My plan for Saint-Paul-de-Vence was to stroll the streets and city ramparts, check out the Wednesday morning farmer's market, and have homemade pasta at Chez Andreas. We arrived too late for the farmer's market (we did catch someone before they packed up selling socca, a thin pancake made of chickpea flour, water, and oil, and we were glad we did!) although we were there on Wednesday (we weren't THAT late!) but we still did plenty of walking around the town. We ate the pasta but was it homemade? That I don't know. And would I recommend that someone else visiting Saint-Paul-de-Vence go out of their way eat there...probably not. The food was fine, but not great.
Seriously, Saint-Paul-de-Vence was touristy and a bit crowded. Grasse started showing warning signs of what was to come in coastal towns and cities, and I felt the situation was only intensified here (and we visited in April - I don't even want to know what the summer's like - I read recently 2 million people stop through a year!). However, it was definitely possible to walk down quieter side streets and duck into deserted shops and restaurants, like the place that we found incredible macarons. Unfortunately, we forgot to grab the name, but the salted caramel - I know it's the cool thing to like right now, but we tried more than one flavor and that was the one we decided we had to go back for seconds on - it's unforgettable. Keep walking till you find it.
D - Saint-Paul-de-Vence was a really nice little town. Seriously, it's one of the most picturesque towns we visited from afar, but alas, we don't really have a proper zoom lens on our camera so you'll just have to look at this picture (that's not ours) or take my word for it. As far as these macarons go, it was a real win in moderation for us. We decided to only have a few macs (we're pretty close so I refer to them by their nickname) because every bite that one takes of dessert is generally a less pleasing experience than the last. It was a great idea! I'm seriously thinking about never eating another macaron again because all subsequent macarons would just be part of a fruitless search for a macaron to live up to those salted caramel ones and that is impossible.
It's true. I've restrained myself from having any macarons since as well. It's been tough, but I'm waiting for just the right ones - some that I know without a doubt with be delicious like these we were...or else until we return to Saint-Paul-de-Vence ;)
See more from our road trip around southern France: our day in Toulouse here, and all of our stops on our first day: Cahors, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, Bouzies, Rocamadour, Padirac Cave, Loubressac, and Figeac. We began our second day in Marcillac-Vallon and Belcastel, made a stop at the Viaduc de Millau before heading into the Gorges du Tarn, and finally checked out the lovely Sainte-Enimie. That night, we stayed in Le-Pont-de-Montvert.
We started our third day in Labeaume before driving through the Gorges de l'Ardeche and stopping afterwards in Aiguèze and then spending some time checking out Roman remains in Orange and staying the night in Vaison-la-Romaine. The next morning we explored Vaison-la-Romaine, drove on to Sisteron and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and through the Gorges du Verdon and stayed the night in Castellane.
The morning of the fifth day of our road trip, we drove to Grasse and then onto Saint-Paul-de-Vence.