Château La Coste |France|

Villa Lacoste is the project of an Irishman named Patrick McKillen, and no doubt he adores a modern way of thinking.

A pioneer in developing an artful hotel creation in the middle of Provence and in the middle of his bio-vineyards. It is a large and impressive estate made up of a boutique hotel nestled between vineyards and several restaurants. The focus are a series of buildings and a multitude of art installations sprawled across the landscape which is lovely to walk and explore. There are many very interesting artists, all situated within and around the vineyard:

A must try-visit where you can sip a nice glass of their Rose La Coste Provencal wine, pick up an art book and study some details while enjoying the view. Walk the property enjoying the magnificent atmosphere and light, the restaurants combine:

Hélène Darroze, a one star Michelin restaurant in a wonderful setting, with splendid light and ambience yet the cuisine seems out of place. I felt it was over complicated and I couldn’t quite see the journey which included an oyster XXL topped with Kristal Caviar, a Chinese caviar, a good product but not by any standards exclusive.

Honestly, I want to be positive about the hard work any chef puts into developing a menu for any gastronomic experience. However, this was so unfitting, the menu made little sense, and was confusing between white and green asparagus , carrots and giant winter spinach and cabbage and endive.

The Wagyu up-sell €94/person was obnoxious, and it hardly resembled any kind of wagyu we have ever tasted, it had too much tissue and was was inedible. I apologise to admit this was such a disappointment but we were dumbfounded by the chef’s concept. In the end it seemed mishmash – and just as Hélène Darroze describes her endive dish below.

Having said the meal by Hélène Darroze was a sad disappointment, but we did enjoy the Baba au rhum which isn’t a rhum baba as it was served with Armagnac and a Juliet apple. This apple is one of the very few French varieties grown by less than 130 growers and is under its own association – a French Bio apple formed in 2005. It was a delight and a sweet, yet a bitter sweet ending to a difficult meal.

On the property you’ll find a Francis Mallmann experience, a restaurateur who specialises in Argentine cuisine on the open fire, and especially in Patagonian cuisine. A BBQ specialist, his restaurant is made up of Argentineans, friendly and willing to make the experience as comfortable as possible.

There is an Italian restaurant across the way and it is operated by Francis Mallmann’s wife but I am not sure which wife as he has (apparently) 7 partners. At last, the outside bistro serving casual provencal styled cuisine which we didn’t try but looked casual and local-ish with amazing cookies and deserts. All of these are located beside Ando centre of art where the Louise Joséphine Bourgeois spider hovering above water.

Note: If you visit property La Coste as a resident be sure to find Claire who works at the hotel, and is without a doubt the property’s number one asset – she can tour the art and spaces, and is dedicated to the property, owners and guests.

Suites 12 and 15 are very nice and different to one another – yet both face the valley, and 12 has the better view.

I have never tried Chateau de la Gaude nearby but they have a villa for those seeking privacy and the Provencal Aix atmosphere:

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