Monday, March 26, 2012

A very French market...or how to spend your wedding anniversary!!

29 years ago today Joe and I got married at St. Brelade's Parish Church Jersey. The years have been eventful and challenging, and on this, our first wedding anniversary resident in France, we wanted to do something we had not done before.
We had heard about the market at Louhans, about an hour's drive from our home and we decided that a visit and lunch out would be a perfect way to spend the day! We had planned to be up early but I turned over and switched off the alarm and went back to sleep but we did well we thought, to set off by 9am. We met our neighbour Raymond as we were leaving, he wished us "bonne anniversaire" and when we told him where we were going he looked at his watch and said "trop tard" (too late!) as the market opens at 6am! We sped off and eventually arrived about an hour later. We parked in the free parking spaces and set off past the river towards the town. As you can see it was very tranquil!

Contrast this with the biggest market I have ever seen! Stall after stall sold an amazing variety of clothing, produce, plants, fruit trees, and then in a separate section live animals.
It took us over an hour to wander around the stalls occasionally being tempted by the amazing variety for sale. We tasted some lovely pepper, and artichoke pate for spreading on bread as little aperitifs. Then we tasted some strong (fort) comte cheese - and bought some - it has the texture of cheddar and a nutty flavour and we are looking forward to eating some later.
There was a wide variety of fruit and veg and a stall selling only nougat! Can you see Joe's hand sneaking a sample?
The market was busy but we were not even half way round it! 
Dried sausages are very popular all over the area - and the flavours are amazing and varied - we resisted temptation because it is Joe who eats this and we already had some at home!

We know that the French as a nation are not sentimental about animals - except of course domestic dogs and cats! But rabbits, goats, ducks, pintardes and chickens are for eating! All of these were for sale in the live animals section of the market. We saw 2 Siamese kittens for sale - at 450 euros each! But puppies, chicks, hens, goats, rabbits etc were all much cheaper (or cheeper if you are thinking about the chicks!!!)
Ducklings await sale

A variety of chickens to provide eggs and roast chicken!

We could have also bought a grandfather clock, carpets, beds, a dining table and chairs to seat 12, wine, fruit trees, shrubs, perrennial plants, lettuce plants, tomato plants, caulifower plants!
We ended our tour with a lovely market lunch - it was the market day menu de jour - mixed salad or pate starter, pizza or roast chicken and chips main course and cheese or apple tart dessert - all for 14 euros! We sat outside in the sunshine at the time we would have been married 29 years ago - and that was a sunny day too. After lunch we went into the church and lit a candle of thanks for all the ways in which God has blessed us and looked after us.

the outside of St Pierre

The window depicting the Revelation of St John

We have had such a wonderful day and we will certainly recommend the Monday market at Louhans to our guests - well worth the drive and the experience!!!

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