Monday, August 18, 2014

Le jardin du quai - L'Isle sur la Sorgue



We were arguing politics with a decidedly right-leaning antiques dealer when I noticed that the lights in the rest of the hall had gone out. Monsieur's wife was waiting by with a twinge of impatience in her upper lip. Closing time had come and gone. With a forced laugh I barked out, "If you gentlemen continue any longer, I will have to take a nap on your Louis XVI settee!" That worked and I saw the inner churnings as Remi, my dear companion, silently conceded that we would have to return another day to finish the conversation. 

As we let ourselves out, we passed amongst so many bijous of antiques, sitting quietly in the dark, waiting to catch an admirer's attention. How I wished that I could transform into Audrey Hepburn in "How to Steal a Million" for ah, she would be tempted. But of course, I could not.


We stumbled past the Napoleon III desks and out the dimly lit back exit to find the sky had matched our moods and turned to gray.


But oh, what a wonderful mix of a mist we found ourselves in.


A bit of a wonderland. The gardens of le jardin du quai, one of the most romantic restaurants in all of Provence, to be precise. 


Because of the rain, the garden was closed. We were alone and made ourselves at home because it was easy to do.


The flowers said, "Welcome." They know their job.

As we would soon be heading up into the hills to our mazet rental in a land without internet reception, Remi sat at a table and languidly charged his messages from a world that seemed si lointain even though Arles is only little over an hour away.


I wandered, camera in hand but it was almost like an afterthought, just a way of confirming with an inner nod, "Yes, I am seeing this. Pinch me, it is real." After nine years of living in this region, may I never lose sight of that instinctive hope.


I took my time.


And it was funny because none of the antiques that were for sale had moved me anywhere near what the living version of all that style and grace did in this garden.


I know and knew that it was created for effect but it was still a bit of living history...


...and all the more beautiful as we were the only ones there to appreciate it. 

Some of the evening's kitchen crew snaked past to the back door of the kitchen. One of the young women, seeing my wonder, nodded at me and smiled with acknowledgement and pride.


Le jardin du quai
91 Avenue Julien Guigne
84800 L'Isle sur la Sorgue
Tel.: 04 90 20 14 98


Is it odd to write about a restaurant where you haven't eaten? Maybe. But then again, how many have made me dream as much? Not many. So take a seat, my friends, there actually is a second act to this number and no food is involved...

Thank you for being here, thank you for reading Lost in Arles...

40 comments:

  1. It does seem like a magical place - all the more special because you were able to enjoy it by yourselves.

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    1. Isn't it true Loree? It must be so different normally. It is one of the most popular restaurants in the region!

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  2. I really love those outdoor tables in the yard. Such beautiful pictures as always Heather.

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  3. Talk about magic...seeing the table with flower petals is like a dream taking its first steps...inspiring...for me...where you live is beautiful because your photographs are beautiful.

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    1. That is a lovely compliment, thank you...

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  4. So green and lush! I think you should go back there to eat! It really is beautiful and romantic - thank you for sharing your discovery with us!

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    1. I wonder if they put up a million candles at night? That would be neat to see, Sister!

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  5. a lovely escape during some insane days
    thank you

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    1. I know that I needed the calm, glad you felt the same...

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  6. I imagine the greetings, petals falling on your hair on your arrival at Le jardin du quai. And your table covered with petals. Will you be tempted to walk around carrying your glass of wine while waiting for your order? Or will you stay on your seats and have a love-talk?

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  7. Nothing could equal the charm of this wonderful place, Heather.
    So happy you & Remi are out & about meeting all the new people and fitting right in with everyone.

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    1. Marsha, I was initially saving these images for a "By Invitation Only" post but couldn't wait any longer!

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  8. It is not at all odd to write about a living art work which you have experienced first hand and beautifully captured on camera. I never cease to be amazed by what can be unintentially "discovered" in France. Warm regards

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    1. So true, Elizabeth. There is so much that is there for the taking, all we have to do is open our eyes and enjoy!

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  9. At least the antiques dealer was willing to discuss... but then how wise of you to focus on the beauty of your surrounding and forget the worries!

    It is indeed as some have already mentioned a magical place, especially emptied by the rain and turned into a lush setting for a "Grimms Märchen".
    See one of my favorite plants there. The one with the purple blossoms which can hang or climb. It is called "Blue Rain" in German. (:

    Did I tell you, we are planning to be in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue around next March? We already spotted a nice rental and we will definitely visit this restaurant.

    PS: I am nearly through " It's In His Kiss". It works as well as a "recovery-read" as for the supposed to be " pool-side-read". Thrilling and amusing". (:

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    1. Ah, Vickie will be happy to hear that you have enjoyed it and of course it is a great recovery read! And I am so happy to hear that you are planning your next trip back...you will love that area. I would probably suggest to not stay directly in the center of L'Isle because of parking but in March it won't be crowded...

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  10. Wonderful; lovely touch of sultry summer gloom.

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    1. Beautifully put, G. Oh how behind I am in reading your posts!

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  11. I caught the reference to lack of internet. That was one of the glaring realities we learned in the area of Greece where we had found 'our home'. . .lack of internet, land lines and even telephone poles. The latter had to be installed and paid for by the persons wanting the phone line. Would certainly have changed the amount of time I spent in the blogosphere -- but then maybe that would have been a good thing!?

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    1. I know that not being on the blogosphere while I was in the States did me a lot of good. :) But it is nice to be able to chose!

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  12. Beautiful pics and prose of this magical place! All that is missing are the pups;-)
    So glad you took the time to linger and share with us! It is fun to explore thru your lens and I look forward to discovering your new surroundings with you!

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    1. Merci Trudye. But is that a hint for a post with the puppers in it? It has been a while...I will try for one soon. :)

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  13. Dream a little dream on, Heather..sometimes dreams become reality...and still living 9 yrs in Provence...can you ever get tired enjoying this most beautiful part of France?

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  14. The ninth photo was an "Epiphany" for me.....! Thanks for the beauty you describe in words and pictures.

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    1. Oh good! Then you will like the second part, Emilia. Bisous...

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  15. C'est aussi un bel endroit que j'aime beaucoup,j'ai eu un vrai coup de cœur pour le Jules Cesar.

    Amicalement,

    Manon

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    1. Moi aussi! Nous avons besoins d'un lieu pareil à Arles. Bon Weekend, "Voisine"! ;)

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  16. Gorgeous, moody, gorgeous. (I feel like I just had a spa day... but better.)

    xo

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    1. Is there anything better than a spa day? ;) Bisous.

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  17. Thank you for the lovely garden tour. Your flowers are all so pretty and I bet your roses are so fragrant. Hope you have a wonderful vacation.
    Outdoor & Gardening

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  18. Wow, Heather. No need to eat, that garden is a feast all on it's own. Well, I suppose I wouldn't turn down a meal there when life takes me back to Provence that someday. But to wander undisturbed in such a beautiful place looks like a dream come true. Hope you enjoy a glorious weekend! XOXO

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    1. Wishing you the same pretty one! And yes, Provence is caaaaalllingggg youuuuu....

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  19. Exquisite light! It was different when I was there, not as lush, but beautiful in its own way too of course. How I would love to be back and see you again. XXXXX G

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    1. And I you! Friend that is too far away...

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  20. Love seeing this through your lens, we had a wonderful dinner there last fall, really a very special place.

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