8 May 2016

“Where To” In Saint Rémy de Provence #1


Saint Rémy de Provence is a town full of surprises.

It is a town small enough to feel like a village but large enough to have everything and more.

My first visit in 1995 set in motion a whole new life. Simply, I fell in love.

I fell in love with this quaint town, with the plane tree avenues leading to and fro and I fell deeply in love with Provence and the lifestyle.

Provence changed me in ways I never would have foreseen. So many years on and the same attractions resonate, even more so. I never feel like a local yet nor am I an outsider. An expat in a foreign country is a strange place to sit; a large mix of excitement, wonder and unfamiliarity ensures life is never dull.

When you are familiar with a place it is difficult to decipher the best or the most interesting or even the “not to be missed“. The answers depend on the length of a visit, specific tastes and individual interests. Saint Rémy has been a part-time home for many years and as new ventures come and go many of the original places I first discovered are still my favourites.


If you asked me, off the cuff, the where to’s, this is what I would say.

There are two ways to visit Saint Rémy de Provence; stay in your own village house or stay in a hotel.

Chateau des Alpilles is the most beautiful “baby” chateau five minutes from the centre of town. The decor is superb with a quirky mix of traditional French and contemporary style. Dining outside on the gravel courtyard looking back at the plane tree driveway on one side and the imposing Chateau on the other is close to perfection.

Le Petit Bijou, is our home-away-from-home village house in the centre of town and buying, restoring and operating Le Petit Bijou has been a labour of love. I think it is the perfect compromise between hotel accommodation and doing your own thing. Christiane looks after the guests, welcoming them and making everything possible.

The “where to shop” is a little harder. Where to start?

Saint Rémy de Provence is a town with many small boutiques offering so much delight and temptation. If vintage is your dream the new Les Boutiquiers du Midi is a must visit and for all things spectacle, the eyeglasses at La Grand Magasin are the best.

Prefer homewares? The linens at Les Comptoirs des Alpilles are gorgeous and the glass and tableware at NM Deco totally covetable.

And as for French lingerie, de Douceur et de Soie is every woman’s temptation.

If one attraction is it and you can forgo the Roman ruins and the views of Van Gogh’s wheat fields, Carrierès de Lumierès is your destination; dramatic, spectacular and not to be missed.

There is the market on a Wednesday morning.

If there is one take-away in the market it is the soap; the fleur d’oranger and the almond scented bars are my very favourites followed by the jasmin and the verveine fragrances.

Then I would need a basket to hold them all. xv

Where to STAY

Le Petit Bijou

6 rue du Parage,

13210 Saint Rémy de Provence

contact: vicki@vickiarcher.com



Le Chateau des Alpilles

Route du Rougadou,

13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

+33 (0) 4 90 92 03 33



Hotel Sous les Figiuers

3 Avenue Gabriel Saint-René Taillandier,

13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

+33 (0) 4 32 60 15 40

Hotel de Tourell

5 Rue Carnot,

13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

+33 (0) 4 84 35 07 20



Hotel Gounod

18 Place de la République,

13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

+33 (0) 90 92 06 14



La Maison du Village

10 Rue du Huit Mai 1945,
13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
+33 (0) 4 32 60 68 20



Where to SHOP




































Boutique C’est Ainsi

Cute and casual clothing; perfect for a Provencal getaway.

15 Boulevard Victor Hugo, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence



de Douceur et de Soie

silks and satins and everything underneath

27 rue Carnot, Saint Rémy de Provence



Les Boutiquiers du Midi

Vintage and more a Pucci paradise.

20 rue de la Commune, 13210 Saint Remy de Provence



La Grand Magasin

The best selection of vintage eye frames around.

24 Rue de la Commune, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence




Home décor in the most beautiful setting.

38 Boulevard Victor Hugo, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence




Home wares and gifts.

10 Rue de la Commune, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence



Everything to wear for a summer holiday in Provence.

35 Boulevard Marceau, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence




More gorgeous home wares and take home decoratives.

10 Rue Jaume Roux, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence



Le Bazar Saint-Remois

Nothing you need; everything you want.

1 Rue de la Commune, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence




Les Comptoirs des Alpilles

The best contemporary linens for the home.

2 Place Jules Pelissier, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence




NM Deco

My favourite home wares shop of all.

9 Rue Hoche, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence



Le Ruban des Senteurs

Delicious and divine scented body products.

46 Rue Lafayette, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence





Where To VISIT


Site Archeologie de Glanum

Route des Baux de Provence, 13210 Saint Rémy de Provence

+33 (0) 4 90 92 23 79


The Cloister of Saint Paul Mausole

Avenue Dr Edgar Leroy, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

+33 (0) 4 90 92 77 00


Carrierès de Lumierès

Route de Maillane, 13520 Les Baux-de-Provence

+33 (0) 04 90 54 47 37

Villages nearby

Les Baux de Provence

Maussane, Mouries




Towns a little further

 Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Arles

L’Isle sur la Sorgue

The Luberon Region

Villeneuve –les-Avignon

VA In Your Inbox

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In This Post:




So many cute places hidden away awaiting discovery… that’s the best part of all..

Anita Rivera

Good morning Vicki! Or rather, Bonjour chère dame! Je voudrais visiter Le Petit Bijou! St. Rémy looks like just my kind of place. Provence for me, is the end of the rainbow here on earth. Peaceful, chock full of ancient history, slow. LOVE IT!


I am waiting for you Anita… I would LOVE to show you Saint Rémy.. Let me know.. I’m ready.. :)

Annice Lucas

We visited St Remy after I started reading your blog and loved your enthusiastic stories. We were not disappointed! A beautiful village town – just the right size. Our friends have visited there twice now after we told them how beautiful it is (and in a great spot for traveling around Provence). Le Petit Bijou was not completed when we visited, we stayed at Canto Cigallo & enjoyed walking down the lanes into town. Thank you St Remy for great memories. Looking forward to visiting again – especially going to the market!


The market is a favourite of mine too, Annice… Sometimes I wonder how it is possible to keep making discoveries after so many years.. but I do!


Hi, I´m from the south of Germany and I love-love the provence since years. In June we will be in Saint-Rémy again and I´m really looking forward to it – every year… Your posting remembered me, that our stay in ~ midi ~ will coming soon… thanx a lot for that – et une bonne après-midi, Yvonne ;-)


June is a beautiful month here.. so you will have a wonderful visit… The “where to” is just in time… :)

david terry

Dear Vicki,

Well, I’m so glad you saw fit to offer an appropriate expansion (if not at all a rebuttal) of that New York Times’s travel-section piece. At the time I read it (about a week ago?), I thought they would have done better to have given the assignment to someone who knew the smaller, “you gotta be in the know” places. Quite frankly (and honestly)?…..I read the NYT’s article and thought “Even I, sitting here in North Carolina, could write that, with five minutes of googling to check my spelling…..why didn’t they ask Vicki to write the danged thing? She could have made a stay in St. Remy seem much more of an adventure…..”.

St. Paul de Mausole remains the most purely evocative place in Europe where I’ve ever spent a day. Odd, I suppose, but true.

thanks again for writing this. I’ll look forward to reading your second installment, and someday I’ll return to St. Remy.


David Terry


Thank you for sending me the article David… I could go on and on about St Remy… and I will probably add more detail when I make the e-book version to send to everyone…
and FYI I am ready for another rosé coloured lunch whenever you are… ;)

Cathy C.

Oh Vicki, such lovely photos. I think everyone who goes to the south of France falls in love with it – unless they crazy. I loved L’Isle Sur La Sorgue with those gorgeous water wheels. We discovered it escaping the July Jazz festival in Avignon and what a lucky twist of fate it was. I always love our girls talk about fashion and beauty, but this was a nice trip down a very pleasant memory lane for me. Bon Weekend!


That’s the problem Cathy.. so much to chat over together… I have been meaning to create this new “where to” for a long time… and fortunately the NYT got me motivated.. :)


Thank you so much. My aunt and uncle actually had a small vacation home in St. Remy and loved it! I am sorry I did not make it out there while they were still alive. But, as you said, you never know when a trip to Provence falls in your lap ( hoping!) and now I feel like we all have the ” inside scoop.” Lovely. Xo Lidy


You must come one day Lidy … I promise a personal tour… We would haves such fun searching for treasures…:)

Audrey Friedman

I love that you have written about a place you love so much.
Le Petit Bijou is the best of the best.
A wonderful article about a fabulous place. My time spent there was so special. I am looking forward to returning someday soon.
Thanks Vicki for sharing all this info.
With love…..

Carina O'Reilly

I have been visiting St. Remy for a number of years & I think it is my favourite place in all of France. I have visited it at different times of the year & have even spent Christmas & New Year there. I have stayed in the self catering accommodation Provence Paradise which is owned by William Moore an American who is really a wonderful host. I hope to return to St. Remy in near future.


I also adore St Remy and have been visiting every year for several years. We were there at Easter and have never been at this time of the year but found it just as relaxing and interesting and dined and wandered finding places I had not seen before. We went down to the lake Vicki, what a tranquil spot! We are out again soon and I am marrying there in the summer!


It certainly is a beautiful part of the world, I have been several times and I LOVED every second of it!!! France never disappoints!! ?


Oh Vicki, what beautiful memories you have woken. David and I adored our stay at your “little jewel” and visited many/most of the places you mentioned. We will definitely return in the future to revisit those and to investigate many more, using your recommendations as a guide. Wishing you a lovely relaxing weekend, Carolyn xx

Judy M

From the moment my daughter presented me with a copy of ‘French Essence’, I was hooked! Two visits to St Remy is still not enough. Staying in Le Petit Bijou last year with my husband, daughter and son-in-law was the joy we knew it would be. Thank you. St Remy and surrounds has it all…..great shopping, majestic plane trees, wonderful food, friendly people. We will return…….and continue to explore (and buy more shoes!!)


Enjoyed your post on Saint-Remy. One of our favourite villages – thank you for latest on places to eat/shop. We adore Le Petit Bijou- so truly a home away from home and with such thoughtful touches. Christiane is wonderful and a brilliant home cook. At other times we’ve stayed at Hotel Sous Les Figuiers. Rooms are simple, comfortable, set in a gorgeous garden, with own private verandah, deck chairs and table and chairs. Bring back a bottle of wine, cheeses and other goodies from markets and relax there at end of day. Staff wonderful –so helpful and kind – even once spent hours trying to help with our broken down rental car. It’s is a paradise for artists – and really is under fig trees!
Saint-Remy is also a great base to see this nearby countryside: the Alpilles and wonderful villages like Eygaliere, Maussane, etc , Isle-sur-la Sorgue and antique/markets, also Fontaine de Vaucluse – if you love wonders of natural beauty. Outlets for fabulous Provencal textiles of Les Olivades and Souleiado not far away and amazing Michelin star restaurants like L’Oustau de Baumaniere, in stunningly beautiful settings. Also an easy drive to amazing Arles and Camargue. Love Les Carrieres – a great highlight of a visit. Aix en Provence an option as well if you want to spend time exploring the Luberon. We usually stay at least week in each. So many wonderful places to visit.
Also, if you don’t want to drive country and village roads you can book an expert private tour guide to take you. After problems with hire car company we decided in future to follow this option. Our wonderful guide is Cecile Beillieu from Tours in Provence:
She’s a real expert on Provence – everything you might want to know –and is kind, helpful and ready to make this the tour of your life. She drives us everywhere, every visit and is now a good friend.
Best wishes, Pamela

Heather in Arles

I loved this. And you know what a snob I can be about such lists! ;)
Now, please bring on the restaurants and the foodie shops…
Bon Weekend et bisous

Linda P

I am so pleased to find posts on Provence are back. First visited St Remy more than 20 years ago and fell in love. Can still remember celebrating a very noisy 14th July there (we managed to position ourselves right under where the fireworks were being set off), visiting the Wed market followed by lunch at the Bistro in Paradou and the bull running.
The timing of this is great, as we are spending 2 weeks touring the Luberon and Alpilles in earlySept. Already bookmarked and looking forward to your next suggestions. Think we might have to extend our stay!

Amy Howell

Hi Vicki,
One week from today I will be on my way to London and then by Chunnel to Paris! My first trip accross “The Pond” ever! And at 47, it’s a dream come true. Can you tell me what to wear right now? I want to be current but comfortable of course, especially shoes! Is it ok to wear sneakers of some sort? I remember your post from a week or so ago about Adidas Stan Smith”s. I just don’t want to scream American tourist! I appreciate any advice. Thank you!! And thank you for being a constant source of inspiration on living life with beauty, grace, elegance and gratitude.

Best Regards,



Hello Amy,

It’s warmer now so I would suggest taking a field jacket as your coat for the day.. you can wear that over fine sweaters or a tee if the weather stays as it is. I wear sneakers or if you aren’t comfortable in those where a short boot.. that will work all day and be practical as well. The trainer idea is big everywhere now, it is how you put it together that makes “the look” right. I am not a fan of the sandal style shoe for travelling… I don’t know why but I like the protection of a covered shoe.. and I think they are more practical in all weather conditions. The weather is so fickle in Europe… you never know from one day to the next.

Have a wonderful, wonderful time… xv


Ahhhh, Saint Remy de Provence is pure bliss!
We had the pleasure of staying at le Petit Bijou last June and it was delightful accommodation indeed.
The village itself was central for us to discover neighbouring towns during our 4 night stay.
I highly recommend it.

Janine Brett

Dear Vicki I have been following your blog for some time and it has created such a longing to be in Provence. Well, here I am staying in Avignon for a week and off to St Remy tomorrow – market day and I can’t wait. Your suggestions have been noted and I am hoping I will need another suitcase to take all my purchases back to Australia. Thank you once again. Janine


St. Remy is the essence of Provence. We experienced it last October and it was perfection! I know I will return one day.

Ella Liebenberg

Hallo Vicky

What an opportunity…..this would be a dream come true for this girl from Africa!

Kaaren Eastwood

Wonderful and all the replies as well! You just made my morning once again! Thanks!


Hi Vicki, thank you as always, drooling for too long to visit, happy to read your sight every time I get it in my in box!, I lost count on all the many years. See you are having a joyous time, always good to read, and , I grabbed some lip brands & colors you shared. XXOO


I will try and send this again, my husband son and I spent a week in St. Remy in August last year, my recommendation after reading your book Vicki and your blog. We had a wonderful time, only problem was hiring a car, we came from Australia and thought we could get around by local bus, our fault! After quite a few problems we eventually managed to hire a car from a local company, the Tourist Information Centre were no help to us at all. We had a fabulous time and would love to return one day! Avril


I will be visiting St Remy June 15-21 this year w wife, daughter and granddaughter. I am looking forward to seeing the countryside and experiencing Provence. Do you have any recommendations for wine shops, restaurants, bakeries? This is my first trip.


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