Put simply, this is the finest restaurant that one of the authors of this book has ever had the pleasure of experiencing. And that’s saying something. Double-Michelin-starred chef Jean-Luc Rabanel pairs organic ingredients from his own garden with locally reared bull, pork, and game (and even herbs, mushrooms, and flowers). Delivery combines the deftness of touch of a Japanese samurai (an Asian influence pervades Rafael’s set menus) with the creative vision of a Parisian fashion designer. A wine-accompaniment option offers a unique and passionate oenophile’s tour of France. Wow. The chef also purveys an adjoining restaurant, Bistro A Côté (www.bistro-acote.com; tel. 04-90-47-61-13), which is softer on the wallet and serves Provençal classics on a 32€ fixed-price menu.

Rabanel also operates his “Suites Confidentielles”. This luxury accommodation (designed by the chef) is reserved for guests dining at one of his restaurants. Prices range from 200€ to 295€, with special packages comprising breakfast, dinner and/or lunch also available.