Lady in Aix

When I was 18 I spent a semester studying in Nice, France. I traveled most weekends and visited many cities in Provence—there was a trip to Eze, an afternoon in Saint Paul de Vence, and of course an outing in Antibes. I saw a lot. But when I got back to California, everyone asked me the same question: “What did you think of Aix en Provence?” Aix en Provence? Oops. Missed that one.

Building with a statue of the Virgin Mary in Aix en Provence

It’s been a long time since I lived in Nice, but I still haven’t forgotten about my oversight. An ancient Roman thorn in my side, the beautiful spa town beckoned. And so I went. I saw. I ate.

Huge city fountain in a roundabout in Aix en Provence

A friend and I spent the last two days in beautifully sunny Aix with no agenda whatsoever. Accordingly, we followed a strict regimen of food, walk, coffee and pastries, walk, wine, walk. Repeat as necessary for two days.

Gated courtyard in Aix en Provence France

Our leisurely gluttony took us on a lovely tour of the historic city. It went something like this:

Saturday, 11:30am

Les Deux Garcons:
Breakfast of Chantilly-laden hot chocolate and croque monsieur while watching the world go by on the Cours Mirabeau.

The hot chocolate at Les Deux Garcons in Aix en Provence France

Saturday, 1:00pm

Le Clos de la Violette:
Michelin starred and perfectly relaxing, four hours passed by in a wonderful haze of pink champagne and gastronomic delights at the best restaurant in Aix en Provence.

Amuse bouches at lunch at Le Clos de la Violette in Aix en Provence France

Saturday, 4:30pm

Hediard:
Parisian gourmet food shop with a free wine tasting that wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Saturday, 5:00pm

Riederer:
Earl Grey tea with a two-tiered tray of pastries because the four course lunch just wasn’t enough.

Afternoon tea at Riederer in Aix en Provence

Saturday, 7:00pm

Antoine et Lili:
My favorite Parisian boutique conveniently located in Aix. A new pink silk top left the store with us.

Saturday, 8:00pm

Le Bouddoir:
Wine and olives at an outdoor table. In a square. With a fountain. And a rude waiter. Vive La France!

Pretty building in Aix en Provence

Saturday, 9:30pm

La Tomate Verte:
Daube Provençal, a bottle of wine from the vineyard of the Hediard tasting, and good conversation. A perfect end to an amazing day.

Sunday, 11:00am

Produce Market in Place Richelme:
Breakfast smorgasbord purchased from cheese vendors, ham hawkers, fruitmongers, and olive sellers. A baguette so fresh it was hot to the touch. Picnic by the fountain on Cours Mirabeau.

Produce Market in Place Richelme in Aix en Provence France

Sunday, 1:00pm

La Belle Epoque:
Wine plus coffee plus people watching equals afternoon bliss.

Moss covered fountain in Aix en Provence France

Sunday, 1:30pm

Giovanni Gelateria
If given the choice, who wouldn’t follow wine and coffee with gelato? Chocolate, coffee, amarena, and caramel, s’il vous plaît.

Sunday, 2:00pm

Bechard:
We support businesses that support Sunday opening hours. A bag of calissons were in order to appease the boyfriends left at home.

Sunday, 6:00pm

Le Coquet:
Moules frites, vin rouge, lemon tart, and ile flotant for sustenance on a long homeward journey.

Historic building in Aix en Provence France

To all who still wonder what I thought of Aix en Provence, I finally have an answer: delicious!

1 Comment on Lady in Aix

  1. Karen
    September 6, 2010 at 8:56 pm (4 years ago)

    Love Aix and your blog! So in return, here’s a reason to go back… the best pancake stand I know of in ALL of France/Denmark/UK/Belgium/Pancakeland (ok I’ll stop) in the tunnel near the tourist office by the round-about with the big fountain. Both sweet and savoury pancakes.

    Reply

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