Saint Remy de Provence

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When You Dream of Provence,
You Dream of This Town
My dear friend David Carpita sent me this article from a New York times style magazine earlier this year
Saint-Rémy is still the platonic ideal of the Provençal village — only now there’s
some nice modern design amid its cobblestoned streets and ancient ruins.
Like a pair of navy espadrilles, Saint-Rémy — a small Provençal town an hour’s drive north from Marseille — has always been fashionable … but rarely trendy. With its gurgling centuries-old fountains, winding streets and shuttered sandstone houses, its beauty is of the timeless, low-key sort, remarkable for its unselfconsciousness. It’s where, looking out from the window of his asylum, Van Gogh painted “The Starry Night,” and not even the many fashion world denizens who have taken over the thick-walled farmhouses on the town’s outer edges (Pierre Bergé converted several tracts into a jungly Moroccan refuge) could disrupt its sense of serenity.
Now, though, with the recent opening of the Hôtel de Tourrel — a converted 17th-century mansion redecorated with Serge Mouille lights and Eileen Gray chairs — Saint-Rémy’s laid-back sense of chic is getting a little more sophisticated. As is the surrounding area’s. Half an hour’s drive to the southwest, Arles is developing into a cultural capital, thanks to the LUMA Foundation’s forthcoming arts center, designed by Frank Gehry and Annabelle Selldorf.
These changes aside, though, what locals really love about Saint-Rémy is how truly it epitomizes the ideal southern French town. It has squares paved
with glossy sandstone and planted with ancient plane trees. On Wednesdays at the weekly market, there’s the woody aroma of freshly woven straw baskets and the rich scent of ripe apricots. Just outside the crumbling 14th-century town wall is a deeply unstylish ice cream shop that serves scoops of tangy raspberry gelato, perfect for after-dinner walks. And at the locally beloved cheese shop on the Place Joseph Hilaire, with its palm-size rounds of herb-flecked chèvre, everyone knows to ask for the owner, Monique, by name. Here’s the best of the new — but eternal — Saint-Rémy.
The article goes on should you wish to read it
We ate this just at Restaurant Gus before I left to get my plane home from Marseille
What a way to go…

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