We have been to the Luberon yesterday visiting friends near Ansouis. They are vignerons (in English: winegrowers) and I will not be reviewing their wines, a promise is a promise. Ansouis is a delightful historic village 22km north of Aix en Provence. Nothing much going on, but great location on a hilltop, historic village houses and the Château d’Ansouis. It was owned by the Sabran family until 2008. This clan had been living here since 1178! Can you imagine 314 years before the discovery of America.
Here is what I found out about the Sabrans: The first fortifications on the hilltop were constructed around 960 by the Counts of Forcalquier, a town 30 km north of Ansouis. In 1178 a certain Raymond de Sabran married the last Countess of Forcalquier. The Sabran’s fortunes went up and down over the centuries, but somehow they were able to hold on to their property until 2008 when the château was sold to the Rousset-Rivière family.
Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité
Now you would have thought our friends in Ansouis would know something about the history of the Sabrans. No chance, France is staunchly Republican and nobody really cares much about nobility. Even Gala, compulsory reading at my hairdresser, is pretty cryptic reporting about French nobility, quite unlike in England and Spain. Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité … ou la mort! I love this country.
Back to the Château d’Ansouis; it is impressive and in absolutely great shape. We arrived rather late in the afternoon and were told in no uncertain terms by a determined middle aged lady that we had to come back tomorrow to make the tour. Some of the rooms can be visited, but only by guided tour.
As compensation, we had a delightful dinner in one of our favorite restaurants of the Luberon, La Closerie. Tiny place inside, recently renovated, a couple of tables on the sidewalk across the main street of Ansouis (very heavy traffic here – probably less than 3 cars an hour). Innovative Provençal cuisine, friendly and easy going setup, I can highly recommend it! So did Michelin in 2017 with 1 star and 2 forks. Under our price/quality scale the nearly optimal rating in France. Anything higher means spending a lot more money.
Boulevard des Platanes
Tel: +33 4 90 09 90 54