We have now traveled to the small town of Mougins twice. In  1999 we began our long anticipated summer vacation with a trip to; the south of France, flying overnight from Beirut to Nice, via Paris. From Nice we rented a car and headed down the southern coast of France. Our first stop was a mountain village overlooking Cannes, Mougins. In the summer of 2003 we returned to the US from Singapore via Europe, and France was the third leg of our journey. The first section of the page details our first trip, including a stay at Les Muscadins, and a visit to the old city of Mougins, while the second part of the web page shows the new experience we had on our second trip, including a stay at Bastide de St. Olivier, and our fabulous dinner at Moulin de Mougins. Take a tour of this lovely spot . . .[To see a larger version of any picture, simply double-click on the image]

Les Muscadins:

Tracy outside Les MuscadinWe spent our first night at an Inn by the name of Les Muscadins, described by the guidebook as "the last word in rest and relaxation." They weren't exaggerating. After recovering from our travel weariness, we explored the city and then returned to dine on a meal that could only be made in Provence--risotto, salmon ravioli in lobster sauce, grilled chicken with vegetables, white rabbit meat with gnocchi, and the desert of champions, creme brulee.

Our View for Les MuscadinLocated on a mountain top, the Inn overlooks an outdoor restaurant across the road. In the distance are the mountains. To the right, obscured by the palm tree, is Cannes and the Cote d'Azur. We were a bit surprised to find palm trees at this elevation!



View of MouginsWalking up the hill from our hotel, here is a the entrance to Mougins, a picturesque city whose famous (and infamous) residents include chef Roger Verge, and the ex-Haitain dictator "Baby Doc" Duvalier. This photo was taken around 2:00 in the afternoon where everyone takes a break, on the stoop of the house or in the local cafe.


City Center and FountainHere is the town center, replete with fountain. The village winds around in a series of circular streets to the middle of the village, with each row of buildings serving as a rampart, protecting the center of the village. The road to the right leads to the commercial center of the town, a place filled with shops and sidewalk cafes.



Cafe along the main street in MouginsThis view, taken further down the street described above, shows the entryway to the local musem to the left, and the first of many sidewalk cafe/restaraunts that are interspersed with shops.


Residential section of MouginsAs you wind toward the center of the village, the circular streets become primarily residential. The narrow, quiet streets are a study in architecture and landscaping, with a profusion of floral colors and no two sets of doors and windows quite the same. All in all, a postcard setting for the visitor!


Bastide de St.Olivier:

The Entrance

Private Entrance to the Room

Our time in France began, once again, in Mougins. This time, however, we decided to rent from a couple whose beautiful home got our attention when we were looking online one day. Marie-Jeanne and Philippe Santini's La Bastide de St. Olivier was just what we'd been looking for, and it didn't disappoint. The picture to the left shows the entrance as we drove in, and to the left is the private entrance leading to our room. 


The Room

The Room We chose to stay in the Plumbago room, but it was a tough choice between that and the (only) other room there. No regrets; we loved it. Off to the right there is the view as we were leaving our room to head out to the pool below.






The Pool and Lawn Area

The Cabana/Breakfast AreaBreakfast was served to us daily by Marie-Jeanne by the pool. It was a perfect combination of hot tea, juices, crusty baguettes, jambon, fruits & pastries. Late in the afternoon, we'd invariably find ourselves back by the side of the fabulous pool area. Marie-Jeanne definitely has a green thumb!


Le Moulin de Mougins: (Chef Roger Verge)

Tracy outside the restaurantLooking from our seat to the terrace and enclosed area

The second night we were in Mougins, we had been thinking about a little restaurant that looked nice back in the "old town" area. However, in the back of our minds was the fact that, only 1.5 kms. from La Bastide de St. Olivier, was "Le Moulin des Mougins" -- an inn and, more relevantly, a 2-star (Michelin guide) restaurant, run by Denise and (chef) Roger Verge. We decided it was unlikely they'd be able to take us as "walk-ins", but did dress a little nicer than we might otherwise have done. As you can see, we were indeed made welcome there...that's our table! 




Looking toward the restaurant entrance I made every effort with bahasa pirancis (yes, that's French in Indonesian!) but our waiter quickly reached the conclusion that we'd do a lot better if in English. The menu was overwhelming in its choices, but eventually we decided on one of the set menus. This is more commonly done in France than elsewhere, and anyway, if there were ever a time to "trust the chef's choices", surely this was it! There was no disappointment here, either: We started with foie gras (the whole shebang: toasted wild berry muffin underneath it), moved into the whole lobster tail in a curry-like sauce which I could never re-create (guess we'll have to go back!) and finished with the fillet.

The Meat CourseThe LobsterAh, I didn't mean "finish" exactly...there was, after all, dessert. Mine was a parfait -- some fruity concoction with a lot (see picture) of spun sugar atop. It was sensational, but of course completely unnecessary -- and no, it didn't taste anything like the cotton candy it resembled. Dale's was (no surprises here) some kind of chocolate mousse cake...but don't ask me, all of his desserts always look the same. I suppose this one is something of an exception; look at it! We will definitely be back.



Dale's dessert

Tracy's dessert







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