21 May 2012

A Wander Through Arles

Friday morning,  awake early, I listened to the rain falling outside and hoped that it would clear. I was looking forward to the afternoon in Arles… lunching and exploring this Roman beauty with Heather. Heather writes the wonderful blog, Lost In Arles and the thought of spending time with her and seeing a place that I love through fresh eyes was an exciting prospect.

Provence smiled for me and by the time I reached Arles the sun was shining and any thoughts of grey clouds and inclement weather had disappeared. Heather is fabulous company… gorgeous, intelligent, charming and so knowledgeable about Arles… Her passion for architecture is infectious and as we strolled the small cobbled streets she recounted the history of many of the houses and buildings on our walk. That was my joy on Friday… to walk… I know Arles.. it’s a regular stop for me… I frequent the Saturday morning market regularly… I visit the Roman ruins and the museums often… but I rarely have time to meander through the lesser known streets and to absorb the smaller details. Arles, like many French towns, is full of secrets… hidden courtyards, beautiful statuary and architectural details that are a celebration of past life. It’s all about knowing where to look…  ‘eye spy’ without the guesswork.

Arles is a tourist town… it’s crowded and popular yet once you leave Les Arénes or the Place Forum it’s almost deserted… just Arlesians going about their day to day life.

Sometimes I think the best discoveries and the most memorable are the least well known… xv

When in Arles

Les Alyscamps… if Roman ruins are your thing… a little away from the centre but fascinating and worth the walk.

Avenue des Alyscamps, 13200 Arles

feeling hungry

Le Galoubet… off the beaten path and deliciously simple… inside or outside, the ambience is adorable.

18, rue de Docteur Fanton, 13200 Arles

+33 90) 4 90 93 18 11

Hotel Nord Pinus… superb decor and a not to be missed bar and dining room.

14, Place du Forum, 13200 Arles

+33 (0) 4 90 33 44 44

Jean Luc Rabanel’s Atelier or try one of his more casual restaurants next door… Iode or A’Cote

7, rue des Carmes, 13200 Arles

+33 4 (0) 90 91 07 69

VA In Your Inbox

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Helen Tilston

Hello Vicki

How exciting that you and Heather were together in Arles. That warms my heart to read of two of my favourite bloggers spending time together. Oh to be a fly on the wall! No doubt so much to talk about and to walk together is so special.
How special to have had this experience. I am happy for both of you.

Helen xx


Next time I visit the French Riviera, I shall make a point to visit Provence. My husband’s Aunt lives in Provence, at le Collet Bas.
It is so lovely there. How lucky we have you to share this delightful region with us!

Paris Rendez-vous

Thanks so much for this….Arles is a city that I have never visited….but I do like the sound of it from your description. The exhibition at Musée Reatuu sounds fascinating too….will have to get myself to Arles soon.
Merci beaucoup et a bientot.


Hi Vicki, Thank you for this beautiful post–your writing cadence seems to match the rhythm (hmmm I never have pondered the number of consonants in rhythm before) of the day-magical. Oh, how I want to visit Arles and experience that magic–will have to wait for spine to mend. Have a great week! Mary


I’ll be in Arles in about month for 3 days. I’ve never visited before so thank you for these insider tips.

Veronique Savoye

Ah, you ladies had fun, I can tell… What a wonderful idea, to “stroll” in the lesser-known -and almost deserted- streets of beautiful Arles, with another blogger friend as your tour guide. Thank you for the tips. I will keep them in mind if I ever make it again down there. Bonne semaine, Vicki. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

david terry

Oh….what fun to read that Vicki and Heather have been palling around (to borrow a phrase from Our Dear Madame Sarah Palin) together in Arles. For better or worse, I’ve always thought it a good idea when two smart, pretty, creative, and inquisitively-minded women get together and begin prowling the town.

Oddly enough, I was just (twenty minutes ago, at most?) packing-up and tying-up the three large (by my standards), really wondrous photographs, by Remie Benali (Heather’s partner), which Herve and I gave to each other this past Christmas in Tours.

Two hours ago, I had my first MRI (not as scary as it might seem, given all the noise…..sort of like being in an action-movie, particularly in that you don’t actually get shot or blown-up). Just now, Herve’s sitting with a pack of lawyers, about 15 miles away, and closing on the 220 year old house we’re buying, and moving into in June. Distinctly Un-lawyerly me is busy packing pictures (we have many, and they’ll be the first thing to be transferred) and happily considering where they’ll go in the “new” house.

I’ve just decided that Remi’s photographs are going into the kitchen….not the most formal or “showcase-y” of all the various rooms in the house…..but a place where I’ll get to see them all day, everyday. One of them (taken in Mali, of a inspiringly joyous and exultant young boy…go to Heather’s gallery website) is exactly what I want to look at, first thing, every morning when I begin making coffee.

Well, enough of this…..how delightful to consider that Heather and Vickie are friends.


David Terry

Elizabeth Kirkpatrick

SOOOO<HAPPY you two met!Do you recall I put that thought in one of my comments months ago!Heather, seems to be divine to me and yes, she can rattle off that history!!!!!!!I'm just thrilled you two got together for a walk about town.You have made my DAY!


Hi Vicki! Such great information!! We will be staying at a mas in Arles when we come to Provence in Sept. so this is such great info!! I will definitely email you when it gets a bit closer and maybe we can catch up like you suggested :)


:) T

Jeanne McKay Hartmann

Vicki, I would love to meet up with you and Heather one of these years for a wander around Arles, followed by a bottle of rosé. What a delightful day you must have had! XO


Il faut absolument que je fasse cette visite,sans oublier Rabanel…
Merci pour le clin d’oeil du Clafoutis.




It all sounds hevenly Vicki ….. I love to get off of the beaten track and explore new streets. You never know what you might find do you ?
….also, have a lovely lunch with dear Simone and say ‘hi’. Have fun. XXXX

Mary Jo

The Picasso + Christian Lacroix exhibit sound wonderful as does everything really. Thank you Vicki for the lovely caramels, I opened them when I returned yesterday–truly yummy!

xo Mary Jo

Glamour Drops

I have often wondered if you two were ever going to do this, as it seems like the obvious friendship! I adore Heather’s fabulous observations – she sees that which so many others simply glide past.


What a perfect day Vicki and a fabulous guide too…we will definitely explore this lovely town when we visit again…I agree with you about the least well known places so often being the most memorable…lovely post.
Thank you for popping by, it’s lovely to hear from you.

Heather in Arles

L’Americaine Impoli–c’est moi! I was so excited about your post–shouting it out to all and sundry from the rooftops!–that I forgot to thank you here, at the source!

I have to say that I especially loved Mr. Terry’s comment–who wouldn’t? But while you have been quite generous with your comments about my looks, let me just add that I now understand why you wear your sunglasses–not to protect those precious baby blues of yours but rather to protect yourself–otherwise you would have to be swatting the Frenchman away!

Gros bisous.

trish Murphy

Arles is just such a lovely town. What a fun day you two girls must have had. X Trish


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