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Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

A New Shopping Experience

I wonder if you recognise this village?

It looks like it could be anywhere in Provence, but in fact it is totally new and home to over 80 top brand boutiques, 7 cafés and a host of customer-friendly services.  McArthurGlen Provence, the ‘village des marques’, which opened in the spring, is at Miramas, an easy 45 minute drive from Aix.

The company has taken enormous efforts to recreate the village aesthetic: the buildings are typical of the area and the cobbled squares  have fountains and pretty plants.  But this village also has:

  • a splendid playground for children

This large playground is well-placed next to one of the cafes

  • babychanging facilities next to sparkling loos
  • huge free car parks
  • free wifi and phone-charge area
  • baby-buggies and wheelchairs
  • multilingual customer service and on-site tax rebates for non-EU shoppers.

Brands include Nike, Levis, Michael Kors, Armani, Diesel, Escada, Calvin Klein, Superdry, Timberland – lots of clothes, shoes and some home & decoration shops.  As it is an outlet, there are good discounts and the company’s web-site has offers (print out vouchers, that sort of thing).

Alongside all of this is a spacious art gallery currently showing ‘Rodin and His Contemporaries’.  The show features eight rare and fine quality Rodin bronzes – including original castings of his most successful work, ‘The Burghers of Calais’, his full-length study of Balzac and his portrait of Victor Hugo. A further 14 iconic bronze sculptures are on display from Rodin’s most celebrated contemporaries, including Aristide Maillol.  This ends September 9th but a new exhibition will be installed for October.

The cafés range from Farinella for Italian dishes, a good patisserie, Dubble Food for salads, smoothies and wraps (all the better to fit in those designer clothes), Bistrot Provence, Burger Federation and Starbucks.

We enjoyed our first visit this week – kids back to school, it was probably quieter than normal, but as the South of France’s first designer outlet, it had a healthy number of shoppers, most returning to cars with lots of smart carrier-bags.

Open: Mon-Sat 10-21:00hrs

Details: https://www.mcarthurglen.com/fr/mcarthurglen-provence/en/

 

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The latest in the series of ‘Les Dimanches de la Canebiere’ takes place  on Sunday.  These events have been created to bring people back to the town centre and seem to be getting more and more popular.  This time, there will be an Egyptian brunch at Nour d’Egypte while Toinou are offering Plancha de la Mer et Aioli on their terrace – Mediterranean feasts!  Lots of activities for the family too – dance, music, games, market – here’s the press release: Présentation-prog-juin-site-mairie-1-7

We normally park at the MuCEM parking which is really easy on a Sunday.  Here’s the poster for info:

 

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June is upon us and with it, so much to do. This post will just cover the upcoming weekend….with a listing for the rest of the month to follow. (more…)

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Sunday really is an ideal time to visit Toulon as the traffic is lighter, it’s easier to park and the market is in full swing. It’s a good market with the top part North African (more…)

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Le Chat Qui Tricote is a brand new salon du thé/knitting craft centre which has opened to the delight of local aficionados.  Now they have somewhere to buy wool, yarns and all the accessories they need.  But if you can’t knit and want to learn, their series of workshops starts tomorrow (Saturday April 8th) with their ‘Initiation au Tricot’.

Children are not forgotten – on the 12th, there is a session making Easter baskets – and Thursday night is Knitting Night for all (18:30-22:00hrs).

The menu looks good – it includes quiches, cakes (French-style), soups and pâtisseries gourmands, all fait maison.

The centre is at 28 rue Constantin, Aix; full details are here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/lechatquitricote/about/?ref=page_internal

Thank you to Florence for sending this news to Aixcentric.

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To attract visitors back to frequenting – and spending money – in centre ville, the mayors of the 1st and 7th arrondissements have devised a programme of entertainments in a pedestrianised Canebiere on the last Sunday of each month, a great idea.  I reported on our visit in January here: https://aixcentric.com/2017/01/24/marseille-surprises-on-sunday/

This coming Sunday, March 26th, the event will have ‘Musique’ as the theme. (more…)

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