A dream of ours is coming true!
Several of our Paris Buying Trip grads have asked us, time and again, to offer a similar shopping experience to Provence. We know this makes sense, especially since our Provence home-base is just a hop skip and jump from the southern capital of antiques and design, Isle sur la Sorgue. But it's been a little tricky to nail down dates that combine the best antiques fairs in Provence with reasonable weather and fewer tourists. Until now! We think we've dreamed up the perfect trip to Provence, and just to be sure, we gave it a test run last week (someone had to do it!).
Here’s what we have cooked up: The trip starts on April 7th, 2020, in Provence. Our adorable driver, Christophe, will pick you up at the Avignon train station and drive you to Les Murets, your home-away-from-home in Provence (which has just undergone an elegant refresh from Huff Harrington Design – more about that later). We’ll spend the first day at home, getting settled, talking about our wants and needs and most importantly, eating a delicious meal and going to bed early.
Day 2: Head to the St. Remy for some retail shopping at one of the largest weekly markets in the region. This has always been a favorite market and you’ll be able to find bags,scarves, linens, lavender, hats, shoes, clothes and just about anything else you can think of, all along the cobblestone streets of this charming village. We’ll have lunch at our favorite local restaurant, stop off at a winery on the way home, and have another great dinner back at home.
Day 3: This time we’ll drive north to a little village in the mountains that turns into an antiques and collectibles mecca twice a year. This fair attracts hundreds of dealers from across Europe and the treasures can be intense. We have found everything from antique urns to 1960’s wicker chairs, with a ton of smalls and art in between. And talk about charming! This little medieval town is a photographer’s dream, with picture perfect vignettes at every turn. We love it, and can’t pass it up.
Day 4: Another fun packed day: This one at l’Isle sur la Sorgue, just minutes from Les Murets. This town, which already boasts more antique and design stores than any town in France other than Paris, celebrates Easter weekend with a huge fair that closes down the streets and sprawls all over town.
We will peruse the outdoor market looking for unusual collectibles, like vintage art, baskets, mirrors and more and then head to lunch at our favorite restaurant. We’ll spend the afternoon in the shops of the regular dealers, with whom we’ve been working for years, and whose booths will make you want to buy everything in them. The beauty is: You can! Our shipper will be lined up to ship all your goodies home.
Day 5: Wait: Another fair? Sacre bleu! We'll take you to another little-known secret fair outside of Avignon in the morning, and then have lunch in this historic town which housed the papacy during the XIVth century when Avignon was part of the Holy Roman Empire.
Day 6: As this is Easter Sunday, we’ll offer the option to attend a church service in the morning, and then head to the farmer's market in nearby Coustellet, which draws crowds from all over the region for its selection of fresh produce and one-of-a-kind items. We'll have a surprise afternoon, depending on the group, which will either include some group cooking in the kitchen of Les Murets, a leisurely hike or a trip back to Isle sur la Sorgue for a final day of antique shopping.
Whatever we decide to do, this evening will be one of our favorites: The mandatory Show and Tell, hosted by you in your rooms, where you will (artfully?) display some of your goodies for everyone to see. Champagne is de rigueur, along with ooohs and aaah's ... and lots of laughs.
Day 7: We sadly bid you Adieu in the morning, as our driver will whisk you away to the Avignon train station If you choose to stay on in Paris, we'll be happy to share our hotel or apartment recommendations along with fun things to do in the City of Light.
As with all of our Buying Trips, we’ll advise you on the provenance of your finds, help in the negotiations with vendors and handle all the shipping back to Atlanta. Your treasures will arrive within 8 – 10 weeks to our receiving company in Atlanta, from which you can pick them up directly or arrange to have them shipped to your home. And as with all of our trips to Provence, your transportation within Provence is included, along with all meals and wine every day.
So what do you think? Does this sound like a dream come true? We tested it last week and can answer with a resounding, "Oui!" Just ask Trudy, posing here and ready to shop in Provence!
P.S. If you’re not familiar with our trips, visit our website to get a flavor of what we offer. And ladies, if this Buying Trip sounds like a dream come true, let us know before we post it on our website.