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Buoux: Auberge de la Loube

Phone: 04 90 74 19 58

Reviewed by: kaydee from TN, review #1603

When: 2004

Unique restaurant nestled in the rocky cliffs of Buoux. Famous for their big appetizer platters.

Directions: From Bonnieux or Apt, take the road toward Lourmarin, then follow signs to Buoux. You will see signs for Auberge de la Loube.

Auberge de la Loube (June 2003), photo by Kathy Wood

This restaurant is listed in many of the guidebooks and was also featured in Peter Mayle's books. It's tucked away just outside the isolated village of Buoux, reached on a very scenic drive on a small twisty road.

They are known for their big platters of hors d'oeuvres. There are 16 or so different local specialties, including tapenades and spreads, vegetables, even quail eggs.

We had a wonderful lunch here in June 2003 on the covered outdoor terrace. At lunch you can order the appetizer platter, cheese and bread, and dessert for a reasonable price. We arrived without reservations and really enjoyed the environment and the unique meal.

In October 2004 we brought friends here for dinner one rainy evening, and the arrangement was a little different. We had hoped to have a light dinner with just the appetizer platter and maybe dessert, but that was not an option. The appetizer platter came with a choice of main courses (4 or 5 choices) and then dessert. We did have reservations for dinner and were seated in one of two dining rooms. Our expectations were very high, and I think we were a little let down. The meal was good, but the service wasn't that attentive. I think we suffered a bit because we were the only group seated in our dining room. We had our 11-year old daughter with us, and this really wasn't the best place for a child at dinner.

We liked our lunch better, mainly because we ate outdoors and could really appreciate the view. There is a collection of old carriages, and the resident dog had a litter of pups at the time of our visit. I think you would find this a very memorable lunch, and I definitely recommend a visit to the ruins of the ancient fort at Buoux before or after your meal. (Maybe before, since this involves some steep walking and a bit of climbing on rocks. Best not to try it after a big lunch with wine!)

You need a reservation here; it's a long way to come to find that they can't take you. The seating at dinner begins at 8 pm. Also, be sure to bring enough cash, as they don't take credit cards. And there is no ATM in Buoux!

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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