in pursuit of more

living with just a little less

Market Day in Provence

Alas it does seem a while since I posted, bonjour everyone! Truth be told, it’s been somewhat challenging to blog from the road here, as time inside is limited and my mind is flooded with new sensations, views, ideas, and inspiration, none of which have solidified enough to properly put to words.

It is also (put more simply) that I am (and for the first time in a long time and maybe actually ever) in pure honest vacation mode, and my mind has turned off (mostly) everything. All to make room for the new.

Here, in Provence (where we arrived Friday after a few glorious days in Burgundy), I was treated Sunday to my very first Provencal market experience, and what a treat that was! The adorable and ancient village where we are based, called L’isle Sur La Sorgue, is somewhat popular for its markets, most notably antiques.

Provence itself as a much larger area, (I just read in my French history book) has been celebrated since the Roman times for its particularly good fresh produce.

With the area being somewhat continually drenched in hot sun (it has been between 35 and 40 degrees steady since we arrived), one would think it obvious that this food would be good, and I had heard that indeed, it was.

But I was not prepared for this. There are simply no words that could adequately describe the taste of the food that grows here, for this is (for any fruit and vegetable lover) a total mecca. So in the absence of new recipes, I do hope you’ll enjoy a little tour of the town and the market with me here – as I’ve tried to do it justice, but I’ll let you be the judge 🙂

I am quite sure I read there were over 300 stalls at this market on Sunday, and judging by the fact that we couldn’t even see it all, I believe it.

This little village, with its narrow ancient streets, transformed into a bustling shopping zone with sellers & producers offering everything from soap, to clothing, records, antiques, jewellery, shoes, bags, scarves, spices, and of course food.

Forget every stereotype you’ve ever heard about the French being anything less than polite. Here, they are warm, and excited to see visitors delight in their hard work. In fact, here in the south, the people are downright wonderful.

There are so many characters in a small village like this. And their food, their food. It is truly sublime, not to mention very cheap (I’ll share more in my next post on just how inexpensive it really is).

In my next post I’ll tell you the top foods we’ve been enjoying here, especially since arriving here in Provence where we’ve got a full functioning kitchen, a barbeque, and an outdoor eating area to enjoy the food and the company under the open skies.

After Paris, and then a few days in a hotel in Beaune, we are happy to be enjoying a lovely amount of space here, and are taking advantage of the fresh food & views available right around the corner.

65 responses to “Market Day in Provence

  1. Bonjour Shira et famille!

    Yahoo! I’m so happy for you! The markets look sublime – all those wonderful colours – the tomatoes, the (was it) Roman cauliflower (?), the happy faces. It sounds (and looks) as though you are having the most wonderful time.

    The stand out meal I had in Provence was Bouillabaisse. I can still taste it…

    Big hugs from down here.

    1. Hi J! I know that was Roman cauli – just hanging out like it was no big thing!
      We are surely enjoying ourselves, it is a fabulous place and we feel very far from home!
      Bouillabaisse – yummy! For us it is the melons and the nectarines……wow! xx

  2. The Provence is truly beautiful. I went there several times when I was younger, together with my parents. You pictures make me realize just how great it was and how much I’d love to go back! On my ‘to eat’ list would definitely be: a lunch with French bread and crumbly white, creamy cheese and a glass of rosé. Eaten of course on a picknick blanket or a bench, in the shade of a platan. Hmmm…

    1. Loving the sounds of your lunch! I would be lying if I said that wasn’t our favorite meal here…. 🙂 And so affordable too! Happy you enjoyed the shots! xx

  3. What beautiful photo’s I want to dive right into to those olives 🙂 In fact I would quite happily be in the Provence. My favourite flower is the sunflower too…ahh I remember as kids being in France playing in the sunflower fields…. OK back to reality…. enjoy the rest of your trip 🙂

  4. Wow those pictures Shira- amazing! I am so happy you are having such a rich an fulfilling experience. I can’t wait to hear more about it and see how it inspires you back home.

    While I can’t wait to have you back (I miss you!) I hope you enjoy every last second of your time there!


    1. Miss you too girl (that was uber-sweet, btw) – loving the last day here so far and just about to hit the Thursday market after my morning coffee 🙂
      Back to regular life sometime next week… 🙂 xox

  5. We spent a month in l’Isle sur la Sorgue in the Fall of ’07. Immediately when I saw your lovely photos I knew that’s where you were. Thanks for taking me back! We loved a Vietnamese restaurant there (called Le Saigon, I think). Enjoy the rest of your journey.

    1. Fabulous! I could easily extend this stay to enjoy the fall harvest too – you must have loved it here! So happy to share with others who have been (and a few who are going too!) Thanks Michelle! xx

    1. Thanks, and glad you enjoyed! The figs are so ripe here they only last a day, which meant I had to eat them all in a day – it was so hard! 😉

  6. Oh my I would be in total heaven here – what an amazing experience you are having Shira – you have truly brought us along through your writings and amazing photos- thank you!

  7. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. I especially love the portrait. Great expression. The brocante looks fantastic. Did you score any treasures? Enjoy, Shira!! (Thanks for the tour!!)

  8. OMG!! It looks like a foodie’s paradise! I have officially added your trip to my bucket list. I would love to have my boys see all of that beautiful produce. Kinda seems unfair that I don’t have access to a market like that here in good ‘ole San Clemente, CA. Everyone who adores amazing produce deserves to shop in a market like that!

  9. I’m so jealous that you have a full kitchen–on so many of my trips to France we were staying at hotels, which means going to those beautiful markets was pure torture! I couldn’t choose one thing to eat there—I’d want everything I’m off of at the moment: A glass of chilled white wine, a fresh baguette with some creamy, stinky cheese, some sliced tomatoes, some saucisson….YUM! Photos are beautiful! Don’t worry about us…enjoy!

    1. Thanks Jennifer! Yes the kitchen is very nice, and salads are plentiful – funny that it is just too hot to cook or get fancy – which means simple salads, bread, cheese, and (ahem) great (inexpensive in comparison) wine….. 😉 One day left here! xx

  10. Dear Shira! Even more than usual I delighted in your post today! Visually stunning, for starters! What a paradise you’ve brought us! And (oh lucky us!) Guinea Pig and I are heading to the same places you will just be returning home from! Yes, Isle sur la Sorge! Yes Beaune! Yes Paris too! So happy to see this post of yours today, so happy knowing the delight you’re enjoying there! And I’m so looking forward to all that is to come as a result of your sweet and delectable time in France! Ahhh! xox

    1. Wow Spree – that is awesome! When do you leave? The funny thing is I have another friend (my boss) who almost did the exact same trip as well – I guess it is a popular circuit, and I highly recommend it to anyone! Loving this coincidence, too amazing 🙂 Beaune was so magical! xx

  11. Shira, glad you’re having such a wonderful time! I’ve been to Sur la Sorgue and to the market and I agree; it’s astounding. As to what I’d want to eat, right now I’d love some of those figs, tomatoes, olives….well, pretty much anything in the pictures. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures and don’t worry about not blogging–just enjoy. You can blog later.

  12. Wow, your photos are so beautiful. All that fresh food looks so appetizing. It really makes me feel like I’m there too. When I was in France I struggled to eat as a vegetarian. Now as a vegan I think I’d struggle even more. I loved the way I could just walk into a shop and buy a baguette and some cheese and just walk down the street taking a bit out of each one in turn. It seemed a lot more of a simple way of eating but more delicious. Anyway, thank you for such a great post.

    1. So true! Being vegan there would be next to impossible, if not totally frustrating! The produce being as good as it is preparing meals from scratch would be okay, but eating out would be a nightmare!
      Glad you enjoyed the shots, it was such a gorgeous day at the market!

    1. Love all those things! Not a fish eater but I did steal a great recipe for a veggie bouillabaise that I might try 🙂 I tried to eat figs daily as they are so good there! I love California figs too though 🙂

  13. I am so glad to hear you are fully enjoying your vacation, NO distractions. That includes blogging, family time is much more important! These photos are gorgeous and I LOVE the shots of the market, adorable!!

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