Off to mar­ket

One of the best things about life in France is hav­ing a lo­cal marché on your doorstep. Here are some of our favourites across the coun­try


AIX-EN-PROVENCE, BOUCHES-DU-RHÔNE, PROVENCEALPES-CÔTE D’AZUR When: Daily Where: Place Richelme On most days dur­ing the week, the vieille ville in Aix-en-Provence turns into a gi­ant ex­tended mar­ket ( pic­tured above) where you can browse de­li­cious re­gional pro­duce in a beau­ti­ful his­tor­i­cal set­ting. Shop­pers head out into the morn­ing air and browse the stalls on Place Richelme; fill­ing their bags and bas­kets with de­li­cious lo­cal wine, bread, and cheese as well as olive oil, fresh fruit, herbs, honey, gar­lic, veg­eta­bles, meat and fish. aix­en­provence­ PÉRIGUEUX, DOR­DOGNE, AQUITAINE When: Wed­nes­days and Satur­days Where: Place de la Clautre This square was orig­i­nally the place where ex­e­cu­tions took place in the town but to­day, twice a week, it is packed with stalls laden with fresh lo­cal pro­duce. The mar­ket spills out into Place du Coderc and Place de la Mairie, and in the sum­mer, the many va­ri­eties of lo­cally grown straw­ber­ries are a high­light. Also not to be missed are well-known Périg­or­dian del­i­ca­cies: duck and goose foie gras, con­fit de ca­nard, wal­nuts and chest­nuts. AMIENS, SOMME, PI­CARDY When: Satur­days Where: Place Par­men­tier In the Mid­dle Ages, the ‘float­ing gar­dens’ around Amiens pro­vided the towns­folk with fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles. Les hor­tillon­ages, as they are known, cover 300 hectares of re­claimed marsh­land along the banks of the Rivers Avre and Somme, which flow through the town. They are in­ter­laced with 65km of small canals, known lo­cally as ‘ rieux’, and ev­ery Satur­day, the hor­tillons who tend th­ese fer­tile is­lands sell their pro­duce in Place Par­men­tier on Quai Bélu, in the town’s Saint-Leu dis­trict. Once a year, on the third Satur­day in June, is the Marché sur l’Eau. In cel­e­bra­tion of their hor­ti­cul­tural her­itage, the hor­tillons dress in tra­di­tional cos­tume, load up their bar­que à cor­net boats with fruit, veg­eta­bles and flow­ers, and travel up the River Somme to Quai Bélu, just as they have done for cen­turies, to sell their har­vest on the quay. hor­tillon­

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