Thank Friday it’s Lunchtime – Auberge Des Coupoles, St Michel l’Obervatoire

This week we visited the nearby village of St Michel l’Observatoire.

“l’Observatoire” is not tacked on there on a whim.  A short distance from the village is the Observatoire de Haute Provence, a centre for studying astronomy, the environment and the atmosphere.  The white coupoles or cupolas can be seen from miles away – I can see them from my favourite walk on the ridge behind us, and on a clear day, you can see them from the top of the Luberon, too.


See them on the right of the picture?

I do wonder what it was called before the Obervatoire was there.  Was it just St Michel?

Our lunch destination gets its name from the coupoles or obervation towers – Auberge des Coupoles.  We settled ourselves at a shady table on the terrace, overlooking the square, and examined at the menu.

Hang on… the menu du jour was €13 for starter, main course and dessert!  With choices!  Salad or home-made ravioli for a starter, lamb or fish for the main and a choice of about six desserts.

That was me sorted – I ordered off the menu du jour and the LSH ordered from the à la carte menu.

My ravioli arrived – stuffed with cheese and in a light mushroom sauce, beautifully presented with a sprig of thyme and most definitely home made.


The LSH had wild boar terrine for his starter.  Two big slabs of terrine arrived (with a sprig of lavender!), with a little salad and a slice of melon on the side.  Also excellent!


The it was time for the main event.

For his main, the LSH had ordered grilled sardines.  They weren’t the BEST sardines he’d ever had – that was grilled sardines on the beach in Portugal – but they were close.  Very tasty, just a little small and difficult to debone.  They were served beautifully, with a little rosti and a terrine of summer vegetables.


Mine was coquelet rôti, a small roast cockerel, served with gnocchi and some token veg in the shape of a tiny piece of courgette.


The coquelet was delicious and there was plenty of it!  I’m not a huge gnocchi fan, I find them very stodgy and heavy, so I left a lot of them on the plate when I was finished.  I had to leave room for dessert, you know!

The people at the table beside us had ordered Faisselle and honey.  Faisselle is a kind of cream cheese, but it’s closer to yoghurt or fromage frais than it is to cheese.  We spotted it when it was being served to them and we both thought “Yup.  That’ll do!”  Presented in a little ramekin and smothered in local honey, it was the perfect end to the meal – not too heavy but nice and sweet.


Auberge des Coupoles was a pleasant surprise – top class food at budget prices.  Go there.

Star Rating (out of 5) : 

Service : ✮✮✮✮
Food : ✮✮✮✮✮
Value : ✮✮✮✮✮
Ambiance : ✮✮✮✮

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