les Soldes -the sales – are a twice yearly phenomenon in France,
They’re a much anticipated social event and almost impossible for me to resist. Avignon is on my solde radar every season so yesterday a friend and I braved the August crowds to see what the final markdowns might offer.
Girlfriends, shopping and sales inevitably leads to at least one new pair of shoes. And so it was, with bags of shoes in both hands, we wound our way behind the Palais des Papes for a celebratory afternoon tea at La Mirande.
La Mirande is my dream hotel and the perfect post (or pre) shopping rest stop. There’s a pair of 18th century chairs tucked up to a small table in the corner of the intimate bar; my favorite spot to savor a glass of red wine on a fall day.
In the winter, the sunny atrium is the place we often stop for hot chocolate. Yesterday we popped in for a cup of Gyokuro and an assortment of pastries they offer at tea time. Alone or with a friend if I’m in Avignon, I make my way here.
The hotel’s decoration beautifully blends 18th and 19th century styles. It’s flawless and old world and not the least bit stuffy. The woodwork, the brilliant panes of undulating hand blown glass, the stone pavers, the period antiques, the wall coverings and fabrics. I walk away longing to redecorate my entire life.
They even offer cooking classes and intimate dinners in the kitchen prepared by the chef as you look on. It’s only 45 minutes away from my home but I’m thinking that it just may be this year’s preferred vacation destination!