Summers in Provence are the best ! Most people fear that it will be packed with tourists and avoid that season … And yes the coast is crowded specially in August but let me tell you why you should rethink about it :
The lavender is in bloom , the countryside is finally alive and buzzing with activities ! There are Festivals everywhere , flea markets , “vide grenier” , “Fete votive ” , the roman theater of Orange plays operas from mid July to mid August , the roman arena in Nimes has concerts , the entire town of Arles put on the largest photo exhibition of the country , my own home town host a popular ” rose wine ” celebration …there is something for everyone !
And yes it can be hot too … but it is a dry heat ( not dry as desert dry but enough to be more comfortable ) It makes finding a river to swim a fabulous excursion , floating under the roman aqueduct of the ” Pont du Gard ” a much more special visit to this site , visiting the year round cool quarries “Carrieres de Lumieres ” wonderful ….not even mentioning taking an afternoon nap ! Daylight last for ever and everybody enjoy being out late when the temperature is just perfect for that strappy summer dress I can never wear here in California ! If you are done with May gray – June gloom that linger until late August …head to Europe for a real summer time !
This year we decided to stop over in L’Isle sur la Sorgue on our way from Marseille Airport …immerse ourselves in this wonderful ” Venise Provencale ” and all its antique shops and Sunday flea market . The flea market starts at dawn along the Sorgue river…
By the time we get there , the bustle is over and the merchants are waiting for clients , playing games while their bottle of rose stays cool in the river …It’s like a Pagnol movie !
Art is everywhere !
Antique installations in every shop …
Cafe nested in a small courtyard if you need to rest before to discover some more …
We need a break too … Le Jardin du Quai is just across the road and its garden looks very inviting !
Refreshed and rested we go for more !
Some real traditional antiques from Provence are being rare these days …the owner of that booth told us closing down at the end of the season …People search for industrial or mid century not XVIII century old furniture as much Even found a Jardin public / “skate park” ??
The heat wave even made the news all the way here in the US … we hit 43C / 110F witch even I have to agree is really hot when you do not have AC anywhere ….even in your car ! So we took off at sunrise for the most beautiful drive just outside of my home town of Sainte Cecile les Vignes . Hard to believe that you just pass the exit sign and this is it … beautiful rolling hills !
The good side of driving an old beetle is that we have less chances to go over the speed limit of 49mph on highways …or this is what you could end up driving !
The Tour de France went right by these roads this year …leave vaison la Romaine and keep going on the higher hills where the lavender grows.One last turn and here it is ! White butterflies were all over the lavender in the early morning hours We grew up here but this scenery never cease to amaze us
On the way back we stopped in Nyons where the farmer’s market is going on on Thursdays …pick up some of our summer favorites : salade de museau ( cheeks in gelatine , sliced super fine ) fromage de tete ( head pate ) and maybe a slice of terrine de campagne …forget about the same ol same ol tomato mozzarella or prosciutto and melon that we can get back home ! We crave for these classic basic appetizers that are complete delicasy for us . We always wonder how come NOBODY make some in the US
Then a quick stop to say to a friend who runs his parents Citroen garage…in the back there is always a bunch of real French cars !! My favorite : Ami 6 …the perfect car for the area Pascal’s father or his brother sold that one at the time !
Probably the best option to bet the summer heat
But today is our 27th wedding anniversary and we are going out to dinner …no way I am cooking with this heat anyway ! Pascal has booked at Maison Prevot in Cavaillon the city of the famous melon . The owner and chef Jean Jacques Prevot has a seasonal menu highlighting the fruit of his town so we are going to have some melon …just not with prosciutto 😉
Warm melon filled with a bouillabaisse soup of maine lobster and melon balls …light and delicious !They have AC …in case you really missed it …and I froze in my summer strappy dress !
I don’t think I ever posted a photo of my mum’s house …here we are in front of it …aka our “chateau” because it is so big and needs a lot like most chateaux 😉
What is an other wonder to us is how good the food is EVERYWHERE and how wonderful it is to get there ! Just hop in your car and enjoy a wonderful 15mns drive on scenic roads …no traffic , no problem to park … a little stroll in the village of Seguret and we are set for an other wonderful dinner …with a view ! People cooling off at the fountain