I’m dreaming of dinner at L’Arôme – a memorable meal in Bonnieux!
Memorable meals featuring local specialties are always an important element of our European Experiences trips. Food and dining customs help us learn about the local culture, and our meals are often our travelers’ favorite experiences.
What makes a meal memorable? For us, it’s the combination of delicious food, beautifully presented; a special ambiance and setting; and welcoming and friendly service from the hosts and their team.
A memorable meal can be elegant or simple. It can be a picnic in the countryside, a meal around a big table on the terrace of a local family’s home, or a multi-course meal at a gastronomic restaurant.
Set in 14th century caves, this intimate gastronomic restaurant is run by a husband-and-wife team: Jean-Michel, the chef, and Clara, who runs the dining room.
We celebrate an anniversary together, since their restaurant and European Experiences both launched in 2006. Their excellence is recognized in prestigious guides like the Guide Michelin and Gault & Millau.
Jean-Michel and Clara are our neighbors and good friends. Their restaurant is across tiny Rue Lucien Blanc from our apartment and just a minute’s walk from our group’s hotel in this small Provençal village.
The kitchen is located in a back corner of the restaurant, visible through glass. It’s truly amazing what they can accomplish with a small team in a small kitchen.
Our groups enjoy a leisurely French meal. We begin with an aperitif (a kir or a pastis) and followed by an “amuse-bouche” to open our palates. Then we enjoy a three-course meal served with excellent local wines. Everyone makes their own selection from a menu that changes with the seasons and features local specialties. After dessert we often venture deeper into the caves to see their wine cellar. An underground passage in the rock once connected three medieval buildings, including an adjacent priory.
A Memorable Meal at L’Arôme
Here’s my meal at a a dinner at L’Arôme with one of our groups in 2019:
Our dinner at L’Arôme is much more than just a meal. It’s truly an experience, an opportunity to savor the French art de vivre (art of living) and enjoy an incredible meal with fellow travelers in a very unique environment. We’re looking forward to more special evenings at L’Arôme very soon!
We’d love to have you join us for this and other memorable meals during our Luberon Experience week!
We’re welcoming groups in May and September 2022!
Special thanks to Jean-Michel and Clara for so many memorable meals over the past 15 years. And thanks also for allowing us to use the photo at the top of this post. (Our group’s hotel is on the left, our apartment in the middle, and L’Arôme on the right.)
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Enjoy other blog posts featuring memorable meals, local specialties, and culinary discoveries on our European Experiences trips:
Duck, Duck, Goose… Walnut!! The Cuisine of the Périgord
A Cornwall Experience: The Wonderful Food!!
A Chianti Experience: Lunch with Janet & Stefano
A Cotswolds Experience: Sticky Toffee Pudding
A Picnic in Provence
And learn more about the structure of a French meal in this post:
Kathy Wood is the co-founder and owner of European Experiences, offering week-long “slow tours” in some of the most beautiful areas of Europe, including The Luberon Experience in Provence, France. National Geographic Traveler magazine named The Luberon Experience one of their top 50 tours in the world in 2012.
Kathy and her husband Charley launched European Experiences in 2006; Charley retired (mostly) at the end of 2019. Kathy now hosts Experience weeks in the Luberon, the Chianti region of Tuscany, Puglia, Alsace, the Dordogne, and the Cotswolds. She continues to work with Charley to host two longer tours: The European Christmas Experience (12 days) and The Cornwall Experience in southwest England (10 days). Over the past year Kathy has been working closely with our new France-based partner, Jennifer Dugdale, who will be leading several new European Experiences trips beginning in 2022.
Kathy has been traveling in Europe for 30 years and loves sharing her special places in Europe with other travelers. She has hosted 120 Experience groups since they launched in 2006. Kathy and Charley have a second home in their beloved village of Bonnieux in the Luberon. Read more about Kathy here.
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.