Soupe au Pistou

This hearty and delicious soup is a provençal favourite and Provence’s answer to minestrone. Serve with crusty baguette and a crisp rosé. Ingredients750g diced green beans750g shelled white beans (if using dried beans soak overnight)750g shelled red beans (if using dried beans soak overnight)2 potatoes, courgettes and leeks – all diced1 stick celery chopped2 peeledContinue reading “Soupe au Pistou”


This tasty dip is perfect on small rounds of lightly toasted French bread or as a tasty dip for carrot and celery batons. Delicious with a crisp Côtes de Provence rosé. Ingredients 1 lemonSmall bunch fresh basil2 cloves garlic2-4 tbsp olive oil250g stoned black olives3 tbsp capers6 anchovy filletsCoarse salt and freshly ground black pepperContinue reading “Tapenade”

Boeuf en Daube Provençale

This quintessentially provençal dish is easy to prepare but just needs lots of time to simmer on the stove. IngredientsFor the beef marinade1.5kg/3lb 5oz beef brisket, trimmed of excess fat and cut into large 6cm/2½in chunkssalt, to taste2 large onions, finely sliced4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm/½in rounds2 sticks celery, cut into 1cm/½in slices6Continue reading “Boeuf en Daube Provençale”

Cistercian Abbeys in Provence

If you enjoy wandering around historic churches and abbeys, you’re definitely spoilt for choice in Provence. But if you fancy setting yourself a target for your trip, you may like to plan to see three of the more renowned abbeys in the region – although they’re located quite far apart. Called the Three Provençal SistersContinue reading “Cistercian Abbeys in Provence”

Rhone Villages and the Dentelles de Montmirail

I’m a great fan of the department of Vaucluse. But not the Lubéron area which has become so overrun with tourists in the last few years – partly as a result of Peter Mayle and his books.  I particularly love the gorgeous and picturesque area around the Dentelles de Montmirail – and the various RhôneContinue reading “Rhone Villages and the Dentelles de Montmirail”

Cassis and the Calanques

The Calanques in between Cassis and Marseille take my breath away every time I’m in the area. These limestone fjords with their crystal clear, turquoise water and surrounded by Mediterranean pines are simply spectacular.  You can access some of the rocky inlets from the road, but there are numerous boat trips you can take toContinue reading “Cassis and the Calanques”

Hilltop Villages of Provence

There are hilltop villages (or villages perchés as the French call them) all around Provence and behind the Côte d’Azur. From the numerous villages in the Lubéron (the most famous perhaps being Gordes and Roussillon) to the medieval villages to be found in the hills of the Alpes Maritimes such as St Paul de VenceContinue reading “Hilltop Villages of Provence”