cozy interior space, this place serves up delicious and artistic sushi… I have taken a number of friends here and ended up drinking far too many ‘coup de champagne’ served in gloriously large glasses. The location is stunning!!!!!
Simple, rustic provencal cooking. Tiny bistro with lovely atmosphere. I enjoyed home-style chicken dish very much. Really worth a trip to this little gem.
Ze Bis on Trip Advisor
La Fromagerie du Passage
A must see cheese and wine shop downstairs and contemporary restaurant above. I’m a cheese fan and this didn’t disappoint. Plenty of delicious options with fantastic charcuterie and great wine list. http://www.lafromageriedupassage.fr
Artistic, dreamy, luxurious, full of imagination and romantic with a ‘Love Suite’; it’s right in the centre but once inside; a peaceful haven. A place that truly feeds the soul. With a spa and ‘The Rouge room’ for entertaining, it’s a special place to be. You many never see Aix!
Stylish and contemporary apartments in the best address in Aix. Between the dolphin fountain and the Cours Mirabeau, this Mazarin area is very special… The 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartments are housed in an old building with a little gallery on the ground floor. Plenty of stylish touches and mod-cons. Feel like a resident here with a little extra help from all the guide books and information at your disposal. Stunning!
Le Clos des Freres Gris
I’m biased. We stayed here just before we moved to France and oh what a glorious bed and breakfast, so close to Aix with a dreamy pool and beautiful gardens. Caroline and Hubert have transformed this house into a peaceful and magical setting. Caroline is a wonderful host and offers delicious breakfasts (with extra treats and surprises every day) in the little garden patio. Drinks are every evening from 7pm to catch up on the day. Rooms are all different and I love the lavender room. My favourite b & b!
A luxury hideaway (see earlier blog post). I arrived early one November day with the kids for a memorable night. Enchanting and magical with superb service. Pricey but worth every penny. Ten minute walk to town.
Very close to the oldest part of town, this little place is great value and simple with a boutique feel. Friendly and charming.
Les Quatre Dauphins
Basic but very dreamy. In the heart of the beautiful Mazarin district next to the Dolphin Foundation it’s a fabulous two star find. Sweet little rooms then a two minute walk to the Cours Mirabeau. http://www.lesquatredauphins.fr
For the Kids
Let’s not forget the little ones. Mine are 10 and 7 (not so little) and have strong options about where to eat. Bored with my dreamy stuff they look for their own special places.
Different, fun and a winner with the kids. An American inspired cafe with sweet filled tables (under glass). Bagels, cup-cakes and sweets to sample all served in delightful wrapping. Good coffee for me too. They also sell pop tarts (something I haven’t tried since I lived in Canada).
Something a little different when you refuse to go for burgers and pizza anymore. Convivial little tapas place in the centre of the action with jazz some nights. Very tasty options and well priced. Mozzerella fingers are my favourite.
Huge wood fired oven makes this a cosy choice when the kids are tired and cold. Great, efficient service, lovely ambience and great pizza.
Ok – our favourite. Lovely venue with booths and great service. My two would eat here every day if I let them. Great choice of burgers with all manner of fillings and sauces. New Yorker a must (barbecue sauce). Beef/chicken and lamb and my burger: the veggie with chickpeas, peppers, courgettes and cheese. Oooooh yummy. Lovely cheesecake if there’s time !
Well I keep dragging them back to my haunt (see Lunch list) to do my ‘dreamy bit’. Thankfully they sell a plateful of chips to die for and, of course, Le Ketchup!!!
They love this quirky place on the Cours Mirabeau… Fab sushi options, family friendly and a glass of something bubbly for me.
The best hot chocolate with mountains of whipped cream.
We never manage to walk past with the kids without a ‘discussion over whether to have another ice-cream”. They generally win and the smile says it all. All manner of flavours served in a flower shape either in a cone or cup. Tres artistic!! Many many many flavours.
They love these cakes (check out my earlier blog). They are full of a creamy, custardy filling and are sometimes served with strawberries or raspberries. Trouble is, I end up having one. Fashionable, cool interior. http://www.latartetropezienne.fr/en
Dreamy Essentials while staying in Aix
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