La Vieille Fontaine: Gourmet restaurant in the center of Avignon

La Vieille Fontaine

La Vieille Fontaine restaurant is one of the best in Avignon.

As one seasonal market follows another, traditional and rare ingredients enable our Chef to create and serve original and subtle Provencal specialties. Today, these delicate combinations have propelled the restaurant to the very top ranks, one of the best in this region.

From a cellar with a distinguished and outstanding selection, our Sommelier recommends wines suitable for the dishes you will have.

In fine weather, the courtyard is shaded by its centuries-old plane trees. Beautiful scents pervade the air. In winter, our guests are welcomed by a superb dining room, decorated with wood paneling dating from the 18th century, accompanied by paintings from the early 20thcentury. This is not just a culinary journey.

The most privileged option, La Table du Chef offers two guests a unique dining experience facing the chef, right in front of the kitchen.

The Chef

Originally from Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, Mathieu Desmarest knew from a very early age that he would become a chef.

He started his career at the Hotel d’Europe, in La Vieille Fontaine. In 2008, when he was 17, he won his first award: Meilleur apprenti cuisinier de France (Best apprentice cook in France).

Then the Institut Bocuse beckoned, hailing him in 2009 as the Meilleur espoir de la cuisine (Most promising young cook). He joined their team as head of the meats section at Collonges, Pierre Bocuse’s famous 3-star restaurant. But this was just the beginning: his thirst for knowledge and his commitment are the heart of his passion and the vital ingredients for the growth of what he believes is the essential element of any future chef.

In 2011, the nation’s capital called and it was at Pré Catelan, with the 3-star chef Frédéric Anton, that he won his Parisian spurs. There, he worked on fish but managed, all the same, to win the 2012 Masse Trophy, for foie gras!

And one of the judges was Guillaume Gomez, the Head Chef at the Elysée Palace. So Mathieu Desmarest then joined the culinary staff of the President of the French Republic, as one of a team of professionals drawn from the most illustrious restaurants.

Encouraged by his chef, Guillaume Gomez, his creativity and professionalism were rewarded with the award of the Jean Delaveyne Trophy in 2014.

On becoming the Chef of La Vieille Fontaine, the restaurant where he prepared for his first competition eight years earlier, he has assumed the dual responsibility of taking over from his predecessor but also of passing on his love of fine cuisine: “We aim to do something different, to breathe new inspiration into this exceptional place” he says, bright-eyed.

The man who simply wants “his cooking to make people happy and make them dream” is the same passionate young man who wants to share his passion: for genuine good food, a celebration of nature, and above all to use “the right produce, at the right time” to “create something different, something exceptional”, with his personal signature.

Practical information


Opening hours of La Vieille Fontaine:

Lunch: Tuesday to Saturday, from 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m.

Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.


Free valet parking service for the restaurant guests

(upon availability)

   Restaurant Menu      Wine list      Lunch Menu      Book your table   

Bar and tearoom

The Hotel d'Europe is more than a hotel. Located in the most beautiful part of Avignon, it includes a bar and a tearoom which can be calm or buzzing with energy, depending on the time of day or day of the week. The people of Avignon like to gather here amongst themselves or rubbing shoulders with our international clientele.

Open from 7 a.m. for breakfast and serving hearty dishes until late at night, it is an ideal place where time is forgotten and the city seems far away.

Every afternoon from 3 p.m., the Salon de thé offers home-made pastries as well as a large selection of teas from all around the world.

   The Bar menu