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Markets of Provence – What a Delight!

Markets of Provence – What a Delight!

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
We’re looking ahead to summer –  why not join us on the fabulous Amalfi Coast , in Provence, or Amsterdam?

Would we like to review the new Markets of Provence: Food, Antiques, Crafts, and More by Marjorie R. Williams asked St. Martin’s Press? Absolutely, we replied! And what a sensory and inspirational read it has been, virtually transporting us to some of our favorite villages and reminding us of those scents, sights, and flavors that always enthrall.CAM10582 Markets of ProvenceI was immediately drawn in with the Introduction: “What’s the best way to see, taste, and smell Provence? The answer, I believe, is to visit its markets…”
If you’ve read our blog or seen our photos on Instagram and Facebook, you KNOW we love our markets! And the markets of Provence actually inspired us, way back in 2002, to start Music and Markets Tours so we could share that love with others!
Arranged by day-of-the-week, Marjorie begins with the renowned L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue antiques market,CAM10582 Markets of Provence ISLSORGUE filling this charmer of a town on Sundays…who wouldn’t pause for a photo beside the “moss-covered waterwheels” while perusing the treasures spread out on tables and the ground?
Monday – Cadenet, with it’s little drummer boy statue anchoring the village market, 072406CadenetWednesday – Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, one of the best for sure,CAM10582 Markets of Provence SRemy taking over the historic center and beyond with one fascinating stall after another, and of course our beloved Aix en Provence, “a captivating city with architectural flourishes and gushing fountains” on ThursdayCAM10582 Markets of Provence aix (also Tuesday and Saturday, although there’s a produce market EVERY day on Place Richelme)…how soon can we get back?!
Snippets of information inform even those of us who’ve been enjoying these markets for years – who knew that “the most established stands at Provençal markets are often near churches?”
I love Marjorie’s description of Market Day Setup – we’ve often walked through the market squares of Aix early in the morning, as the vendors are doing just that: “Oysters are sorted by size as swiftly as hands of poker. Rotisseries fire up; chickens are slid onto long metal skewers. Finishing touches dress up the displays…”
Heading for the South of France, or just ready to reminisce over previous village visits? Click right here to order your own copy of  Markets of Provence: Food, Antiques, Crafts, and More– the perfect size to carry along as you discover this luscious region in the best way possible!
As I have, you’ll return to it again and again, transported to glorious Provence!

Summer Days in Aix en Provence

Summer Days in Aix en Provence

Summer in Aix 2014

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!  How about an unforgettable holiday with us at  New Years’ Jazz in Italy

We’ve had a few quiet days, no concerts in the nearby square, just time with friends, Sunday morning church, work, market strolls…life in the south of France.
After church on Sunday Kirk returned to work – his office is set up in the study/second bedroom and oh is he using it this trip (as I write I’m listening to him talking on a conference call)!
Before coming home to make lunch I walked through the monthly brocante (vintage) market on Place des Prêcheurs….not to buy, just to look…at linens rippling in the breeze,

copper polished to a ruddy shine,

lots of art and books, and even an accordion offered by the relaxed vendors.

Monday morning, time to shop for dinner with friends tonight…would you believe I went to all three Monoprix grocery stores in town, several stalls at the daily market, Picard (the frozen food emporium) and the bakery?! Tried to get everything done as early as possible – today threatens to be the hottest day of the entire summer! The lions on the Rotonde fountain seem to enjoy basking in the sun.

and just across the street is the finally-finished Apple store, with requisite line out front. Looks much like the one in Reston Town Center, back in Virginia!

Xavier and Michelle are our guests tonight, and although it’s still 90 outside, we keep comfortably cool in our 18th century home – the thick walls (and a good fan or two circulating the air) do a good  job of insulation, unlike more recent construction.
Xavier, a good friend who owns, renovates, and maintains a couple of apartment buildings in the historic center, has been such a great help from the very beginning of our Aix home ownership. We’re thankful to finally have the opportunity to renovate the kitchen and bathroom so in between dinner and dessert we look at the rooms together. Tomorrow we have appointments with two contractors, and Michelle knows another whom we’ll also have come view the projects while we’re here. We’ve got the kitchen figured out, but the bathroom is a mystery….WHY was it designed and built in two levels? We’d like it all on one level – is that possible?

Kirk and Xavier pull out the measuring tape and measure inside and out, peering out the windows to see what’s what, and we remember that one of the huge old keys we were given when we bought the house opens a door on the common stairway that is “ours” and used to be a communal washroom/laundry. Maybe there will be a clue to why the bathroom’s designed this way….but they get the door open and it’s now all bricked up inside. Another mystery!

Tuesday’s a major market day in Aix, and although we don’t need a thing (lots of good leftovers from last night’s feast!), we have to at least walk through – it’s always a delight of sights, with a rainbow of colors  – light cotton Morroccan Foutas that can be used as beachtowels, shawls, tablecoverings, throws,

flavors – tender, smoky sundried tomatoes – so much better than what I find in the US

and smells – lavender crafted into pillows, dolls, and sachets

And we end up with a new rug for the bathroom – a deal at 5 €!
There are many lanes that get us to and from the markets, but we always like to walk by one of our favorite spots, Place de Trois Ormeaux, where the rosé’s always chilling in the summer,

and at the moment an adorable toddler’s chilling too.
Happy in Aix….