Au Pet't Quart d'Heure logoIf you want to avoid the overpriced bars on the Cours Mirabeau: take a tour into the Old Town to this friendly little spot where a glass of wine costs just one €uro.

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It's not just plonk either. Each month a different local vintage is hand-picked as the house wine, available in the usual three colours. The glasses are small, admittedly, but at this price who's complaining?

On a visit just before Christmas, the pungent, spicy aroma of vin chaud (Provence's version of mulled wine) assailed our nostrils as we walked in.

The decor is simple (exposed beams and upturned barrels for tables) and you'll almost certainly have to stand, but it all adds to the place's informal charm.

Au Pet't Quart d'Heure means "a quick quarter of an hour" as well as being a pun on the address: the Forum des Cardeurs, the huge square where dozens of Aix's restaurants are clustered together.

You could stop by the bar for a swift apéritif before lunch or dinner, or linger for a long, mellow evening, in which case small snacks - a range of tapenades and dips - are available if hunger eventually strikes.

Au Pet't Quart d'Heure, Aix en ProvenceIf you want a wider choice of beverage, Guillaume the patron - who describes himself modestly as a wine enthusiast rather than as a sommelier - will advise you on his range of Pays d'Aix wines sold by the bottle at retail prices to drink on the spot (with a corkage charge) or to take away.

Visited December 2011

Where: Au Pet't Quart d'Heure, 21 Forum des Cardeurs, 13100 Aix en Provence. Tel: (+33) 9 82 41 83 69 Website for Au Pet't Quart d'Heure

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