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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It's Christmas Time all Over the World

It's Christmas Time all Over the World

It's that festive time of year again and the streets of many European cities from Paris to  St. Petersburg are all equipped with lights manufactured right here in Provence. If you have seen how remarkable the Champs Elysées looks before Christmas it's all thanks to the designers at Blachere Illumination in Apt.

Galette des Rois

Galette des Rois

The Fête des Rois (or Festival of Kings) takes place on the 12th day after Christmas and is known as the Epiphany. In France the tradition is marked by a dessert known as the Galette des Rois or King's Cake which is sold with a paper crown.

Cool House

Cool House

Provence was dotted with ice houses that produced and stored giant cubes of ice needed in city centers to store perishable goods.The Glacière de Pivaut located in Mazauges at the foot of the Sainte Baume mountain pictured above was fully functional until the late 1780s and recently restored. Like it’s counterparts it was built on an incline so as to be able to load on one end while taking ice out from another.

Coeur de Lavandes

Coeur de Lavandes

You can spot these lovely lavender wands for sale on a few markets in Provence and in the Alpes de Hautes Provence. By weaving different colour ribbons through freshly cut lavender that remains malleable these hand-made objects are both beautiful and useful.

Provençal Pottery

Provençal Pottery

Every village in Provence has a shop that sells locally made pottery. But if you’d like to know more about how they are made and the origins of the shapes and colours, there are 3 manufacturers worth visiting.

Passédat on Thalassa

Passédat on Thalassa

Gerald Passédat, 3 star Michelin chef of Le Petit Nice and a Marseille native, will be featured on the next episode of Thalassa on Friday April 12th on France 3 TV.

Passédat will share his passion for the Deep Blue which is his source of endless inspiration thanks to the wealth the Mediterranean has to offer. His cuisine is not just an appetizer, main course and dessert. Like scuba diving his cuisine progressively immerses people into a new world. Every year over 65 varieties of fresh fish are prepared in such a way as to magnify their vivacious taste.

Brangelina Rosé

Brangelina Rosé

The 2012 Château Miraval rosé labeled ‘Jolie-Pitt and Perrin’ is retailing at $24.99 a bottle. A hefty price tag for a Côte de Provence but then again there is a price to pay for Brand names and for organic wines.

Sketchcrawl in Aix

Sketchcrawl in Aix

The 38th Worldwide Sketchcrawl kicks off in Aix en Provence on Saturday January 19th at 10:30 am from the Bibliotechque Mejanes. For anyone unfamiliar with the concept you meet up with other participating artists (of all ages - kids welcome) at the starting point armed with a sketchpad and pens and record what you see as you wander through Aix en Provence for the day.

Marseille 2013

Marseille 2013

Marseille Provence is the European Capital of Culture in 2013.  One of the highlights of the year is the art exhibition called "Le Grand Atelier du Midi" from Cezanne to Matisse at the Musee Granet in Aix en Provence from June 13 to October 13. Simultaneously the Musée des Beaux Arts- Palais Longchamps in Marseille will be hosting from Van Gogh to Bonnard.

France's Largest Picnic

France's Largest Picnic

Pack a picnic and head out to one of 32 participating vineyards (in Provence) on May 26, 27 or 28th. You bring the food, family and friends and the winemakers will throw in the wine, the atmosphere and a beautiful setting for a perfect day in Provence.