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Weekend at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

Under the cover of a few menacing clouds, we left for an extended weekend at Isle-sur-la Sorgue last Thursday. The long holiday weekend of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day (la Toussaint) is a big travel weekend around France and, judging by all the Italiani we met on the road, in Italy as well.

 

Although I sometimes feel like I’m on a permanent “holiday” living in France, my day-to-day life is not much different from back in the USA… my weeks revolve around my job and trying to “squeeze” as much as I can into every day. It’s far from big-city living, and I thank my lucky stars I left those 2-hour-long commutes on the 405 freeway far behind, but living in France is really like living anywhere else in a lot of ways… only with much better butter & some pretty amazing yogurt. So I’d been looking forward to this “bridge” weekend for a long long time…

And really, we couldn’t have asked for a better escape. Isle-sur-la-Sorgue lived up to everything I’d heard and then some. I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer but never what you might call “romantic”… but that’s really the best word to describe the magic of this village. Very very romantic. First, there’s the antique shops. It seemed that half the people were more into browsing than buying, but I can’t think of a much better way to spend an afternoon than strolling along those quaint stalls.

Then, there’s the Sorgue river that flows through the middle of town with its tiny, flower-dotted bridges and riverside cafes and bistros.  I could sit… and eat … there for hours.  Finally, we were enchanted with the general pace and lifestyle of the town.  People were friendly, relaxed, and no one seemed in a hurry to do really, well, anything but enjoy the beautiful scenery and watch the world go by.  Well, maybe that last bit was just us, but no matter, I haven’t felt that relaxed in a long time, and if a town can inspire that, that’s romantic enough for me.

 Hotel Les Terrasses du Bassin

Where we stayed:

We found a gem at Les Terrasses du Bassin (see photo). The hotel has eight rooms (ask for one with a river view) and is a steal for the price (€173 for three nights). I’m almost hesitant to give out the address as I hope we’ll find space there for our next visit. They have a restaurant as well, which we didn’t try as we were quite taken with Le Carré Rond. A very warm welcome and friendly staff.

Les Terrasses du Bassin
2 Avenue Gén de Gaulle 84800 Isle sur la Sorgue
04 90 38 03 16
 
What we ate:

Finding a good place to eat always seems to turn into a “mission” whenever we travel, and after hearing “industrial-food” horror stories (we learned on this trip that if you add a garnish to a packaged meal you have the right to call it “homemade” – from a restaurant owner, luckily not from personal experience), so when we find a good place to eat, we stick with it. We had two exceptional dinners at Le Carré Rond – fresh, creative, and affordable. I’d return for their tiramisu au speculoos alone, super super bon.

Le Carré Rond
Quai jean Jaurès, 84800 Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
04 90 95 77 02

 

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19 thoughts on “Weekend at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

  1. As you can probably guess, we have been to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue quite a few times. You definitely picked a good time of the year to go. During the summer, traffic, crowds and parking are a major downer for me and we stay away till the offseason to whatever extent there is one. I am glad you had a good time. I should also mention that I am in Southern CA today and was on the 405 a couple of hours ago. Traffic through Isle-sur-la-Sorgue on a Sunday during the summer will make you think you are back on the 405.

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    1. I can totally understand why you would want to go often Michel… and we discussed the same thing, it must be so crowded in the summer. I was surprised to even see as many people as we did for the beginning of November. Still, I don’t think I would go back into 405 traffic for anything 🙂

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  2. Ahhh, Tuula, you have me dreaming again. A few years back, I spent a day in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue during my “Provencal spring break” and now I want to go back and stroll along the Sorgue, dine in those quaint cafes and maybe browse for an antique or two. How was the supply of kitchen items? 🙂 Beautiful, wanderlust-inspiring photos. as always.

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    1. I thought of you Kathy and we’ll have to make a trip together… it’s a little less than 2 hours from us and, personally, I can’t wait to go back… And I had to stop myself from buying everything in sight, kitchen supplies included!

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  3. Those pictures are beautiful Tuula. I can only imagine how nicer this place looks in person. You must take me there when I visit you. I long for a relaxing weekend like that. Although I just had one this past week, it was not as picturesque as yours. Beijos!

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  4. What a gorgeous, gorgeous place, Tuula! I’m so glad you were able to get away for the weekend. No wonder you felt so relaxed in such a peaceful, pretty, and interesting town. 🙂 Love it!!

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  5. I just found your blog and must say that I’m in love. The pictures are beautiful and you have a really nice way of describing the life in Provence. I almost feel like I’m there myself 🙂 Have a lovely day!

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  6. I’ve been absent here for a while: but what a great post. REally, was that hotel alright? We’ve walked around it…used les toilettes inside…and wondered just how good it could be, right in the center of everything! Ok, so now I know. Yes, you certainly chose the right season and time; summer, or September, is just SO crowded. The parking is the worst (as it is everywhere!).
    Somehow, I will have return in the near future!

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  7. Great little write-up. You might try Umami the next time you are there. Fantastic fusion place for both lunch and dinner. Any recommendations for caterers in the area? 🙂

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    1. Thank you for the nice recommendation Jake… and sorry to say that I don’t know any caterers in the area… but if you’re planning some glamorous event in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, please count me in 🙂

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  8. C’est bien vrai , l’Isle sur la Sorgue , est un charmant petit village le long de cette rivière sinueuse .C’est une superbe ballade pour des week-ends à chiner , à pique-niquer ou tout simplement à savourer la bonne cuisine provençale dans un de ses nombreux restaurants au bord de l’eau . Moi vraiment j’adore !!!!
    Ghislaine (nature-provence-fleurs.com )

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  9. Bonjour Tuula – I have just chanced upon your blog as I am researching for our return to Provence in 2o14. We were in Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue in 2007 and it was absolutely captivating. We are returning with friends and hope to take them to see Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Your colourful post takes me back…. Merci.

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