Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Picnic à la ''Alain Ducasse''

It sounds almost too delicious to be true: a shiny refurbished 1950 Chevy pickup truck collects you at the elegant Bastide de Moustiers, Alain Ducasse’s 12-room inn near the Gorges du Verdon. After a 15-minute ride through the sun-drenched countryside, you arrive at the ‘’secret spot,’’ in a prairie overlooking the Margès mountains, where you find a Italian-designed solid-chestnut table under a towering white oak. A full Mediterranean style picnic will be spread out upon it.
The chefs at La Bastide de Moustiers—Christophe Martin and his team--will have prepared your feast using seasonal produce from the inn's vegetable garden and from local markets. A typical menu? A round of amuses, followed by a fresh tomato salad drizzled with fruity olive oil, courgette and basil focaccia and rabbit porchetta. Then on to the cheese--a creamy Banon perhaps—and finally, crispy sweet Provence fruit tartlets and coffee.  For an extra fee, the hotel’s sommelier will choose the perfect wine to complement each course.

And all you have to do is show up in your chauffeur-driven Chevy (restored over the course of two years by an expert body-worker in Menton) and relax. 

As you might expect, the ‘Picnic in a Pickup’ doesn’t come cheap: it’s €190 per person for two to six wine. But you’re worth it. And don’t forget, this is a picnic designed by Alain Ducassethe first  chef in the world to hold three Michelin stars at three different restaurants, all at the same time. (His current three-stars are Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo, at the Plaza Athénée in Paris and at the Dorchester in London. Altogether, Ducasse has 27 restaurants in eight countries with a total of 20 stars.) If you’re looking for the perfect place to propose in Provence, a laid-back yet luxurious celebration or just a pampering day out, I can’t think of a nicer way to do it. You don’t have to stay at Bastide de Moustiers in order to partake...the picnic is available to anyone. But if you are looking for a hotel near the famed ceramics village of Moustiers or the spectacular Gorges du Verdon,  this one is a beaut. Doubles begin at €205. For more info click here or email ( or call 04 92 70 47 47.

**2013 Update: The Bastide de Moustiers is once again offering their gourmet picnics this summer, beginning in July. For the 2013, the picnics are 210€ per person (two people) and 190€ per person for three people or more. 


  1. Alright, the ONLY way I could justify that price would be for a proposal but what an amazing moment that would be!!!

  2. Julie, absolutely terrific, really wonderful, thank you greatly for sharing! Wish we were there now! Your articles and Blogs are truly phenomenal, you bring Provence "to life" for all of us! thank you for all you are doing! all the very best, Bill and Danielle Gottfried, Houston

  3. Lookslovely, although I must admit the addition of the old Chevy leaves me a bit befuddled...

  4. Lookslovely, although I must admit the addition of the old Chevy leaves me a bit befuddled...

  5. That's one expensive picnic! Still, I always find picnic ideas difficult. Maybe one ridiculously-priced day would help set me on the way to a lifetime of great picnic planning!

  6. That would be a dream day to savor forever. Le sigh.

  7. What beautiful pictures! Looks like a picnic from a fairytale-like movie!

  8. Utterly charming, and I loved lunch at Bastide de Moustiers a few years back when he was the chef...
    and I LOVE the old chevy, lovingly restored, tres chic!

    a bientôt!


  9. This sounds like such a treat that it's obviously worth the price for an incredible chic and different "picnic". On my bucket list ! Thanks for this great post and for the gorgeous photos !
    All the best.

  10. All the years I have dined in Provence, Mustiers was the first place I was disappoined in my dinner. It was not cooked properly and did not eat it. I'm not a fussy either. They graciously asked for me to choose another dish but I was so disappointed, that I refused, but overall loved our stay there. Loved our room.
    And the bathroom salts and other frsagrant things were heavenly.