Summer calm at the mall

Up and over the craggy notch of the Alpilles mountains, down through vineyards and tiny villages, plus a few roundabouts and voilà, you’ve arrived!  Not at a cram-packed beach. Not at a bustling city center. Nope. You’re in a quiet oasis of calm, away from the maddening crowds, surrounded by bubbling fountains and cascading petunias—at a shopping mall!

Miramas mall

This isn’t a run of the mill, scruffy retail therapy center. Mais non. The new McArthurGlen outlet mall in Miramas—45 minutes from St. Rémy—is a sparkling (albeit faux) French village of pastel “houses,” flower-filled window boxes, open squares with umbrella-shaded benches, not to mention a bistro on every block, and spacious, sparkling toilets on every corner.

Miramas street lamp

While walking from boutique to boutique, you’re treated to these vibrant geraniums, which brighten up a hot summer afternoon on “main street.”

Miramas wall ad

Though chances are you won’t see any “villagers” in traditional dress, you can find boutiques offering luscious, locally produced olive oil.

Miramas horse sculpture

And there’s not just shopping here. Art appreciation is also on offer, this sculpture of a noble steed, a case in point. Around the corner, a Rodin exposition was in progress, as well.

Miramas quiet corner

And when your credit card and feet need a break, this inviting table awaits.

Here, in a shopping mall of all places, in the middle of summer, in the middle of Provence, you can find peace–and perhaps a special treasure at an “interesting” price. Who knew!

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