Market Day in Lourmarine
“It has been said that France is everyone’s second country, the place we would create if we had time and energy enough. Nowhere else in the world is beauty as beautiful, style as stylish, food quite so delicious. Nowhere else do we come as close to perfection, even in the smallest detail.”
My friend Britt and I recently took a trip to the South of France. We were fortunate to stay in the lovely home of Alice and Don Williams in a town near Lourmarin. We know Alice and Don because of another friend who also lives in Provence, Christel Van Malsen. The story of our friendships is a long one that I’ll tell another day, but suffice it to say that we are fortunate to know Christel and she took very good care of us while we were there! Our first full day in Lourmarin was Friday and we decided to go to the local market. Christel had some work to do so she arranged a ride for us with her friend (and photographer), Pierre and we were off to an early start.
The village of Lourmarine has a market every Friday morning. Vendors line the streets as well as the adjacent square selling everything from olives to handmade olive wood bowls to clothing. There are people everywhere shopping, but also visiting with each other and enjoying the hustle and bustle. A trip to the market each week is a tradition that has been carried on for centuries in France.
Britt and I leisurely strolled and took in the sights and sounds of the market and as we made our way, we tasted delicious local cheeses, smelled handmade lavender soap and did some amazing people watching! There were vendors with local honeys and jams, rows of cheeses–made from cow’s milk, goat milk, and sheep’s milk, neatly arranged next to fresh eggs, sausages and olives. The air was filled with the delicious aromas of paella, pizza, rotisserie chickens and roasted vegetables. There were also flowers galore, Provençal pottery, table cloths and fine linens, silk scarves and sweaters and so much more! It was a feast for the senses in every way!
One of the first purchases that I made was a basket to hold all the goodies that I wanted to take home. I filled it to the brim with olives (the best I’ve ever eaten), fresh flowers, local lettuce and a few hand made ceramic bowls to bring home as gifts for my daughters.
I spotted these small bottles of Miraval Rosé, which is one of favorites! If only I could have brought back everything I wanted!
The variety of cheese was mind boggling and I wanted to taste them all. The number of cheeses from which to choose was a bit overwhelming, but there were always plenty of samples to make the decision easier!
There were plenty of opportunities for picture taking and I had a great time trying to capture the essence of the Lourmarin market, knowing it would make a great blog post! Our greatest difficulty that morning was deciding which direction to turn! Luckily Pierre is a local and was able to be an excellent guide because there was so much to see. It was a morning that we will never forget!
As a lover of fresh seafood, this was a beautiful display of incredibly fresh fish. It made me want to go home and prepare a meal.
More olives, hummus and spices…
It was hard to resist this huge pan of Paella, but I did, knowing that we would sit down to lunch soon.
Resting in the square by a beautiful fountain that is probably hundreds of years old.
Local vegetables were displayed artfully and I could imagine that they would soon be an ingredient in a Provincial soup or other mouthwatering dish.
We were told that the market in Lourmarin isn’t the largest in the area, but that it has some of the best vendors in the Luberon and it is in one of the most beautiful spaces.
I did not buy a bouquet of lavender, but now that I’m home, I wish I had!
We all had lunch after walking around the Lourmarin market in a charming restaurant. Pierre did not speak English and my French is marginal to say the least, so we communicated with Google Translate. I would speak a sentence into my phone and it would translate so he could understand. You all may have heard of Google Translate, but it was new to me and I loved being able to communicate with him!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour of the market in Lourmarin. If you are ever visiting, this is something not to be missed. Just in case you want to bring a few Provincial things into your life, here are a few suggestions! Any of these items would be great gifts!
The pictures of me in this post were taken by Pierre Sastre Flipp! I hope I was able to capture just a little of the spirit of Province in this post! Thanks so much for reading today!