The Violet Festival has taken place in Tourrettes-sur-Loup since 1952. Violet production became this village’s main agricultural activity in 1880. Today, only the Victoria variety is cultivated in Tourrettes-sur-Loup.
Every year in March, the Violet Festival rounds off the violet season and celebrates spring. The village streets are full of activity from in the mid morning with serenades and local dances. The whole village is full of flowers and the sweet scent of early spring. A Floral Procession starts in the early afternoon. This is why we came to this part of France – to see and be part of the celebration of violets in this little village.
Tourrettes-sur-Loup is small with only about 4,000 folks.
Many of these have come to be part of the artisan community – potters, weavers, wood carvers, jewelers, painters, and sculptors – lots of people creating interesting things through the town. In fact, the City Council has encouraged artist by providing work areas within the old city.
We visited on a couple of days – just prior to the actual festival and again over the weekend during the actual event. On our first day it was quiet with little activity throughout the area. On Saturday, the first day of the festival, it was much busier with tents set up in the parking lot, musicians performing,
strolling groups of performers Rose, Violet and Lily of the Valley dancers on stilts, and flower bedecked music float. While Violets are the reason, flower decoration was happening in several areas using local flowers. It reminded me of float building for the Rose Parade.
OK, not so much as what happens in Pasadena on New Years Day but people decorating structures with pretty flowers was nice to see.
The tents had various vendors showing off their wares and selling stuff, including a contingent from Japan. We picked up some local olive oil and balsamic both of which are lovely. When we first got into town on Saturday it wasn’t all that busy yet so we stopped at the boulangerie for a Coffee Long and a taste treat.
When we came back on Sunday, admittedly it was later in the day and Sunday was the “big day”, the place was mobbed!
The decorations around the square where beautiful, the stilt walkers were doing great and other musicians were pleasing the crowds.
On Monday we went back to this little village for lunch at Clovis. To say the place was quiet would be an understatement for sure. Many shops were closed, no crowds, all the tents in the parking lot had been removed and most of the flower decorations had been removed. However, our lunch at Clovis was wonderful.
Chef Julien Bousseau, opened the restaurant in February 2012, dedicated to a creative, fresh and tasty cuisine. All the products he uses are chosen with the utmost care. They work as much as possible with local producers and our fruits and vegetables are largely from organic farming. The wine list was a surprise with some local and little known wonders and will also with renowned big estates.
The menu is created on a two-week cycle to be able to capture all the seasonal variations that occur during the year. This is a Michelin 1-star restaurant and has been on the list for the last 7 years. We had a delightful lunch and would certainly consider returning for another menu.