I love discovering. It is the reason I left home, the endless joy I found in New York, then again, why I left it to discover something new in France. When I woke up at Le Mas de Peint I had no idea where to set out for lunch that day. By chance, a French friend messaged me and said, “go to La Chassagnette, you will not regret it.” Without a reservation, which is a big no-no in Provence, I showed up at noon and was pleasantly surprised to discover the most incredible secret garden dining in the Camargue.
I literally knew nothing about the space, almost missing the humble sign for the turn off on the road. However, once I walked over the little wooden creek bridge into the world of La Chassagnette I knew this was something special. The host invited me to discover their garden, baskets of herbs, fruits, vegetables, aromatics, roses, and some flowers I had never seen before set in an endless view of farm land. All grown by organic standards, he informed me most of what I would be eating for lunch came from right here, what was picked this morning. A chef who lets the taste of nature be the star.
The setting was beautiful, just as beautiful as the edible art pieces that arrived on our plate. A reinterpretation of natural beauty. There was much to discover, flavors I have never tasted, flowers I had never before eaten.
I love this quote from their website about Armand Arnal the restaurant’s chef, “La Chassagnette seems to him an oasis which is self-sufficient and for which there is no concept to develop, except that of respecting its authenticity. ” Sounds like heaven, right?
Tip- try the sparkling sake!