When I say am going to France, the first thing people ask if I was going to Paris. No, France in my heart is Cote D’ Azur, Provence, the lavenders, the market, Roman fortresses, the ciccada , les cigalles singing and the sea.
I love going to the French market, the marche, each town has their own weekly farmers market, when paysans- independent farmers ,artisan cheese makers, bakers, come down and sell their products. I don’t know for how long this will go on as EU regulations has been affecting many traditional artisans.
Bigger towns of course had their own permanent markets like the one in Cannes, Nice and one of my favourite in Monaco. In Monaco its smaller and intimate, by noon its gone. I love having my lunch at the brasserie next to it having the usual basic French fare of steak fritte. I love watching the bustle of the market.
The best market I have been to was the one in St Tropez, other than vegetables and fruits, you can buy ducks, pigeons, pheasant and rabbits. Craftsmen come too with baskets made willow branches. Perhaps that’s the first thing you need to buy. Fabrics as bright as the Provence sun, hand made olive soaps & herbal soaps: lavender, lemon verbena and roses. Floral and herb scent wafts the market! And dont forget the market rituals of touching and smelling.

With your bounty grab a baguette and go for a picnic! Or pick your bench and watch those men play boulles
“A la semaine prochaine, monsieur.”

For those planning to visit South of France, I recommend you this book and if you are staying with friends, dont plan your menu see first what the market to offer.