Set in a typical Provençal village, with its own authentically sleepy charm (at least on the Sunday we visited, when almost everything was closed) is Aups' Auberge de la Tour. Fortunately, during our exploration, we chanced upon this pretty hotel with its sheltered terrace restaurant.
We enjoyed the village and people-watching as we sat and savoured our leisurely lunch. I started with a local drink which might sound strange: violet-scented local white wine. It was fragrant and deliciously refreshing, like a lighter, more summery version of a kir. I moved-on to a tasty and filling goats cheese salad, served in a superfine pastry basket (akin to the finest filo pastry). I'm not renowned for having a huge lunch appetite but I relished each mouthful and cleared my plate (aside from the couple of tastes speared by my companion). We then shared a bowl filled with a couple of flavours of sumptuously smooth and unctuous ice-cream, followed by a restorative coffee.
The small hotel on-site has a surprisingly modest two stars; although I can't vouch for whether the rooms surpass this rating, as we only indulged ourselves by spending time on the terrace. If you are visiting this lovely spot, don't miss-out on a wander through the village square and surroundings combined with a drive to take-in and admire the breathtaking beauty and serenity of the nearby Lac de Sainte Croix.