Wednesday September 22nd — To Market

Up early with plans to go to the market in St. Remy and shoot some photos. Some dawdling and more photos than planned put us in St. Remy toward the end of the market, but that was probably a good thing as the crowds had started to thin. We strolled through the market, with its mix of foods, fabrics, and flotsam. The latter is sort of like a big garage sale – all kinds of antiques and cast offs.

Bev immediately found the Ron Popeil of France, selling four-bladed scissors that could be used, as he skillfully demonstrated, to cut herbs four times as fast as regular scissors. The French and Americans were having none of it, but the Brits were grabbing the scissors up at an alarming pace. Given that none of them cook anything edible as far as we can tell, we have no idea why, but it was fun to watch the show.

With the lessons of the past to guide us, we did not buy any fresh chickens, pastries, meats, or olive oils to take home, and photographed them instead. Then it was time for a meal, so we headed back to Bistro Decouverte, where we pounced on two of the specials – roasted farm chicken and St. Pierre – washed down with a local white from Mas de la Dame.

After lunch we again strolled around, window shopping at the wonderful Joel Durand Chocolates, getting information about a new olive oil (Calanquet) which is considered tops, and then visiting a new small bistro and meeting the owner. A former pastry chef for Alain Passard at Arpege in Paris, he had come to St. Remy and fallen in love with it, and decided to buy a bistro. He will close in a few weeks, and then take a few months to renovate and re-open. A delightful person, we look forward to trying his new restaurant on our next trip.

That night, we met with Christine, Philippe, Jean-Pierre, and his wife Claire and tried a new restaurant in St. Remy, Estagnol. While the company was wonderful and we had a terrific time, the food – according to Jean-Pierre, who should know – was basically all frozen and pretty sorry. The wine was nice, but the food passable at best. After dinner, we strolled St. Remy for a bit, and then drove back to les Baux.

All in all, and despite Estagnol, a nice day.


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