Posts Tagged With: French markets

Saint Antonin Noble Val – photo safari 

My current guests and I visited Saint Antonin Noble Val on Sunday. I have only been out of season, but had been warned by French friends that it gets very busy there in the summer especially on market day, which it was.

Boy oh boy were my friends correct, thousands of cars were parked on every inch of road, verge and spare space leading into the town.

Unperturbed we headed for the town and managed to find a crafty little spot to park near the river, not a few minutes walk to the market. I would later be reprimanded by a furious French lady who on spotting us returning to our car lent out of her window and started to tell us in florid French that we couldn’t park there, I gave her my cheesiest smile and explained I don’t speak any French, a little white lie I know, but hey when needs must.

Anyway it was worth it as the atmosphere was fabulous and the market really great, we even managed to get a great seat in a restaurant jut off the main square and were serenaded by a saxophonist and a guitarist.


Here are some snaps on my photo safari.



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Brocante bargains

A freezing visit to our local weekly brocante market in Albi brought some great rewards, it was worth braving the cold as i founds lots of lovely bargains all for €1 each, yes its like my very own pound shop in France, well i say pound but the euro is worth so little at the moment soon i will have to say the 50p shop.

Anyway you never really know what you are going to find when you pop along on a Saturday morning and today as  it was so bitterly cold there were very few stalls, which was actually good because the more expensive stall holders were obviously all snuggled up in bed, so the stalls that were there were my favourite kind with their goods all laid out on the floor and big signs saying “€1 par Piece” i love that sort of signage, it get very excited as i get a huge swag bag for very little money, kevs even more fond of that sign as he knows i wont spend much.

So here are a few pics of my finds, now bare in mind that one persons junk is another treasure and yes i know everything looks a bit dirty and grotty but you wait until Phyllis Poppins get his hands on them.

You will have to pop back in a few days to see how they all scrub up.


By the way the trowels are not for decoration they will be used to build our walls around the pool area.


Apparently these used to be used to store water when their was no plumbing, People would wash their hands with the water that dripped out of the tiny spout at the bottom.


When i got back from the brocante we had snow flurries all day, not much settled just a light dusting.

Happy week ahead everyone.

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Market day in Gaillac

Friday is market day in Gaillac and today as the sun wash shining and the air was warm it was much busier than normal, in fact trying to get a parking space today was interesting to say the least, there arnt that many places to park and all the ones i knew about were full, hmmm where to go, argh i remember there is a parking area at the base of the abby by the river.  Off i sped in Kev’s car and today was the day for Kev’s car, roof down music playing and thank god i had it as the roads down to the river bank car park were so narrow, with lots of twist and turns and old french people walking; very slowly in the middle of the raod as they do, you can’t beep them its rude… isn’t it???

So eventually after feeling like i had been on a fair ground ride i found the car park and a space, yes, oh and what a view, it was worth all the twists and turns and the old French people, NCP’s don’t have views like this in Londinium.



Gaillac is so beautiful i do love it and don’t come in enough, today will make up for that.

The market sprawls through the town, let me take you on a little tour.



Lets start in the main square [the old one] which has a central sunken fountain and very pretty it is too. From here the market stalls radiate out, this part of the market is mainly fruit, veg and food and very yummy it all looks.


Now theres a shell suit top to be proud of and you thought shell suits were out of fashion, nah not in France they arnt.

And the kind man is helping with her melons…..


Im not really a tomato person [even though i have 12 varieties growing in my potager at home] but wow these look so tasty.



Same goes for asparagus [i don’t like what it does to your wee] but again it looks so lovely… didn’t buy any mind you.


Arghh here is one of my favourite houses in the old square, i would love to know what lies behind that keyhole.


No market is complete without a huge pan of food, ill have one, the whole one please



I bought a little succulent plant from this stall, its sitting on the table i made near my potager, the girl [her in the background with the Sofie Ellis Bexter fringe] who served me was so polite with a big grin on her face, was probably the awful French i spoke.


There is a covered market area which is reserved for artisans, mainly ones who grow organic and bio foods and plants.

The strawberries were stunning, i tried one or two, so sweet and juicy, like real strawberries not the watery ones you get in the supermarket.


Here you go  they take great pride in their stalls, forever titivating their boxes.



A lovely eclectic mix of products all looking fabulous.



Off up to the main town square[ the new one] its had a face lift and it looks very smart, this area of the market has all your basics and essentials, kickers, bras, trusses etc


And then lets pop over the road to the main car park which is not a car park today, mores the pity.

This is my favourite part of the market i call it “Toot ville” why? well you can see for yourself lots of toot, i mean why buy a real plant when you can have on doff these stunning fake ones!!!!!


This stall is amazing, its an extendable lorry full of home bits and bobs, i mean you could spend a day on “The Generation Game” conveyor belt and still not guess everything.


Arggh yes and plastic tubs in every shade of unnatural.


I do love a bit of haberdashery though, but what: no grey linen, in sixty shades of, don’t they know the brits love it.



This last aisle is very special as its reserved for the real artisan traders


Now these men are the real deal, i love these people they look so amazing, i would love to be able to chat to them about their lives, i bet there are so many interesting stories to be told.



This man looks especially interesting, he only has one product for sale some kind of bacon roll thingy,  and i bet that linen cloth has never been washed, it probably adds to the taste, hmm think not.

So there you have it market day in Gaillac, well one of them anyway and what did i buy i hear you ask, six celery plants and they are doing fine, all tucked up in my potager and well fed and watered.

Categories: Living in France | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


With spring most definitely sprung and summer on the horizon tis the sea on here in France for Vide Greniers, what i hear you ask? Well this roughly translates “Empty your attics” yes a sort of car boot sale as we would know it, but here in France they have many types some are just rummage sales, some can be plant sales and others all food based most are a complete mixture.

Today was our Vide Grenier and after a really lovely sunny day yesterday i awoke to drizzle and cold winds, so i presumed the worst and thought it would be a disaster, but i hadn’t counted on the French’s love of a Vide Grenier, come rain or shine they will come.

Migs our friend popped bye on her way home from house sitting for a friend and texted to ask me to open the drive gates which i did brolly in hand only to be amazed that the edges of the road was jam-packed with parked cars, Migs rolled down her window and said that the village was packed with stalls and people.

Our little village was a maze of stalls, big, small, some covered in tarpaulin’s others with patio parasols and some with plastic sheets strung up betweens trees, and a complete mix of plants, food, brica brac and junk….

The weather brightened up as the day rolled bye and more and more people came and left with armfuls of goodies.

And yes Migs and i purchased a few bits along the way too. I came home with just 20 cents left of my 20 euro pocket money but i had loads of plants a glass measuring jug in centilitres as all one are in litres oh yes and a fab huge zing jug which i have planted up with strawberries.

A fab day and a great success for our little village and next Sunday we roll on to Senouillac which is our neighbouring village and hopefully more bargains to be had.






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