One of the things I was most looking forward to when I read the itinerary put together by Provence Temptations was the promise of a jaunt to a local market. I felt sure that I was going to be in for a real visual treat, and I was not in any way disappointed. It was an absolutely delicious experience in every way, and I love love loved it.
We visited two different markets during the week, but my favorite of the two was the Sunday one in L'Isle-sur la-Sorgue. The town is very picturesque, with the river Sorgue winding right through and around it.
There were some lovely waterside cafés and restaurants to sit and while away a pleasant, warm Sunday morning over a coffee or two. Did I mention how much I loved the coffee? So delicious!
This is the old part of the town where you can see the Sunday market is in full swing.
It was incredibly atmospheric and I instantly fell in love with the whole experience of market shopping here. The abundance of fresh produce was absolutely breathtaking. There were huge piles of fresh, colourful fruit and vegetables, herbs, garlic, locally picked mushrooms....
There was an abundance of local cheeses and cured meats....
....and the famous lavender scented "Savon de Marseille" soaps.
There were rich, fragrant spices....
....and there was an enormous amount of (highly priced) bric-a-brac and collectibles.
There were beautiful fresh flowers....
....and gorgeous dried flowers.
There was oodles of lavender (swooon) in bundles and bags, it smelt sooooo lovely....
....and there were lots of hand crafted and brightly painted toys, instruments and decorations.
There were gorgeous scarves and beautiful embroidered linens...
....and there were baskets.
OH the baskets!!!!!!!!!!!
I absolutely went bananas when I saw these, aren't they perfectly gorgeous and desirable? I wanted to buy at least twenty in all different sizes and colours, but hell, I was travelling by train and had to be sensible about what I could cope with carrying.
I settled on one small basket for 5 euros, it just sang out to me from the pavement and I simply had to give it a home.
The colours of the woven straw (straw? not sure what they are made of exactly, but it looks like straw) are so vibrant, I love it very much.
Something else I fell in love with was the hand painted Provençal pottery. There were many market stalls selling these gloriously colourful bowls and plates, from huge big serving bowls down to these teeny-tiny little ones. To see it in such abundance was a real visual treat, although I have to say the vendors were very grumpy about photographs being taken. I bought these little ones for a few euros each, they are just so cute! I wish I had bought more. I wish I somehow had a huge case that I could've filled with these gorgeous items, with a personal porter to carry it on and off the various trains for me. Sigh.
The other thing I had to purchase was lavender, I felt I could not leave the market without some. The scent of true French lavender is out of this world, very much more potent than our English lavender I think. I have been inhaling it at every opportunity, my bag smells gorgeous!
I want to tell you that I used some lavender in my crochet project.....the scent of merino wool infused with lavender is oooooooooooo-♥-oooooooooooo!
Hoping you have enjoyed coming to market with me.....tomorrow I want to wow you with scenery and show you some of the gorgeous Provence Landscape. See you then....