Our motivation for heading to the Lubéron this weekend was to see how our new Télépéage works. A Télépéage is France’s version of San Francisco’s FasTrack, except that it is used on the autoroute (rather than the bridges like in the Bay Area) to avoid having to scramble around to find enough Euros to throw into the basket for the toll charges. The transponder allows you to be charged automatically without having to stop at the Péage (toll booth) to deal with tickets and coins.
So, we decided on a two-hour autoroute trip to the Lubéron in the Vaucluse Département N°84. Our first stop was the perched village of Bonnieux with its well-known Musée de la Boulangerie. Unfortunately, the museum was closed for lunch during our visit, so we decided to sit down at a small restaurant with panoramic views overlooking the vineyards and cherry orchards, and partake in a little lunch ourselves.
Our next stop was L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, with its annual antique fair, the “Salon des Antiquaires et la Foire à la Brocante” in full force when we arrived. The village of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is a small island in the center of several branches and canals of the Sorgue river surrounding it, so that you see water at every turn. It has also made a name for itself as the largest antique center in France outside of Paris, with hundreds of antique and bric-a-brac shops organized into villages within the village.
Villa Velleron – Chambre d’Hôtes
Our last stop for the day was the village of Velleron where we would have our first Chambre d’Hôtes experience at Villa Velleron. It was an excellent location right in the middle of all the places we had in mind to visit, and only about five kilometers from L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, which is a much bigger village with more amenities. It was also nice being in a village because it appears that many Chambre d’Hotes are often out in the countryside instead. We were able to run every morning along the Canal de Carpentras, and hike along the marked randonnées, sometimes hiking a little further than we had originally planned – but we always found our way back, eventually.
Villa Velleron – Table d’Hôtes
We had breakfast each morning on the sun-drenched terrace, which was also where they served a four-course dinner every night. It seemed that most guests at Villa Velleron had dinner here every evening. Since this was also our first Table d’Hôtes experience, we started out reserving only one dinner here, but after driving to L’Isle-sur-la-Sorge one evening for dinner, we decided that it really was nice and convenient to stick close to home, so we ended up eating here twice. Most of the Chambre d’Hôtes I had read about provided Table d’Hôtes only once or twice a week, so I think this was a bit rare.