France is full of charming, beautiful little towns. It’s often so idyllic that I can barely stand it. Enter, Arles. The cutest, artsiest, little town in the Bouches-du-Rhône. There’s not much to do in this town except see world class art and eat like royalty.
La Gueule Du Loup (The Wolf’s Mouth)
Upon arriving in Arles, my brother and I scoped out a place for dinner. We landed on La Gueule Du Loup, and I must say, it was one of the best decisions we made during our trip. La Gueule Du Loup is situated on a small corner near the central square. A very unassuming place from the outside, this quaint restaurant thoughtfully turns out some of the best food I’ve ever had. For 35€/person we got a 3 course meal that we also paired with some organic local wine. Here’s what we had:
After eating all that good food, we definitely had to walk it off the next day.
Our first stop was the Arles Amphitheater. Built in 90 AD, the amphitheater was capable of seating over 20,000 spectators, and was built to provide entertainment in the form of chariot races and bloody hand-to-hand battles (Wikipedia). It’s a really cool structure, but personally I didn’t want to drop the 9.00€ to go inside.
Luma Foundation Arles
Next, we walked out of the center towards the Luma Foundation Arles. The towering Frank Gehry structure is the centerpiece of the foundation that supports the activities of innovative and independent artists and institutions working in the visual arts, photography, publishing, documentary films and multimedia (Luma Foundation Arles). It wasn’t open to the public yet, but is set to be ready for visitors in the summer of 2019.
Vincent Van Gogh Foundation
Other than the food, the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation is my favorite thing about Arles. This is one of the best and most diverse museums I’ve ever been to. It is a MUST when in Arles, hell, it’s worth making the trip out. The exhibition going on during our visit was centered around the them of the “Sun.”
HOT SUN, LATE SUN. UNTAMED MODERNISM focuses on an incredibly diverse array of artists from more modern works by Sun Ra and Joan Mitchell, to Giorgio De Chirico, and more widely known artists like Picasso, Van Gogh, and Adolphe Monticelli. I must note, that i was particularly impressed by the showing of Sun Ra’s more eccentric works. In no other “classical” museum have I seen so much physical real estate dedicated to a black artist – it was awesome.
By the time we were done with the Van Gogh foundation we were hangry. Walking through the streets of Arles, nothing seems to catch our eyes and making a decision was impossible, the true signs of exhausted hunger. So on a whim we stopped at Monstre. Talk about being lucky. The meal we had at Monstre was amazing, but more than that the atmosphere was right out of a hipster’s fantasy. Everyone eating there looked like they’d be cast for the part, the scenery was simply just too cool, and the food was FANTASTIC. Here’s what we had:
After dinner we had to close the night out on an even higher note at L’Hôtel Particulier. For those of you who don’t know, I have a boujee (bourgeoisie) streak – I just really love high quality fancy shit. I just chock it up to having good taste. If you’re looking for a luxury escape while in Arles, look no further than L’Hôtel Particulier. This place is so beautiful and way too expensive, but the quality, service, and atmosphere make up for it. My brother and I went two days in a row for a post dinner Kir Royal. And even at 15€/ drink, it was totally worth it.
Arles is one of my new favorite little towns, and I highly recommend it for a chill getaway if you happen to be in the South of France.
Au revoir et bonne journee!