We have visited most of the sites where the movie was shot around the Luberon. The last time we went to Château La Canorgue, the site for the run down château and winery Max inherited near Bonnieux, they were sold out of their rosé which we like.
A few months back, we went to the Luberon to visit Cucuron and see the étang, a long pond in the center of the village where Max and Fanny Chenal, played by Marion Cotillard, have their first date. On the way, we went by Bonnieux to have lunch and buy rosé at nearby Château La Canorgue.
As we drove to Bonnieux, we came upon this beautiful field of coquelicots. "Naturellement," we stopped for pictures since coquelicots are Shirley's favorite flowers.
|Cousin Matthias and Shirley in field of coquelicots near Rogne|
|Field of coquelicots near Rogne|
Bonnieux sits on a steep Luberon hill overlooking a valley with a patchwork of vineyards, lavender fields and orchards. Nearby is Pont Julien, a beautiful Roman bridge and the Cedar Forest planted in 1862 with cedars from the Moroccan Atlas Mountains. Dating back to Roman times, village houses and shops cascade down the hill.
As I said, we had come to Bonnieux for lunch. We've found that restaurants designated "Bib Gourmand" by the infamous Michelin inspectors offer very good food for a moderate price. It is awarded to restaurants that offer a complete, three-course meal (starter, main course and dessert) for €31 or less.
So this day, we dined at L'Arome, a foodie favorite in Bonnieux designated a Bib Gourmand in the 2013 edition of "Bonne Petite Tables du Guide Michelin." Yes, I will admit it, I am a list man and I generally try to figure out what are likely to be the best restaurants in a village before we go.
|Cousin Matthias and Shirley at L'Arome Restaurant|
It was not a super warm day but warm enough that we chose to sit outside on the terrace where we could watch the activities around the restaurant. We all selected the three-course "Menu du Marché" for the aforementioned €31. Lucky for us, they had the Château La Canorgue rosé on their wine list.
|Château La Canorgue rosé|
To get our lunch started, the chef sent out a tasty "amuse bouche" of Velouté de fenouil (fennel soup) in a shot glass.
|Velouté de fenouil|
For starter, we all chose the Sweet Peppers and Sun-dried Tomato Mille-feuille with Honeyed Fresh Goat Cheese.
|Sweet peppers and sun-dried tomato mille-feuille with honeyed fresh goat cheese|
Our main courses included Sea Bass Fillet with Barigoule Sauce served over Saffron Bulgar with Zucchini and Almonds, and
|Sea bass fillet with barigoule sauce served over saffron bulgar with zucchini and almonds|
A Saddle of Rabbit with Tian of Provencal Vegetables.
|A saddle of rabbit with tian of Provencal vegetables|
The restaurant has a beautiful dining room carved it seems out of the stones.
|Interior of l'Arome Restaurant|
For dessert, our choices included Caramelized Apple Puree, Crispy Shortbread, and Manzana Apple Sorbet, and
|Caramelized apple puree, crispy shortbread, and Manzana apple sorbet|
Fresh Oranges in Jelly, Honey Ice Cream, and Cake with Candied Oranges.
|Fresh oranges in jelly, honey ice cream, and cake with candied oranges|
The cooking and service were very good and I would recommend L'Arome if you are looking for a great dining spot in Bonnieux. Having enjoyed a wonderful lunch, we wandered around Bonnieux before we went to Château La Canorgue to buy our rosé.
|A view down the street toward the New Church in Bonneiux|
|Hotel Dieu (hospital from 1749 to 1948, today the Town Hall)|
|Part of the Defensive Fortifications of Bonnieux|
|Archway Through the Defensive Fortifications.|
|Stone Bell Tower on Top of Village House|
|Archway Through Defensive Fortifications of Bonnieux|
|Covered Passageway in Bonnieux|
|A Café on Place de la Liberté|
A road also winds back and forth up through the village, passing small squares with shops and cafés at different levels.
|Winding Street Through Bonnieux|
There are 86 steps up to the Old Church at the top of Bonnieux.
|Cobblestone Steps Up to Old Church at Top of Village|
|12th Century Old Church of Bonnieux|
There is a great view over the valley towards Lacoste with its famous château which formerly belonged to the Marquis de Sade. Today the château belongs to Pierre Cardin, the famous stylist designer.
|View Toward Lacoste|
|New Church of Bonnieuxx Built in 1870|
There are some beautiful houses in Bonnieux that date back to the 16th century, and the village's relative opulence dates back to this period when several bishops lived in Bonnieux when this area belonged to the Popes.
|Bonnieux Village House|
|The Clock and Bell Tower on a Bonnieux Building|
2 Rue Lucien Blanc
Tel: 04 90 75 88 6