A favourite Wine Bar Les Vins au Vert Banon Provence France

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A favorite wine bar in Banon from our French travels

Lower down from the market square of Banon village we had previously walked past a small wine bar, Les Vins Au Vert, opposite the tabac. We decided to check it out because it had seemed to hint that there was food to be had for lunch as well as a glass of wine. It turned out that we would be very happy that we had made this choice as the service was warm and friendly and prompt. We thoroughly enjoyed a plate of local charcuterie, onion, tomato and courgette tart, three local goats’ cheeses and a couscous salad. The bonus was being able to select wine by the glass (one was a fantastic rich Cairanne Red). Coffee was served with cookies from the village patisserie and that rounded off a perfect light lunch.

The wine shop at the back has a superb selection of French wine and we bought a bottle of the Cairanne we had sampled for lunch and also a port-like Banyuls for the winter! The wine display area has the feel of a wine library – very cosy and beautifully laid out. The lovely owners and staff created a very amiable atmosphere. I highly recommend it and after lunch you can stroll up to the view of the spectacular lavender fields around Banon.

After our lunch while I played the inevitable French game of ‘hunt the toilets’, Niamh had been stopped by a French motorcycle tourist and she was asked the directions to a village down the valley close to Forcalquier. She explained to the guy straddling his gleaming Harley Davidson that her French was not perfect but she then proceeded to give him precise directions in French.

‘Mais non, vous parlez francais perfectament’!

I fortunately returned just as he was about to produce a spare helmet and whisk her away!

It had been funny and satisfying on this trip and also on one that we took earlier in the year over to Brittany that we have been mistaken for being French and that really encourages you to keep up with the speaking and continuing to learn the language. It certainly opens a few doors and even if you make a mistake it goes down very well with the locals.

French travel books on Kindle Unlimited. Books about Paris, Provence and French wine in my French travel guides. A tour of France,

Published by Neal Atherton

My passion is writing about travel and particularly French travel. I have traveled extensively in France and wine and food has always featured on my travels and now in my books. My friends always await our return from France with the latest new finds from the vineyards and I was more than happy to keep sampling. I am from Lancashire in the north of England but have now relocated to Somerset (nearer to France) and able to enjoy devoting my time to writing and new discoveries. France came late to me as a destination, in fact so conservative was my travel upbringing that it was a long time before I even ventured to Cornwall. I have more than made up for the slow start and have enjoyed helping many others with their travel plans to France and especially to Paris and Provence. I have written a series of four books on France - Three are now on Amazon:THE FIRST TIME WE SAW PARIS about our first steps in French Travel, THYME FOR PROVENCE our discovery of that glorious region and the people and places we met and discovered, A DREAM OF PARIS a personal memoir of our times in Paris with friends. France has been fun, we have been burgled on our very first arrival, we discovered the best cafe that changed our travel lives on the very next day, we learnt about French wine, we escaped from the most horrendous gite, we found the best of gites, B & B's and people, we laughed and cried with dear friends in Paris, I was hosed down by a crazy owner to cool me down in Provence, our breakfast in a remote village was served by the French army, we stepped totally out of our comfort zone and discovered the best of French culture. The experiences are varied and many and please come with me as I retell the stories and my footsteps are there to follow. I am also writing about ancestry and genealogy and my first book about our incredible family story themed around war and the military is now on Amazon - A BULLET FOR LIFE. I love the English game of cricket, golf, soccer, photography, walking and cooking. Oh, and travel of course.

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