Provence Insider Recommendation: Le Moulin
In one of the loveliest villages in Provence, Lourmarin, sits a little gem. Newly restored, re-envisioned, Le Moulin is a boutique hotel, restaurant, bar, café and shop - all in one. Le Moulin is perched beautifully in the center of Lourmarin village.
The style here is chic and pared back, with flashes of the best/most-traditional elements of Provence. The color palette is the same as the region and rustic elements - the raw stone of the original walls, the olive mill - namesake of the establishment - is displayed. It's easy to take a deep breath entering this place and physically feel the release.
One senses a continuation of the spirit of the hotel sitting down to eat at Le Restaurant du Moulin. Chef Thibaud Chadebec honors the rhythm of the fruits, vegetables and animals he cooks. Strawberries in late March are almost untouched by sugar, and they are so divine. Spring peas are still raw and feel like a revelation - the new season to come.
Eating, especially here in Provence, should feel this way. Everything cooked has just been plucked straight from the earth, or has come straight from the village's famous market. Recipes ring true to Provence; the chef draws on some of the most traditional from this region.
In the afternoon or evening, sit for a coffee or a pastis at Les Commissions. Fountain percolating in the small village square, rattan chairs in the sun, a perfect moment of leisure. If one comes to Provence, leisure may be the highest prerogative. It is a decidedly local and highly esteemed treasure.
While there is no satisfactory translation for épicerie - just know this isn't a small "grocery" shop. This boutique grocer provides a mixture of the finest ingredients for an impromptu picnic in the poppy fields, or an evening apératif - or a beautiful gift to bring back home.
"In Lourmarin, Provence, sits Le Moulin,
an old mill transformed into a hotel and village shop.
Sitting opposite the chateau, it is a place
to meet people and stay the night, a spot for locals and you.
Here, you can enjoy a coffee while listening
to the sounds of the market, go for a dip in the pool,
and head out on a bicycle along nearby trails,
before returning for a well-deserved local snack on the terrace
or joining in at the tea dances at Le Galinier."