My Guide to the Rhone Valley – Part I

The Rhone Valley, France

Last week, I spent a whirlwind 6 days in the Rhone Valley. I loved meeting many of the winemakers, hearing their stories, walking through the vineyards, and driving to the tops of (so many) peaks. There was so much to see in addition to the wine – olive trees, lavender, cherry trees, apricot trees, wild vegetables, and herbs growing everywhere. It’s a heavenly place to visit if you love fruit, vegetables, and wines as much as I do.

All of the vineyards listed here are open daily for tasting. If you call in advance you can schedule a more personal tour or another activity (segway tour, picnic, etc). To get around in the Rhone Valley, I suggest you rent a car with a navigation system in Avignon.

The Rhone Valley, France The Rhone Valley, France

Day 1:

I spent the morning on my own in Avignon, after arriving on train from Paris the night before. It’s such a charming city that I had fun just wandering the streets. I walked through the Les Halles d’ Avignon covered market before heading to brunch at L’ Amuse-Bouche, a cute cafe that serves their food on shareable boards. I started my trip with croissants & chocolate mousse.

In the afternoon I took a tour of the Palais des Papes. I recommend getting the helpful audio guide, which is available in a few different languages.

The Rhone Valley, France The Rhone Valley, France

In the evening, my guide drove me to Domaine des Peyre in Luberon. It’s a gorgeous vineyard with 5 newly renovated apartment-style rooms and a beautiful infinity pool. I was surrounded by cherry trees, almond trees, and olive trees. My room had a view of the vines – it was basically heaven. We tasted the wines before the winemaker Patricia took me to her home for dinner where they served ratatouille – which I love – and apricot cheesecake with chocolate. I was pinching myself the entire time.

The Rhone Valley, France The Rhone Valley, France

Day 2:

We visited Domaine de la Citadelle in Menerbes. The winemaker took us through his corkscrew museum (with over 1200 unique types of corkscrews!) After that, we visited his gardens (hike up a little bit and the view is amazing) and tasted the wines.

I then went to Cafe Fleurs for lunch. It’s a lovely spot in the Isle sir la Sorge. Their menu changes seasonally – everything was delicious, especially the gazpacho with savory tomato sorbet. I skipped dessert but regretted it later when I took a photo of my guide Clemance’s cake (pictured above) with lemon curd and strawberries. After lunch, we walked around the town and visited some of the many antique stores.

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Later in the afternoon, we went to Vacqueyras to the Rhonea Winemakers club of Beames, Venise and Vacqueras wines. You can take a tour in a 4×4 of the nearby villages and vineyards (about 2 hours total). Because I’m a wimp, skipped that and drove straight to the top of Beaumes de Venise to taste the wines on top of the mountain.

The Rhone Valley, France The Rhone Valley, France

Day 3:

After spending the night in Vaison la Romaine, I woke up and visited the big street market that takes place every Tuesday morning during the summer. Whenever I travel, visiting markets is one of my FAVORITE things to do and this one didn’t disappoint. I took pictures of pretty vegetables and bought a few olive wood cutting boards.

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We then drove to Domaine Rozel (one of my favorites). The family has been making wines for 22 generations! The winemaker Matthieu walked us through the vineyard showing us the farmhouse where he grew up as well as the lavender field, olive trees, wild asparagus, wild fennel, and wild honeysuckle. We were supposed cover this ground on Segways – but alas, I’m still a wimp, so we walked. Afterward we tasted wines – I especially loved their rose.

We had lunch at a cute cafe in the village of Valaurie. (I can’t remember the name, but it was the only cafe you see see walking up to the village – pictured below).

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After lunch, we had a tour of Suze la Rousse, a medieval chateaux which is now a wine museum and also a wine university. The photo below is the view from the castle. Driving in this area was one of my favorite parts of the trip because there are lavender fields everywhere.

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Later that night, we drove further north to Tournon-sur-Rhône and stayed at Hotel de la Villeon which I LOVED. It’s a very very nice boutique hotel in an 18th century building that was recently renovated. My room had a view of a castle, and we had dinner outside in the garden. They had a lovely breakfast in the morning too.

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Stay tuned for more!

Special thanks to Atout France & Air France for sending me & to my new friends at Inter Rhone for taking me around!

hello from France!

Rhone Valley France / Love & Lemons Rhone Valley France / Love & Lemons

Hello from France!

This past week, I’ve been in the Rhone Valley touring vineyards, tasting wine, taking in amazing views and of course eating great food. I’ll be back later this week with a new recipe, but for now here are some photos from my trip – of course, follow along on Instagram to see more!

Au Revoir!

Rhone Valley France / Love & Lemons

Special thanks to Atout France & Air France for sending me & for my new friends at Inter Rhone for taking me around!

Favorite Places in Austin to Eat & Drink

Favorite places in Austin to eat and drink

I get so many emails asking about my favorite places to eat and drink in Austin. It used to be pretty easy to make a list for people from out-of-town, but in the past couple of years Austin has really become a top notch food city. The list of restaurants to hit is becoming endless, so today I’m narrowing it down to just a few of my favorites and when (and with whom) I would go.

This post is in partnership with Square Cash – because their app is a super easy way to split the check between friends. Unlike other money exchanging apps, it’s foolproof to set up, money gets transferred instantly between your accounts – and between friends, it’s entirely free.

And now, let’s eat!

Meet over Margaritas (w/ Guac tasting platter): La Condesa or El Naranjo

Brunch with Girlfriends: Josephine House or Café No Sé

Patio Perfect: Perla’s or Contigo

Breakfast in Bed: South Congress Hotel or Hotel St. Cecilia

All the tacos: Taco Deli or Veracruz All Natural

Favorite places in Austin to eat and drink

Very Veggie: Bouldin Creek Cafe or The Steeping Room

Most Instagrammable: Elizabeth St. Cafe

Something Sweet: Sugar Mamas (vegan & gf cupcakes!) or Lick Ice Cream

Dinner with the Folks: Odd Duck or Central Standard

Remote Office: Mañana or Seventh Flag Coffee

Yes way, Rosé: House Wine or Lenoir Wine Garden

When in Rome Austin: Dolce Neve Gelato

Favorite places in Austin to eat and drink

Table for Two: Lenoir

Quick Bite: Snap Kitchen or the Downtown Whole Foods

Hike the Town Lake Trail and Head To: Juice Society

Noodles! Ramen Tatsu Ya

This post is sponsored by Square Cash, all opinions are my own!

10 Vegetarian Memorial Day Recipes

Portobello Tacos with Creamy Jalapeño Sauce

Is it Friday yet? I’m SO ready for the long weekend. After a whirlwind 2 days in Toronto this week promoting the book, I’m ready to relax, sleep in, and of course eat some yummy food! If you’re hosting (or heading to) a picnic or BBQ this weekend – here are some very favorite Memorial Day veggie ideas:

Pictured above: Portobello Tacos with Creamy Jalapeño Sauce

Ginger Peach Sangria

First things first, get your guests a cocktail! Mix up a big batch of this ginger peach sangria. It’s light and refreshing – my favorite summer cocktail. Serve it along with chunky Avocado, Black Bean & Corn Salsa and Cucumber Apple Green Gazpacho.

Chunky Avocado, Black Bean & Corn Salsa Cucumber Apple Green Gazpacho

For a veggie main course, try the Portobello Tacos (pictured at the top of this post), Orzo Stuffed Peppers or Chickpea Avocado Salad Sliders.

Vegetarian Orzo Stuffed Peppers Curried Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sliders

On the side: Sara’s Strawberry Tabbouleh and Grilled Corn on the Cob.

Sara's Strawberry Tabbouleh Grilled Corn on the Cob

For Dessert: Gluten Free Chocolate Pecan Skillet Cookies with melty ice cream.

Gluten Free Chocolate Pecan Skillet Cookies

For Dessert #2 (since it’s a holiday two desserts are allowed): Fancy S’mores! Put the Hershey bars away and gather a bunch of non-traditional toppings like crushed blackberries, almond butter, bananas and strawberries. Let your guests create their own customizable s’mores.

Fancy S'mores

Copper Vitamix Giveaway

Vitamix Giveaway

Today, we’re celebrating our cookbook launch with one last giveaway – and it’s a good one! You may have noticed that I have a thing for smoothies, blended soups and creamy sauces. I just love my Vitamix – but have you seen the new copper Vitamix!? It’s pretty, it’s powerful, and one of you will get one!

Vitamix Giveaway

pictured above: Carrot Gazpacho with Lemongrass and Creamy Miso Brussels Sprout Fettuccini from the Love & Lemons Cookbook.

This giveaway is now closed, thanks for entering!

 

If you don’t have a book, click here to get one!

A winner will be chosen at random. The giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only.

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And congrats to @jamielynne19 who made our Quinoa Tacos and won the Staub Cookware Giveaway! Thanks to all of you who entered – it was so fun to see what you all made!

Special thanks to Vitamix and Williams Sonoma!