Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sunday Lunch in Le Beaucet

We do everything we can to help guests enjoy themselves at our home in Sablet. In addition to information about the house and advice about where to find the best bread, fish, and cheese, the best outdoor markets, and lots of other information, I also give them a list of recommended restaurants.

Initially, we assembled the list of restaurants from what we believed to be trustworthy sources. Over time, that list has evolved into a list of mostly favorite restaurants in the region. I say mostly, because we had not dined at one or two of the restaurants on the list despite several efforts to check them out.

That is until we had to choose where to eat one Sunday and discovered that one of the restaurants that we had not tried serves lunch on Sunday. So off we went to Le Beaucet to dine at Auberge du Beaucet. Le Beaucet is a small village set in the Vaucluse hills topped by the ruins of a stone castle.

Le Beaucet

We found parking near the monument honoring Saint Gens. He was born in Monteux, near Carpentras, in 1104. He was a hermit, lived in renouncement, praying, working and doing penitence. He is called upon for rain during droughts. He died on May 16, 1127 in Le Beaucet. Many miracles are attributed to his intervention, and his veneration is approved by the Catholic Church.

Monument to Saint Gens in Le Beaucet

A street runs north and south through Le Beaucet and ends at the two 14th century stone gates through the original ramparts that once defended Le Beaucet. The road on the north end of the village seen below is called "Coste Froide," because it is literally the "froid" (cold) side of the village where the Mistral hits Le Beaucet.

Le Beaucet North Gate

The steep narrow streets pass houses and ancient stone walls that merge into the cliffs and rocks behind, and enhance the appeal of the village - some troglodyte dwellings are even built into the rocks themselves. The center of the village is restricted for pedestrians only.

Looking Down the Street out the North Gate of Le Beaucet

Le Beaucet Window

We walked below the 12th century L'église de l'Assomption with clock tower and a typical Provencal campanile.

L'église de l'Assomption

Le Beaucet Door

The water for the village lavoir and fountain comes from a spring up above the village in Barnouin Valley. The water from this spring was divided between Le Beaucet and Venasque. The lavoir was rebuilt in 1896 and has a tub for washing and one for rinsing with a roof to protect the women from the sun, rain and wind. The mural was added in 1998.

Le Beaucet Lavoir

The hexagonal fountain at Castel Loup Place was built in the 19th century. Castel Loup Place is outside the southern arched gate of the village at the end of "Coste Chaude," literally meaning this is the warm, sunny side of the village.

Fountain at Castel Loup Place

Le Beaucet House Built into Rocks

Le Beaucet

Le Beaucet Stone House

Cross of the Spirit in Le Beaucet

The ruins of a castle built in the 11th and 12th centuries for the Count of Toulouse stands on a rock above Le Beaucet, that you can reach by climbing a steep flight of stairs in the rock. From the castle, there are wonderful views across the Vaucluse countryside.

Le Beaucet Castle Ruins

Le Beaucet

Throughout Provence, there are many examples of dry stone construction including homes and streets including the one seen below in Le Beaucet. The term “dry stone” refers to a practice of assembling stones without using a cement or other binder, simply a clever stacking and fitting of undressed stones.

Dry Stone Walkway in Le Beaucet

Le Beaucet Window

The striking Assomption Church in the village was built in the 12th century.

L'église de l'Assomption

Statue of Virgin Mary and Baby over Door to L'église de l'Assomption

We found our restaurant at the southern end of the village down a few steps below the main street. Auberge du Beaucet is owned by Amélie L'hôte who oversees the front of the restaurant and Clément Bazin who is chef. The young couple have owned the restaurant since 2011.

Auberge du Beaucet

We were shown into a dining room with wood beams across the ceiling, a stone tile floor and an ancient fire place. We chatted about the menu and made our selections and then turned our attention to the wine list. I was very happy to find one of our favorite rosé wines on the list from Domaine de Valdition. We were off to a good start.

Auberge du Beaucet Dining Room

Wife Shirley

Friend Kari

Our meal began with an amuse bouche from the chef. Unfortunately, I can't find my notes so I can't tell you exactly what were the ingredients in our various dishes.

Amuse Bouche


Fish of the Day


Cheese Plate


I was happy to confirm that Auberge du Beaucet deserved a spot on our list of recommended restaurants. I hope our guests will make their way to try it out, we will certainly return again in the near future.

Le Beaucet Town Hall

We exited Le Beaucet through the southern arched gate at the end of "Coste Chaude," meaning "chaude" (warm), sunny side of the village.

Castel Loup Place and the Southern Arched Gate into the Village

Auberge du Beaucet
Rue Coste Chaude
84210 Le Beaucet
Tel: 04 90 66 10 82

Have a great week. Chat soon!

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