Lourmarin: Thai Cuisine Squared – Cafe Phuket and Bamboo Thai at the Hotel Paradou

When you are in one of those can’t-even-go-to-the-market-and-don’t-want-to-cook moods, the choice of takeout or vegetarian takeout in the Luberon usually comes down to a local pizzeria.

That is unless you are fortunate to find yourself in a gite or hotel around Lourmarin where your uncomplicated desire for something quick and delicious, affirming your essential and crude Americanness, directs you to the Café Phuket, located next to the Tabac on the dreary place Henri Barthélémy in the village center.

The Place Henri Barthélémy, assessed from rue Henri Savornin which runs from the beginning of the village center to the place de L’Ormeau, the nexus of Lourmarin, hosts outdoor films, art fairs, concerts and markets.

The Café Phuket offers tasty Thai dishes: dim sum, soups, salad, rice and noodles, curries, Khaw Mum Kai and Thai deserts, along with beer and wine at the Café or to take away.

As you leave Lourmarin in the direction Apt, the restaurant Bamboo Thai has a full menu of exquisite Thai cuisine in a bucolic Asian-themed setting. Lovely Som Tan Thai salad, Pad Thai and Wok dishes. Here is the place for a respite from Provencal fare while accompanying your meal with a great rosé from a local winery (see list below).

Bamboo Thai is sheltered within the Hotel Paradou, which features a Thai decor, a large park and an immense natural water pool. You get the feeling at the Paradou of stepping into another realm much the same way that the Japanese hotels in California transport you for a transitory moment to Tokyo. The Hotel Paradou is a bit of Bangkok in Provence.

 

Basics

Bamboo Thai, Hotel Le Paradou, Route d’Apt, 84160 Lourmarin, Tel 04 90 68 88 15, Open for lunch and dinner every day until the end of October Website, Hotel Paradou Website

Café Phuket, place Henri Barthélémy, Tel 04 90 09 02 26, Open Wednesday – Monday, Closed Tuesday, from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Lunch service from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and takeaway orders at any time. Website

Here are three excellent Rosés from local wineries that marry well with Thai cuisine:

Château Fontvert, Lourmarin: Château Fontvert Rose 2011, organic, Grenache Noir (85%), Mourvèdre (10%) and Syrah (5%). An elegant balance between fruitness and freshness, Expressive nose, with aromas of white peach and tropical fruits, fresh and smooth ‘en bouche,’ clean finish.

Address: Chemin de Pierrouret, Lourmarin, Tel: 04 90 68 35 83, Cellar open May – September From May to September, Monday to Friday : 9 am – 6.30 pm, and Saturday : 10.30 am – 12.30 am and 3 pm – 6.30 pm. Directions: Entering Lourmarin on 943D from Bonnieux, the chemin is on your right as you approach parking under a row of trees Website

La Bastide du Claux, La Motte d’Aigues: Rosé Poudriere: 50% grenache noir, 30% cinsault, 10% syrah, 10% ugni blanc, an exquisite elegant rosé from this quality estate of Ludmilla and Sylvain Morey.

Address: Campagne le Claux, 84240 La Motte d’Aigues, Tel 04-90-77-70-26, E-mail : contact@bastideduclaux.fr, Website

Located in the eastern Vaucluse: Directions: Take route D37 south from the village, left on Chemin du Claux,  follow signage.

Château Constantin-Chevalier, Lourmarin: Rosé d’une nuit 2010, 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah, this ‘bleed’ rosé is an aromatic and perky drink, a must for lovers of this carefree vintage.

A gorgeous site of rolling hills and verdant vistas, the Chateau produces three red vintages, two white and one rosé.

Directions: Find Lourmarin’s only petrol station (Shell). From the station, follow the D139 in the direction of Lauris. At the fork (in 500m), take the road to the left (which is still the D139) towards Jas de Puyvert. Tel. 0490 68 38 99, Email allen.chevalier@wanadoo.fr, Website

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