After our brief time in Carcassonne, we set off for another wonderful city in the south of France. Less than three hours away by train is Avignon, the former (and brief) home of the Avignon Papal line during the Great Schism.
With such a rich history, we were of course excited to see the Palais de Papes and the Benezet Bridge, and other old icons that have made Avignon such a wonder over the centuries. But for me, the one thing I was looking forward to the most in Avignon–and the entire trip–was… Milk Shop.
As soon as we dropped our bags off at our Airbnb spot, we walked around the corner though the Place de Corps-Saints to Milk Shop, a fantastic little spot that touts a number of drool-worthy, milk-based drinks.
Milk Shop was a random find for me. I was searching for things to do in Avignon some months ago, and came across a little post about it somewhere off the proverbial beaten Internet-path. The shop’s website looked so aesthetically pleasing, but what really cinched it was that it was literally called “milk shop”–a place for my favourite drink in the world. I was sitting at home on my laptop in Vancouver and somehow I knew that halfway across the world, there was a place called Milk Shop and it was another, undiscovered, home. True, it focuses on milk shakes rather than just straight milk, which is my preference, but there was no way in hell I was turning up an opportunity to visit.
F’s vanilla milkshake. So good. F thought the vanilla was quite thin, but I liked how it allowed for a stronger milk flavour to shine through. Mmm.
For dinner, we picked a place in the Place de Corps-Saints. It was 6:30pm, and though the square is exclusively filled with bistros, no one seemed to be eating. A few people smoked & drank here and there, but several of the bistros looked closed entirely.
It turns out that no one eats dinner before 7, unless you’re restaurant staff. Oops! We took a table at Macadam Bistrot, and a wonderfully friendly waiter asked if we wanted any drinks in the meantime. He then returned to the bar, where he was eating dinner with his girlfriend before the night kicked off. F and I were happy to chat together until we could order.
It’s very easy to talk into the night with nothing but company and good food when you’re in France. I fell further in love with this different way of life as we sat together. We spoke about our travels; we remembered the wonderful dinner we had in Carcassonne, on a backyard patio indulging in mouth-watering Spanish tapas. We people watched, too. It was slow living, and it was very happy.
Unfortunately, I have no photos to share of our dinner. I’m not sure where they went, but I can assure you the food was as good as you can imagine.
From my journal
I made the best decision with the pesto squid salad. Summer heat makes salad an appealing option regardless, but this meal brought me true happiness.
Fred and I talked about that during dinner. He had just taken a bite of his jumbo prawn & squid dish when he said, “food makes me happy. Food, and you. That’s what makes me happy.” And then he went on eating, smiling unselfconsciously.
I had a similar thought at our dinner the night before in Carcassonne. Isn’t it strange, that we can visit such visually amazing places and see awe-inspiring parts of our world’s history and experience different cultures so different from or own, but what makes us giddy and filled with happiness is when we sit down together and eat fantastic food?
Not that I take our travels for granted! But damn, that food was good. The grand gournand, which I ordered for dessert, also knocked it out of the park. On a square plate was a small cup of coffee, a little pot of creme brulée, a small chunk of a nutty brownie, and a little apple tart. I’m drooling just thinking about it. I want to go back right now. UUUGUGGHHGH.
If you ever visit Avignon, visit Macadam Bistrot.
(I know, I know. Avignon has a michelin star restaurant! Why settle for less? I hope everyone is aware that michelin star dining is not the be all end all of the food world.)
I’m sorry again for not having any photos, but here ends my blog post. It’s getting a little long. Stay tuned next week for the second half of our Avignon trip!