Travel Posts

Weekend in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Greetings from a chilly south of France. Luckily, after a series of nasty storms, a touch of sun is forecast for this week… but until then, it’s been another weekend full of movies & hot soups.  And as the saying goes, you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone – these cold, winter days in Provence make the coming of spring all the more glorious.

So as I sit here with a warm cup of tea and my new favorite banana bread, I thought it would be a nice time to share with you a great place to visit when these sunny southern skies return – St. Remy de Provence.St Remy CollageWe had an extended weekend in St. Remy a few months ago over the All Saints’ Day holiday. And I wish I could say that it was jam-packed with sightseeing & museum-crawling, but instead we did many of the same things we do best on vacation… eat a lot, drink a bit less, and spend our days strolling the village streets.

Therefore it was with a handful of guidebooks and a scribbled list of possible restaurants that we made the drive from Toulon on a cloudy Saturday morning. The first thing that struck me about St. Remy was actually the drive into town. Towering trees line the main road (alongside cozy B&Bs, elegant vineyards, and imposing estates) and give you the sense that indeed something majestic is approaching.

Lou Figoulon

And what really is the difference between St. Remy and other Provençal towns? All of the standard southern attractions are there – a quaint town square with a bubbling fountain, twisty village-streets with glamorous boutiques & art galleries, and of course the ever-present outdoor market.

But just when you thought you’d seen it all, the thing that really stands out about St. Remy is that it’s undeniably chic. Chic in an understated, some-of-our-cafes-just-might-have-fur-lined-chairs-but-that’s-all-normal kinda way, but it’s definitely a place to see and be seen. And judging from the number of Italian & British tourists we bumped into (in November, mind you) the word on this Provençal gem is certainly out.

Lou Figoulon leaves

Besides wandering the streets and doing a lot of lèche-vitrine (literally “licking the windows”, or window-shopping) the highlight of our stay was actually where we stayed. If you’re looking for the quintesstial Provençal “country house” experience, look no further than Le Mas de Lou Figaloun. Nicolas and I both agreed it’s the nicest place we’ve ever stayed in France.

Apart for the grounds around the “mas” (farmhouse) which included a stream running just behind us, the interior is simply gorgeous… filled with antiques and decorated with impeccable taste. And our breakfast in the morning (included in the price) was like something out of my dreams – heaps of fresh crossaints, pain au chocolats, fruit, and yogurt – not to mention the 3 homemade jams and cafe au laits for days.

Lou Figoulon

The only drawback of our stay was that we both found our hosts not particularly friendly. But since we were so taken with the surroundings, and the layout naturally allows you to “cocoon” in your sumptuous room, we weren’t all that bothered. Let’s just say that if beauty and calm are top on your agenda, look no further than a long weekend in St. Rémy.

Lou Figoulon flowers 

Where we stayed:

Le Mas de Lou Figoulon

 

Where we ate:

La Cuisine des Anges

Crêperie La Celtie 

29 Rue du 8 Mai 1945

13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
 

Don’t miss:

A visit to chocolatier Joël Durand (one of the “top 10” chocolatiers in France).

The Wednesday market (although we weren’t there during that time, I’ve heard it’s fantastic).

A side trip to Les Baux de Provence, one of the most picturesque villages of the south.

 

About Tuula

I’m a 40-ish American woman & I’ve been blogging about my travels around belle Provence since moving here in 2010. You can also find my travel writing in International Living magazine, Charming Small Hotels (France), & Living France magazine. Bienvenue!

9 comments on “Weekend in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

  1. I think one of the most impressive things about St. Remy is the long drive through the plane trees as you come into town. There is a great market on Wednesday mornings. Just saying we really like St. Remy too.

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    • Me too Michel, love those trees going into town… and can’t wait to visit again to check out the Wednesday market, on the top of the list!

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  2. Tuula: One of our very favorite hotels anywhere is Sous Les Figuiers in St. Remy. Do you know it? The two women who own it are fabulous, the grounds wonderful and, as one of them is a painter, they also offer workshops and studio space. The entire place is so full of color, and you can pick the figs from the trees outside your room! Anyway, I will look at your hotel next time and see!!!

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    • Libby, thank you very much for the hotel recommendations. As you know, it can be tough to choose the right place with so many options… and from the sound of it, Sous Les Figuiers seems pretty fantastic – am definitely adding to our “to visit” list.

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  3. Susanna Barry

    Lovely article on St. Remy…my husband and I are planning a trip to this Village late September 2014….
    Thank you,
    Susanna

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  4. Kathy@Food Lover's Odyssey

    Really nice post, Tuula, and gorgeous photos as always. I have to agree with you and Michel about the tree-lined drive into St. Remy. It is still the vision that first appears in my head whenever someone mentions the town to me.

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  5. St. Remy is gorgeous- it seems like a setting for an aristocratic love story! I have taken my brood to Les Baux twice and would like to go again this spring to see the new show at the Carrieres des Lumieres – an old stone quarry that has been transformed into a multimedia art exhibition space.

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  6. What a beautiful and wonderful place to escape to, Tuula! 🙂 I would love to stay here one day. 🙂

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