As promised, Provence has turned on perfect weather for today, which although not quite dedicated to the olive, certainly has an olive theme. Our first outing is to visit a local organic olive oil mill, Bastide du Laval for a tour through their olive grove and to sample some of the various oils they produce and also a quick taste of the wines from their vineyard.
Our host, Leo had the ladies hanging on his every word as he guided them through the growing and production of their olive products using state of the art technology to produce the best possible quality olive oils. The flavours of the end product are so good that they just have to be tasted to be believed.
The store at the bastide has an amazing array of cuisine and olive related items, all very tempting and beautiful, even paintings from a local artist depicting scenes from the olive groves and works inspired by the olive-centric lifestyle.
Happily loading their purchases into the van, the ladies then took the short trip back to Lourmarin to another, more ancient olive mill, this one having been converted into a Michelin star restaurant, where they were treated to a little fine dining for lunch (did someone say ‘lavender infused crème brûlée’?). It’s not all about food, however, so while in Lourmarin some of the ladies took the opportunity for a spot of power shopping before continuing with the afternoon’s activities.
Indulging in a slow paced tour of a few local villages, we visited the pond at Cucuron for a brief photo opportunity and wandered around the ruins of the massive chateau at La Tour D’Aigues before heading back to our own chateau for a swim in the pool and relax before dinner.
Dinner tonight was prepared by Joelle, who chose to delight us with a light salad followed by a main course of savoury meatballs accompanied by seasonal vegetables cooked in a Provencal style. The meal was finished off with baba au rhum and fresh raspberries – delicious. And then off to bed to rest up for tomorrow’s adventures.