The fantastic Friday Market at Lourmarin

As you know I’m a real sucker for the local markets and can happily spend a whole week visiting them in turn, sitting in a café having a ‘grand-crème’ whilst watching the world go by and heading home with a basket full of the wonderful local produce, perhaps with a couple of hand-crafted pieces too.

Pretty pottery bowls at Lourmarin

Over the last 3 weeks though on each Friday I have found myself taking the drive across the beautiful Plateau Des Claparèdes, which lies between Saignon and Bonnieux, before dropping through the Gorge onto the South side of the Luberon and to the pretty town of Lourmarin & its wonderful market.

Pretty stone borie & autumn leaves on the Plateau Des Claparèdes

I have to admit that Lourmarin is a beautiful place to visit on any day of the week, with its pretty Chateau…

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The beautiful & striking Chateau on the edge of the village

Gorgeous honey-coloured buildings and cobbled streets…….

The pretty main street

Faded paintwork & old shutters…..

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Wonderful faded advertising above the old shutters on the shopfront

Lovely cafes……

Café Gaby – a favourite coffee-stop

And a great selection of independently owned shops……

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Homewares at L’Apothicaire – a favourite shop of mine

Friday morning though is Market Day and this is when it really comes to life.

I have a real soft spot for this market & found myself there in the day that the Brexit Referendum results were announced. I can honestly say I was in a state of shock and needed to head somewhere that would give me a sense that the world hadn’t shifted on its axis and it was the right thing to do as I found sympathy from the many stall-holders who ended up chatting to me when they realised I was English, shocked too at the result.

Now I like nothing better than to arrive at about 9 (or even just before), walk through the stalls that are still being set up, find a seat for breakfast in the central ‘Café Gaby’ and watch the day really get going.

Breakfast on market day

I always think this is the best time of day, when the streets are empty and people are quietly going about their business, wandering past with arms full of flowers, baskets full of veg or sitting with a ‘café’ reading the local paper or catching up with friends.

It isn’t often you get to see Lourmarin like this

It’s at this time of day that you can see the little things that happen, which just make you smile, like the time the street was blocked with a broken down car. This would normally result in a cacophony of horns and more than a few frustrated arm gestures. This though is Lourmarin & surprisingly everyone just accepted they were likely to be there for a while, got out of their cars to get a coffee & have a chat until the local Policeman arrived to deal with the problem with the help of the Postman – Clearly the officer wasn’t expecting such an early call as he arrived wearing jeans with his official uniform jacket. All I can say is that it was an incredibly relaxed response to a situation that I would have imagined would have seen tempers frayed!

The day the traffic stopped!

Then there is the ever wonderful ‘Max’, the Golden Retriever that belongs to Pablo, who runs the L’Apothicare homewares shop in the village. Max is a larger than life, but very gentle dog, who spends most of his time lying inside, or outside the shop just happy to greet anyone that passes by. He does though know where to go for a treat and just opposite L’Apothicaire is a Pizza shop and he is often to be seen stood with his front paws just on the threshold as if he has his nose pressed against a (non-existant) glass door. I’ve watched him stand there for ages, not moving even when people wander past him into the shop. He never tries to go further than the imaginary glass door and I am sure he is eventually rewarded for his patience, and to be honest so he should be!

Max in the shop – our retriever would have knocked everything off!

Eventually though I do drag myself away from an indulgent hour (or so) people-watching and head off to explore the market, which lines the streets to the side of the village & fills the main square.

The stalls set up under the Plane trees

The stalls are set up under the avenue of old plane trees, which give great shade on the hot summer days, with beautiful views across the park to the Chateau, which is open to the public & hosts a number of events & concerts each year http://www.chateau-de-lourmarin.com/home/

The Chateau currently styled with flags for Lourmarin Des Arts

There is always a great mix of fresh produce, including an incredible bread stall near the steps that lead into the main square, which always has a queue (even when other stalls are still setting up) and invariably seems to sell out by lunchtime ……

New season citrus fruit arriving on the stalls

…. and inevitably the sensory overload from the Olive & Spice stalls…….

Stalls like this smell incredible

……… there’s some good craft stalls too, offering beautiful handmade pottery (at very reasonable prices) like the bowls at the top of the blog – starting at 5€, pretty fabric purses & bags, jewellery and of course beautiful Olive Wood platters & bowls…….

Olive wood & scarves

There’s even something for the Brocante-lover in me with a stall selling vintage textiles like these stunning quilts…..

Beautiful vintage quilts – such beautiful colours

And a great selection of Art & Antique shops too……

Great old iron sign outside one of the antique shops

One in particular, just by the Credit Agricole bank, is packed full of treasures & always proves a great hunting ground for me for pieces to incorporate into my jewellery like these beautiful bone dolls’ house pieces ……

Such beautiful detail

To be honest the market here is always a delight, although it can get incredibly busy in the height of summer, but I can understand why. It’s very easy for me to spend a full morning there & inevitably I find myself almost rushing to get what I need as lunchtime approaches after what can turn into a rather sociable morning!

If you have the chance to go it’s well worth a visit …..

Wandering through the market

Shared via #FarawayFiles on http://www.suitcasesandsandcastles.com

Shared via #AllAboutFrance

http://loumessugo.com/en/blog/entry/all-about-france-link-up/

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Irene Curtis says:

    I love reading your blogs Julie, it sounds so beautiful where you are. I hope you get to fulfil your dream of living over here full-time in due course.

    1. Thanks Irene, I’m pleased you’re enjoying them & it really is a special place. I’m finding it harder & harder to hear back to the U.K. & our eldest son has the chance to settle here for at least the next year, which is great so we just keep looking forward …. hope all is well & take care

  2. Italian Kiwi says:

    I visited Loumarin last Spring and absolutely loved it! Unfortunately, we arrived on a Friday just as everyone was packing up their stalls, so we missed the market. It’s get to be able to see what it was like from your post. I’ll have to visit again so that I can go to it!

    1. Thanks – It is a great way to spend a Friday morning & always worth the trip- hope you manage to get there one day #AllAboutFrance

  3. Who can resist the charms of a Provencal market? Those quilts look gorgeous, I might have to make the trip over there to get one! Thanks for linking up to #AllAboutFrance again and bonnes fêtes de fin d’année!

    1. Thanks – the quilts were gorgeous – so vibrant for something their age! Have a lovely Christmas & a Happy New Year #AllAboutFrance

  4. Love a Market especially a Provencal one. We use a large Provencal basket acquired on the last holiday before children as a ‘suitcase’ for the teens clthewhen we are traveling by car. #AllAboutFrance

    1. I love those baskets – we have a few now squirreled away in various places and I am always tempted by new ones. Needless to say they usually get filled whenever we visit any of our local markets #AllAboutFrance

  5. Clare Thomson says:

    Aah, I really need to get myself to Lourmarin tout de suite! I’d almost forgotten the joys of sitting in a French café nursing a café au lait and a croissant. Lourmarin looks absolutely lovely both for its market and the castle which my kids would love to explore. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    1. It is a great market to visit & the village is so pretty to wander around too – there really is nothing nicer than watching the bustle whilst sitting with a coffee – so relaxing & often entertaining too! #FarawayFiles

  6. Janis says:

    I adore this region of France, the colours and aromas are incredible, particularly like you mention the fresh bread and the spices.
    You’re right about arriving early to these towns, it’s just great to sit and enjoy people watching.
    Reading your post has certainly tempted my taste buds to return. #farawayfiles

    1. Thanks I’m pleased you enjoyed it- watching a Town come to life on Market Day is always a delight & one of the nicest ways to spend a morning #FarawayFiles

  7. Angie says:

    What a lovely read. On a dreary grey day in London I can almost feel the warmth of the Lourmarin sunshine and taste the coffee. Cafes and markets are some of my favourite things to do when in France. I’m now longing for summer holidays. #FarawayFiles

    1. Thanks I’m pleased it brightened your day – happily I head back out in a couple of days & an early visit to a market is certainly on the cards #FarawayFiles

  8. Hilary says:

    Oh, you had me at the very first photo! Everything about this sounds so wonderful! Lucky you going whenever you’d like! My favorite was the shuttered window with the sages ghost sign. That’s a keeper!

    1. Thanks – it is such a lovely place to be able to spend a morning – shopping for food is always a delight – never a chore! Heading back out this week so there’s every chance I’ll be there again on Friday #FarawayFiles

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