Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dinner at Restaurant du Vieux Four, Crillon Le Brave

Drawing dinner at the Restaurant du Vieux Four, Crillon Le Brave 16 June 2011
11.5" x 16.5", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
The first time we went to the Restaurant du Vieux Four in Crillon Le Brave was for Ronelle's (African Tapestry) last dinner with Sarah (The Red Shoes) Robyn (Have Dogs, Will Travel) and myself.

See note at end for why this is being posted now (ie so late!)

My three courses - which you can see in the sketch above - comprised
  • Duo de Chevre - tapenade at tomatoes cerise (Goat's Cheese with tapenade and cherry tomatoes)
  • Filet de Loup Rot, creme au basilic (Fillet of Sea Bass and Basil Cream sauce) and
  • Veloute d'Abricot Carimelise et son sorbet (Caramelisd apricot veloute with cherries, red currants and a red berry sorbet)
It had a real colour theme of red, green and white and prompted me to think some more about about cooking and colour.

I switched between drawing the food and sketching Sarah and Robyn (see below) - to comments as to how I might improve how they were looking!  (I'd be doing exactly the same thing in their shoes!)

Sarah and Robyn dining on the terrace at the Restaurant du Vieux Four in Crillon Le Brave
As you can see we were taking advantage of the opportunity for terrace dining at this Restaurant which is situated on the edge of the ramparts of this hilltop village.  We had a fabulous view of the countryside between Crillon le Brave and Mont Ventoux - and where we were staying just outside Bedoin.

The view from the Restaurant du Vieux Four in Crillon Le Brave
Mont Ventoux is in the background on the left and Bedoin is in the middle distance
If you're in the area I'd definitely recommend this restaurant - it's quiet but has a delightful setting.  However there's two things worth noting:
  • you need to note that it's cash only.  On Sarah's last night we dined there again and we realised too late that we hadn't got enough cash on us.  Fortunately, the restauranteur remembered us from this meal, knew Julian and trusted me to go back the next day and pay her - which, of course, I did.
  • driving and parking in Crillon Le Brave can be a bit of a challenge, especially for those with large cars.  It's worth taking a look at the narrowness of the streets, the angle of the turns and the incline down to the arch in the walls out to the street before you drive past the restaurant to leave Crillon le Brave.  Having to do a three point turn to turn a corner at a lateral incline of 45 degrees on cobbles is a bit of a challenge - believe me!  Much better to park at the car park at the top of the village and walk down and back again.
Note the width of the road outside the Restaurant du Vieux Four in Crillon Le Brave
This is the easy bit - the difficult bit with the incline and the corner is behind me!
Crillon Le Brave

Crillon Le Brave is an ancient village is situated high on the hill in the Vaucluse.  This was a defensive position which dates back to its origins in Roman times when it was known as Crillonium.  It developed further in the fourteenth century and was ruled by the Dukes of Crillon up until the French Revolution.

It had a significant population and was prosperous in the nineteenth century but fell into decline in the twentieth century.  Houses which have become ruins are still evident in some parts of the village.  It is now dominated by a high class hotel which seems to account for many of the buildings in the village.

Those who have read Cherries from Chauvet's Orchard by Ruth Phillips (Meanwhile) will know that Crillon Le Brave is where Julian Merrow Smith (Postcard from Provence) lived when he first came to Provence to become a painter.  It was fun trying to work out where the very first studio was located!
This book tells the story of Postcard from Provence from the perspective of the artist's wife and partner. It's a definite "must read" for all followers of Postcard from Provence and aspiring daily painters.
Related Links: 
Restaurant Data:
[Note:  I've been a miserable failure about posting sketches from the holiday in France - there's still lots which have never been seen.  I'm going to try and make myself post all the food sketches this week so I can talk about this major new development in drawing food in my end of year review over on Making A Mark at the end of this month!]


MAKING A MARK ART BLOG AWARDS 2011:  Nominate an art blog of your choice for the 
  • The Painting Plein Air Plus Prize
  • The Travels with a Sketchbook  Trophy


  1. Great sketches! I never thought of sketching my dinner; I think I'm too impatient. :o) And what a great view from the restaurant.

  2. Actually, I'm glad you are late with this post, Katherine. It brings back that wonderful, warm holiday just when I need it as the winter chill seeps into my bones. Great sketches and very flattering of me. :)

  3. You wait until I post the meals you missed! :)

  4. Wonderful drawings that bring back memories. We had dinner at Vieux Four several years ago while staying in a farmhouse near Bedouin. It was really a great place.


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