Brunch & Van Gogh, Provence

Should you make it to Provence and find yourself near St Remy, which I know you will having seen the market! I have a couple of other places to share.

You should start here…

A tree lined dusty road, just outside of St Remy, leading down to Château des Alpilles.

Take an early morning stroll down to the terrace for a spot of brunch.

Get comfy at one of the white linen covered tables, bring a book, the papers, generally make the most of it!

Feast away to your hearts content.

Nibble on flakey pastries, cool cherries, fluffy madelines and tuck into cheese stuffed French omelettes.

All beneath the waving canopy above, filled with birds twittering away to one and other.

This is a spot to linger.

This dapper fellow was shortly joined by a gorgeous wife with flowing golden hair, a labrador puppy and two of the most beautiful children, all dressed in stripes.

Well, with the exception of the labrador.

If people watching is your thing, you’ve come to the right place.

Take a spin around the gardens while you’re there.

Enjoy the morning light and explore a little.

White cotton dress (or choose top and skirt)

Embroidered shoes // Bamboo bag

Not very far away you’ll find your next stop, and my personal favourite of the entire trip.

The Asylum of St Paul.

A 12th Century Augustine Monastery converted into a psychiatric hospital in the 19th Century, it may seem an odd place to declare your favourite place in Provence.

But on the 8th May 1889, Vincent Van Gogh was committed and spent a year here, painting some of his most extraordinary work.

The grounds are open to visitors and you can spend time in the gardens here.

There’s art everywhere you turn,

in sculptures like this, The Sunflower Thief by Gabriel Stark.

But most especially in reproductions of Van Gogh’s paintings, planted where he painted them.

“Lierre Sous Les Arbres” Van Gogh, July 1889

“Les Iris” Van Gogh, May 1889

It’s really incredibly special to be in this place watching the light fall through the trees and imagine him doing the same.

 

To his brother Theo he wrote- “When you receive the canvases that I have done in the garden, you will see that I am not too melancholy here.”

The old hospital itself is a darker, sadder place.

It’s hard not to imagine the suffering of the patients here, and humbling to see the corridors through his eyes.

You can visit his old room, and look through the same window from which he saw that famous night sky…

Across the way, you’ll find The Wheatfield.

Here you can walk through the countryside and look back onto Saint Remy, just as he did.

Keep going just a little further and you’ll slip even further back in time.

Discover the Roman Ruins…

…2000 years old, and you can still see the individual carvings on each of the monuments.

You see, Provence is more than just rosé and truffles.

Not that those aren’t important too, of course!

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