Saturday, November 8, 2008

La Bouquinerie - saladerie et salon du thé en Provence

After our visit to the Nyons market, Susan treated all of the cooking students to lunch at La Bouquinerie, a wonderful second-hand bookstore and tea room that elevates the humble salad to a work of art :)

There are hot and cold salads inspired by various locales: the Provençale, the Asian with spring rolls, the cold Italian, the hot Italian that S and I ordered pictured above, and several other varieties. There's also a small dessert menu of interesting tarts, tortes and cakes baked in-house.

La Bouquinerie is in Le Poët-Laval, a very old and beautiful walled medieval village built during the 12th century. The tea room is actually located in a very steep, unevenly cobbled lane in the old castle in the centre of the village. Back in the day, the castle was also a refuge for crusaders on their way to the Holy Land. The monks offered shelter to the tired and treated the sick pilgrims passing through.

We ate inside, surrounded by old books on bookshelves built into the castle walls. However there's also a very romantic patio where you can sit and eat under a ceiling of grapes! It was raining when we were there, but I still got this wonderful shot of that patio and the view beyond it.


BaaBaaRaa said...

I love this place!!!! I always go there for lunch or something to drink whenever I visit my French cousin, who operates the art gallery, L'Artenostrum, on the right down a lane at the entrance to Dieulefit on the Allee des Promenades. Stop in and say hi to him for me! (Philippe Bentley). I love the Bouquinerie's owner, Mireille, too.
I'm a vegetarian, and my favorite place to eat is on the terrace (WHAT A VIEW!!!), but when it's cold, I also love indoors... great decor! Folks are friendly, prices are right, and the food is impeccable! I had a really creative, beautifully presented and filling salad. Don't miss this if you are in La Drome... and stop at the Commanderie too... Sandrine has the best jewelry, art and clothing done by local artists... unusual and the sort of thing I'm always looking for but rarely find. La Commanderie is right there in the village so ask at La Bouquinerie. O, and Mireille also has a fantastic book/art shop at Grignan too which I highly recommend.

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