Behind the Scenes in Provence

Provence Confidential has been blogging about restaurant launches, cooking classes, food festivals, Provençal wines and spirits as well as tradition and folklore since 2008.

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Truffle Mania

Truffle Mania

With the holiday season approaching the French start to think about acquiring the elusive truffle. We are in the heart of Black Diamond season and it is the perfect gourmet ingredient.

Provence Prestige

Provence Prestige

The 16th Annual fair opens its doors in Arles from November 26-30th, 2009 from 10 am - 8 pm daily. Discover antiques, pottery, santons, wines and find foods from local producers like goat cheese, honey, cured meats, olive oil, Camargue rice and salt. Have a look at the website to spot which of the 150 exhibitors you don’t want to miss. www.provenceprestige.com

Savon de Marseille

Savon de Marseille

Olive oil based soaps have been manufactured in Marseille since the 17th century. The city once had a monopoly in the soap making industry and supplied all of France and it’s colonies. Using local ingredients which included olive oil, salt and salicorne ashes from the Camargue, the trade grew both in Marseille and neighbouring cities.

Pumpkin Possibilities

Pumpkin Possibilities

Each year several villages in Provence honour the pumpkin and other gourds. There’s nothing quite like a medieval village decorated with autumnal arrangements to celebrate the season.  In France they call the Pumpkin Festival  “La Fête de la Courge”. It promises to be a great family outing and a perfect picture opportunity.

Le Castelas

Le Castelas

The setting of this several hundred year old sheepfold is so spectacular that we were able to overlook the glacial welcome we received from the proprietor upon arrival. Nestled in the heart of the Luberon just above the hamlet of Sivergues (population 27) rests a rustic hotel and restaurant.

Pastis – The taste of Marseille

Pastis – The taste of Marseille

When you think of Provence chances are you can visualise men sitting on a shaded terrace sipping pastis. This quintessential French beverage (45°alcohol content) is made by macerating several plants including anis and liquorice. Varying quantities of water, which turn the drink a cloudy yellow, are added to complete the drink which is usually enjoyed as an aperitif.