Thursday, June 09, 2016

Markets of Provence, Arles Marché and an apricot print

This week I've been immersed painting apricots for another Provençal print for you.
Arles huge Saturday marché is considered one of the best in Europe
Just a short, comfortable hour and a half bus ride from Aix (number 18 bus from the Gare Routier 11€ one-way). My constant and best companion in Provence and the Luberon was Marjorie Williams' MARKETS OF PROVENCE. Its not just markets but historic background, monuments not to be missed, restaurants and regional specialties. My other general guidebooks got left behind. Marjorie's book is more fun. Just 4.5" by 6", its lightweight, easy to pop in your bag, though I admit to ripping pages out and marking them up with abandon for easy access. For more info on Marjorie please visit her web site. I reviewed her MARKETS OF PARIS here.
Maybe you're not a foodie? Going to a local Provencal marché reveals the essence of the soul of a culture. What people eat tells all. Almonds are an important product in Provence. They turn up in so many dishes, especially French pastries like the galette des rois.
The one pastry you must not miss in Arles.
The local version of the Sacristan is a 12" long twisted stick of puff pastry covered in toasted almonds plus a ton of powdered sugar. I ate off all the almonds leaving the pastry inner tube and a big telltale sprinkling of powdered sugar down my front. Some pastries should come with a bib honestly.
If you love olives, Provence is your heaven.
This post could have been entirely olives. Lucque olives are a don't miss..
A mountain of garlic revealing Provençal tastes.
Next to the much loved apricots. I just discovered there's a Fete de l'Apricot in July. Hmmm...total immersion for a weekend...very tempting.
I'm interspersing some of the 31 van Gogh paintings at the Arles Fondation Vincent Van Gogh. Normally they get just ONE painting each summer to exhibit so this is a don't-miss opp.
Arles is close to many borders, products are on offer from Corsica, Spain, Italy as well as France.
Local lavender honey. I'm flirting with a visit to a fete de la lavandre..I've never been. Give me a push please. 
A good portion of this very long marché is clothing and household items. I was tempted hither and thither
Loved the cerise and polka-dot table cloths but ending up buying another scarf for a fiver. I have no resistance in France.
I got an olive fougasse too. It's a regional specialty so is there a choice?
One of van Gogh's gleaners. Note the gorgeous colors of the walls at the Fondation.
The Arles marché covers a long boulevarde - Bd. Georges Clemenceau turns into Bd. des Lices (they do this in France, change the name of the same street whenever they feel like it). I didn't make it the full length of the marché, though both sides are conveniently lined with cafes to stop, rest and refresh. Can you get an absinth for breakfast?
Van Gogh's famous glistening glass and bottle of Absinth at the Fondation..
In the Fondation's reading room you can catch up on past shows. No drawings in the current exhibit but this one for me captures the mad, delicious hustle, bustle of Arles wonderful marché.
Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast!
If you like this post please support it by buying my Paris letters and watercolors. Or pass this on someone you think might enjoy it.

28 comments:

  1. I think I can never go there -- I'd spend more at the market than on my airfare and have to live in a hovel evermore. Oh, almonds and olives, be still my heart. Rich, briny olives and almonds because -- well, sometimes you feel like a nut (and why not have the best!). All the colors. Oh, I might have had to cave on those tablecloths, too. Nice restraint!

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    1. I could write a book on restraint or the lack of it rather...

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  2. Please buy some of those apricots and make Charlotte Puckett's Apricot Tart with Mascarpone and Honey Cream. It is one of the best desserts I have ever made.

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    1. Sounds Fab but I'm sticking to celerie not best desserts anymore!!!

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  3. Anonymous10:43 AM

    Your colors just sing off the page/screen, Carol. Gently exuberant and a sheer joy.
    Please please please do a book. I enjoyed Vivian Swift's Gardens of Awe and Folly so much and thank you for introducing me to her and her work. More joy!
    Cheers from Denver
    Colorado USA

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    1. If only it were easy to do :(
      Not.

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  4. I adore the provençal markets - felt like a quick whirlwind stop here, thanks, since I could do with a dose. Too long it has been. Carol - love your apricot paintings, why don't you make them into aprons or Provençal almond pastry bibs? I'd help you sell them at the market!

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    1. You've got me laughing outloud at Le Havre train station.
      New yorker moves to Paris and becomes major bib-maker!! Oui bien sur

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  5. Bonnie in CA12:57 PM

    This post seriously made me want to buy my ticket to Arles and leave this afternoon!

    I cannot stand the idea of MISSING all this wonderfulness!

    Alas, I must live vicariously through your incredible journeys.

    Thank you for this spectacular blog.

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  6. Ruth S1:06 PM

    I adore apricots; I adore olives.....I may be going to Provence for a week or so next year before Paris....
    I'm already salivating...

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    1. Go in June during Cote Sud Vivre...really fun!

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  7. Dear Carol, this post is absolutely sumptuous! On this chilly day in NYC, I feel the warmth of Arles and send you many thanks. xo

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  8. Thank you for the fabulous mention(s) of my Provence book. I'm delighted that it proved to be such a trustworthy companion during your visit. That's marvelous.

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  9. Suzanne P1:22 PM

    I received my lovely Vincent Van Goth water color print in the mail last week. I just love it. I am having it specially framed and will email a photo of your framed painting when it is done. :) In the mean time I wanted to push you to go to the fete de la lavandre as I personally love lavender fields and lavender products like lavender honey. I look forward to your emails as I love your photography and water color paintings.

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    1. You put a smile on my face. And yes I think I have to go to the lavender!

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  10. Kathleen1:45 PM

    I loved all artwork - yours and Van Gogh's!!! All foods looked delicious. (My grandson liked the apricots!)

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  11. Fantastic!!! Food is nice!! Van Gogh the best!!

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  12. James2:05 PM

    Just want you to know I absolutely LOVE your blog

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  13. Miam, Miam. The apricots look so lucious - as does everything else. I think you must go back for the Fete de lavandre so we can attend through your photos and watercolors, lavender is such a beautiful color.

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  14. A beautiful watercolor to open, Carol. Stunning.
    I love the "Shimmering glass." And there's a photo of a heap of bright red cherries that is a grabber.

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    1. Thanks Paul!
      Van Gogh's glass of absinth with carafe d'eau is a beaut!

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  15. What brilliant markets in Arles, I love eating all the things you showed us! Who knew such a fabulous book existed on markets, thanks.

    I can highly recommend reading all of Vivian Swift's books, her blog is how I discovered Paris Breakfasts.

    It is cold rainy winter here in Australia and I'm seriously considering you're lovely apricot print......

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  16. Go, please to see the Lavander, go for all your fans!

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  17. The print is beautiful..so clear I see the grain.
    Perfect apricot color..love Provence but I told you that already.

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  18. So glad I stopped by, your blog is informative and exciting. I love France, and havn't been there nearly as much as I'd like to. The pastries, the olives and meat cuts..Yummy! Jacqui
    www.mummabstylish.com

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  19. Arles was my first French market and I was amazed. I remember people selling live chickens, the guy with the tubs of spices, and most of all the people selling rototillers beside the Roman wall. Loved it!

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  20. Oh my, you took me back to St. Remy (yes, I know you were in Arles) where I have enjoyed les marches so many times. Love those powdered sugar Sacristains.

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  21. The first watercolor is so lovely. Quite frankly, I could use some (more) beauty today to encourage. Thank you. :-)

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