Mes Demoiselles Dress, Gucci Scarf (last worn here and here, similar less expensive here), Preston & Olivia Hat (last seen here), Mint & Rose Slides (also love this striped pair), Market Tote (bought in France, similar here)
One of my favorite days in Provence was one that was filled with last minute and unexpected plans. Thomas and I stumbled upon L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue after doing some research on antique shopping in the area and were intrigued by this canal filled town, also nicknamed the “Venice of France”. It was about a 40 minute drive from our place in Saint-Saturnin-le-Apt, and we read that it could get pretty packed, especially on Sundays when a food and flea market also correspond with the antique market (which of course was the day that we were going), so we left early in the morning to *try* and beat the crowds.
We were about half way through our drive when we passed by Gordes, one of the towns we visited on our last Provence trip. Our directions had us driving right passed it, and along the way we found these seemingly endless rows of roses. We pulled the car over to snap some photos and followed the trail of roses that led to the most unbelievable Provence farmhouse! We kept peeking behind the big, white gates covered in more pink roses to catch a glimpse of the tranquil escape, wondering who it might belong to (All of the roses basically circled their property line!). We didn’t waste too much time though, as we were on a mission to get to our destination, so off we went.
When we read that L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue had an antique market, I pictured an area of the market dedicated to some vintage furniture and small goods. What we arrived to was a full-on antique city! Half of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue itself is basically dedicated to this. It’s quite unbelievable and absolutely amazing. It also makes for a really overwhelming experience. We didn’t go into it searching for anything specific, so we just let ourselves get lost in the maze of treasures. We could have spent the entire day there and still have only seen 5% of the shops and stores that were open. We would turn down one small alley that would open up into a whole new section, that would then house 5-10 different vendors. This would go on and on as we kept walking!
While we were at the market, my friend Vicki texted me and was giving Thomas and I advice on what to do if we found something we loved. How would we get it home? Is shipping to the US crazy expensive? Is the process difficult? Luckily, many of the vendors have shippers ready on-hand to give you a quote based on size and weight. And if you’re buying larger items, it’s much more cost-effective to buy a few pieces to fill a crate, that way you’re making it worth-while. We fell in love with a few items, but ended up not buying them immediately and instead letting ourselves think on it. We got all the proper into to move forward in case we ‘had-to-have’. Also, if you’re in search of more antique markets in the Provence area, Vicki has a wonderful guide here (she’s lived in the area for 15+ years).
One of my favorite aspects of the antique market was how many of the shops had hidden cafes and restaurants. We would be heading to the back of a store only to find a string of tables lined up along the water. We had read amazing things about Le Jardin du Quai and made reservations ahead of time for lunch. After getting a little lost (you have to walk through a beautiful gallery to arrive to the courtyard of the restaurant), we finally made it with grumbling bellies. We worked up quite the appetite after walking for hours through the shops. You know a restaurant is good when they have one fixed menu for the day and that’s all. Trusting the chef, we waited for what was to come- a first course made of delicious market vegetables, a second course of fish and a delicious peach tart for dessert.
Since we had a late lunch ending well after 3, we made our way back to the car to head to our second stop of the day, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. This medieval village is a sight to see with emerald green waters running through it. We saw lots of tourists renting kayaks to head out on the river in the summer heat, which we would have loved to do, too, if we would have been dressed properly for the activity. Next time! We did end up hiking up to the ruins of the castle, Bishop of Cavaillon, which provided a great vantage point overlooking the town (see below).
After a long day, we hopped back in the car and headed home, but not before stopping back into Gordes to meet up with some friends for a drink at La Bastide de Gordes (which has breathtaking views of the valley!). It’s definitely one of my favorite and probably one of the most scenic spots in all of Provence.