Avignon by Marlene Lee

Avignon was once the centre of Christendom and the home of seven popes before the papal residence was moved to what is now known as the Vatican City. Aside from its history, Avignon is also the capital of the Côtes du Rhone region, the second largest appellation in France with 44,000 hectares of vineyards. The city also has enough restaurants, cafes and bistros to titillate your taste buds.

Carré du Palais

Carré du Palais or otherwise known as The Square Palace is THE one stop shop for all wine enthusiasts. It’s an impressive establishment which houses the first wine school in Avignon with a seating capacity of 18 students, a meeting place where one can taste numerous wines from Côtes du Rhône region, a restaurant and a refurbished former bank note vault now used as a cellar that can store up to 10,000 bottles of wine.

One of my most memorable experiences in Avignon was having dinner at Carré du Palais whilst watching the sun setting over Palais des Papes.

1 Place du Palais 84000 Avignon
Opening hours: 12:00 - 23:30

Le Prieuré

Le Prieuré is a tranquil oasis in a picturesque town called Villeneuve-lès-Avignon which is located across the Rhône river from Avignon. Once a priory, the 14th century building has been renovated with somewhat contemporary interior which belies the medieval exterior. I can’t help but wax lyrical about one of the most enjoyable gastronomy experience I’ve ever had at Le Prieuré whilst dining under a canopy of vines with only the sounds of cicadas stridulating in the background. Led by Michelin-starred Chef Marc Fontanne, each meticulous dish presented was a work of art and a joy on the taste buds.

7 Place du Chapitre 30400 Villeneuve-lès-Avignon

Wine Bar Le 46

Le 46 is an unpretentious wine bar cum restaurant specialising in French cuisine which prides itself in using local seasonal produce. Whilst they stock wines from all over, the spotlight is on their local wines from the Rhône valley. It’s situated literally a skip and a hop from Palais des Papes which makes it an ideal place to get a good meal without venturing too far from the town centre.

46 Rue de la Balance 84000 Avignon
Opening hours: 12:00-14:00 – 19:00-22:00


NID concept store takes on a holistic approach incorporating not only a community yoga centre, a retail front that supports independent local French designers but it also has a restaurant which supports the slow food movement and sources their ingredients from small farmers and cheesemakers in the region. I’m a huge fan of their limited edition furniture they stock in the store which aren’t your standard run of the mill pieces.

7 Rue des Trois Faucons 84000 Avignon
Opening hours: 10:00 – 19:00