The Official Guide

Most Beautiful Villages in France book

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Official Guide to the Most Beautiful Villages of France

The Official Guide

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The joy of French markets

Tarragon and Truffles
Anne Greg has a new book out about French markets called “Tarragon and Truffles: A Guide To The Best French Markets” (published 3 May 2006) – which has a region-by-region guide to the best markets. She includes non-food markets, such as the weekly Sunday Antiques fair at Isle-sur-Sorgues (84 Vaucluse, Provence) but my preference is always for the food stalls.
I do however like Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, east of Avignon – except on a Sunday when the small town is invaded by hordes of browsers, buyers and sellers – and whilst I am sure there are many genuine antiques to be found, much of it is more suitable to a car boot sale (“vide grenier” in French). On non-market days this is a delightful quiet little Provencal medieval town, which is magically encircled by the gently meandering clear River Sorgue, with plenty of bridges and watermills where the flowing water manages to lift the oppressiveness of the summer heat.
Another of my favourites is at Auch (32 Gers, Midi-Pyrenees) in the heart of Armagnac, duck and goose country – wonderful delicacies, pattisseries, sheeps cheeses and other tempting goodies.
The French market is often a strange contradiction with stalls selling superb quality hand-crafted items next to others offering sheer tackiness -and there always seems to be a stall selling matresses, and another selling those very French polyester housecoats that every French housewife seems to own. Such a contrast of styles and fashion that seems typical of the French contradiction.
Tarragon and Truffles: A Guide To The Best French Markets

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