Guest Post: Provence Market Days

Today’s guest poster is the amazing Jolie Goodnight – jazz singer, florist, burlesque dancer extraordinaire, and best friend of mine. She has such an enchanting life of beauty and class that I thought she would make a great contribution to Over Yonderlust after her recent trip to France. You can find her on her personal artist website, or her inspiring and decadent photo blog Maisonette.


Undoubtedly the food market in St.Remy-de-Provence is one of the best markets in the South of France. I say this because it’s both quaint and grandiose, providing the small French market of which you always dreamed.


Marvelously organized – tables are often filled with alternating fruits and vegetables creating a stunning aesthetic- and endlessly abundant, this market is undeniably charming. Ensconced within the walls of the centre-ville, you’re bound to find a stunning array of saucisse that’s been expertly crafted by men whose families have created these delights for generations. It’s a joy to fill your straw market basket with bright purple fresh garlic, asparagus so knobby and beautiful that it clearly came from someone’s little farm, tiny strawberries sweet as candy, and honeys that taste of the lavender and wild thyme that grow in Provence. It holds a kind of exotic & rustic splendor…brightly colored macarons (in honey, Clementine, raspberry, pistachio, almond, and some dusted with gold,) the fragrance of flowered soaps floating in the air, glistening seafood paella held in steaming pans, the sounds of gypsy jazz – violins, guitars, and accordions.


Always a pleasure is its quiet bustle, a feeling of sweet energy that comes from the beautiful abundance there, from the knowledge that every item has been treated with care. There you are surrounded by the true “produits de terroir” (the products of the area) and are thus submerged in the plants, animals, countryside, soil, and pride of Provence.


A few tips:
1. Don’t forget to bring a couple of market baskets or bags!
2. Vendors will gladly give you tastes of their products; so don’t be afraid to ask.
3. Often at the soap stands, there are small perfumes made from herbs from the region, they are delightful & inexpensive.





19 Responses to “Guest Post: Provence Market Days”

  1. walkingon travels June 27, 2012 at 12:49 am #

    Love, love, LOVE this post. I stayed in St. Remy back in 2001 and I dream about going back. The market was my favorite that we visited. I remember getting a kilo of strawberries, a roast chicken, fresh bread and cheese. We had a little (well pretty big actually) picnic on the patio. It was heavenly. That is my happy place. Thank you so much for the amazing pictures that brought me back!

    • Erica July 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

      Isn’t she amazing? A lot of her photography really captures the place. It sure makes ME want to head out to the market!

  2. Andrew June 27, 2012 at 1:18 am #

    I love how in European markets they put so much detail into the presentation of stuff. Not just making it accessible, but also the pure artistic aesthetics of the stuff. Here in Germany I often see them artfully pile carrots or beets to create big stacks. And yet, the purpose is to sell, so they are happy to destroy their art every day.

    • Erica July 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

      I think the art part of it is so amazing. It is like they are saying, “Here. Enjoy this product. It is part of the art of life!”

  3. Andrea June 27, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    I’ve never been to provence but I love a good market! That one looks just awesome. Oh, how I love France….

    • Erica July 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

      I’m a huge fan of markets too! They are an important glimpse into cultures!

  4. Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista June 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Oh man I would love to visit markets in Provence! The fruit and vegetable all look wonderful and then you add in meats. I think produce in Europe look so much better than here in the states 🙂

    • Erica July 2, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

      I’m a big fan of shooting butchers. There is something so raw and amazing about our relationship to food. Produce DOES look better abroad. I noticed it going through Central and South America.

  5. Dina Feller @ Bluenoemi June 29, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    I love France its landscapes its markets its colours. I wish to return to visit France soon. I love its arts – its cities – its museum. I recommend.

    • Erica July 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

      I’m going for the first time this autumn. Hearing Jolie talk about it so much has made the desire even greater.

  6. Arti July 3, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    Beautiful shots! Loved the shades of colors, every possible color in this post probably!!

    • Erica July 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

      I think the range of colors is what makes a market spectacular. I think you agree, Arti!

  7. Randy July 6, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    Loved this post as much as I love French food markets, which is a lot!:)

    • Erica July 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

      Somehow I imagine you spreading your arms while you say, “Thiiiiiiiiiiiis much!”

  8. Ali July 7, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    I love markets! It’s a shame there aren’t more of them in the US, but I love the one here in the center of Freiburg. The tables of fruits and vegetables look so pretty, like your friend shows in her pictures from the market in Provence. I go to our market almost every week now to buy vegetables for salad and salsa.

    • Erica July 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

      I know there are farmers markets here in Austin but they are only for a few hours maybe once a week.

      I would KILL to have one a little more available.

  9. Liv July 9, 2012 at 2:53 am #

    I was lucky enough to be at Saint Remy de Provence’s market a few weeks ago too and this has brought it all flooding back. You had me at the artichokes!

    • Erica July 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

      Provence seems to be the hoppin’ place to be!

  10. Brooke Vs the world July 11, 2012 at 4:17 am #

    i love markets! These photos are pretty 🙂

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