Avignon, Tuesday 12.10.06
Posted by Lisa Hill on March 17, 2006
We left early for Avignon on the TGV which is fast, but otherwise a disappointment, because there is no catering in first class, and only an uncooperative vending machine…
But Avignon is lovely. The Hotel De L ‘Horloge is in the historic part of town, within the 14th century walls, and the staff were friendly and helpful. We settled into our lovely room, decorated in French provincial, of course, and then went out to explore. At the Hotel Palais des Popes, just past the historic carousel we discovered a charming outdoor cafe, nicely decorated with pumpkins because of Halloween, and had a light lunch of sea bass and ratatouille. After that we took a walk through the old city, taking great care on the cobblestones in case my ankle let me down. After an exhaustive reconnoitre, we found the perfect place for dinner. La Cour du Louvre, at 23 rue St. Agricol, is in a commercial area, but down a quiet alley of little shops. Half the tables are inside and the rest are in an outdoor patio enclosed by walls built in 1273 by the Templars. This was an Order dissolved by the Hospitaliers in 1312, but re-established in the 18th century.
I managed to book a table by phone in French, but the waiter was easy-going, and happy to take our orders in English once he had established that we were Australians. We had little tasters of tomato puree & salmon mousse, and another opportunity to try truffles in a mushroom soup for me and a rabbit terrine for Tim. For mains, Tim had a tagine of lamb with prunes and preserved eggplant, and I had duck again, but this time with Schezuan sauce and pepper – not very French but very tasty! We had a 2002 Cote de Rhone Cairanne, Domaine de la Presidente 2002, and very nice it was too.