photo Esteron Valley - Gilette and Toudon

photo Esteron Valley - Gilette and Toudon

Previous Tab Next Tab

Escapade Esteron Valley - Gilette and Toudon


3250, route de Gilette - Gilette

Tel : 33 (0)4 92 08 96 04
Open every day 10.00-17.30 (by appointment only on Monday and Public Holidays)
Entrance + guided tour: €4 per adult - €1.50 per child under 12 years old

Lieu dit Le Vescous – Toudon

Tél 04 93 08 58 06
Open Thursday to Sunday and on Public Holidays

Our destination, the Esteron Valley, close to Nice, just 30 mins away by car, is the nearest valley to the sea. Here in the middle of this green unspoilt natural setting, the locals are passionate about their home, and are similarly keen to keep alive their traditions and culinary and cultural heritage.

The Lou Ferouil museum revives ancient crafts

A step back in time

Before reaching Gilette village, we will stop at the Lou Ferouil museum to take a step back in time, a journey which starts before we even set foot inside the museum with its collection of Belle Epoque cars displayed outside. The museum is dedicated to wrought metalworks and crafts of a bygone era, and is truly a place of living history. Pierre-Guy Martelly, a native of Gilette and an ironsmith himself, has reconstructed the workshops related to former artisanal crafts and explains how the predominately 19th century machines and tools contained within them work.

The museum includes a shoe maker’s workshop, a mechanics garage, a wine cellar, professions related to wine, a joiner’s workshop, a hairdresser’s salon and even a dentist’s surgery. Pierre-Guy Martelli knows how to pass on his infectious enthusiasm for metalwork, a passion he has had and cultivated since childhood, to both children and adults. He personally gives guided tours of the museum himself, presenting 40 ancient crafts and professions, peppering his tour with local historical anecdotes. He sells his own creations in the museum shop along with other attractive gift items.

Gilette – Esteron valley’s largest village

Magnificent views of the vast landscape

There is much to discover and admire among the numerous steps of Gilette’s lanes: its vaulted passages, small squares, St. Pancrace Chapel, a 13th century octagonal pigeon house, and 19th century mill. The village, located on the Longix crest, is overlooked by the ruins of Gilette castle, which 300m in altitude above the River Esteron below, offers magnificent views of the vast landscape.
There are various bathing spots along the river, such as “Clue de la Cerise”, with “Pont de la Cerise” just behind, which featured in the 1997 French film “Le Bossu” starring Daniel Auteuil.

Out next stop is of a culinary nature. We will visit “La Capeline” restaurant at Vescous, a hamlet of Toudon, situated 7km from Gilette between Pierrefeu and Roquestéron.

La Capeline restaurant - local authentic cuisine

Specialties from Nice and the Esteron valley

The restaurant is located on the D17 road in a building that was formerly a tramway station, a relay post, and a communal school. Owners, Corinne and Laurent Laugier, native to Gilette, will welcome and treat us to specialities from Nice and the Esteron valley. They specialise in the local cuisine using simple and authentic seasonal products to create tasty traditional dishes. Under the veranda of the restaurant’s terrace that gives on to Esteron valley, we will get a chance try “pelotons” (a type of pasta-less ravioli made with herbs, swiss chard and spinach), and taste classic traditional dishes, such as la pissaladière, la polenta, la panisse, la daube, and le crespéou de legumes (a baked layered dish made with omelettes, vegetables and herbs).

Everything is homemade. Laurent acts as both hunter and picker, sourcing according to the season, game birds, mushrooms, and aromatic herbs from the valley. The cheeses he selects for the restaurant, such as goat’s cheese and tome de vache, are also locally sourced. Set menus - €23, €26 and €28.

20 Avril 2011 - Valerie


Suivez-nous sur Google+

Escapade Côte d'Azur

Vue mer : crédit photo Aseed