Since moving to Provence, the Plan de la Tour market has become a weekly ritual. It isn’t the biggest market in the area and while it is busy and bustling in the middle of summer, it can feel a little ghostly out of season. But it is an important part of village life, with everyone stocking up on their provisions for the week from local vendors and producers.
The olives here are prepared and sold by a lady who my Grandma remembers running the same stand over twenty years ago. And they truly are the best olives I’ve tried, (particularly the garlic flavoured green ones).
There’s always a queue at the butcher’s stall as the locals order his choice cuts and enjoy his banter, and the cheese seller is a formidable moustachioed guy, who will soberly discuss the maturity and production process behind his range of Comté fromages (and he’ll give you a taster of each if you ask nicely).
So every Thursday I’m there, indulging in fresh goats cheese, locally reared eggs and seasonal veg. C’est la vraie vie française.
And to show I’m not totally biased here are some other local Provençal markets to check out:
St Tropez Market (Tuesdays and Saturdays): Great for people watching and buying gifts, but you’ll be crammed in cheek by jowl with the other tourists if you venture here in mid-summer.
Le Muy Market (Sundays): The most fantastic choice of fruit and veg, with stalls strewn with wreathes of garlic and industrial quantities of tomatoes and onions. Good value too but don’t expect much in the way of local delicacies or gifts.
Les Issambres Brocante Market (Thursdays, seasonal): A lovely little antiques market (known as a Brocante). I found myself rifling through the fantastic selection of vintage silk scarves (and picked up a Lacroix number, darling). This market is seasonal and closes in the winter. If you’re on the hunt for secondhand furniture and antiques there’s also Jas des Roberts.
As and when I find other local gems I’ll update this post and if you know of any other markets I should check out I’m open to suggestions.