7 Aug 2014

Diary From Provence… Need To Know

Diary From Provence, Market Day, VickiArcher

It is impossible to escape the colour in Provence, especially during the summer season.

Wednesday morning’s market in St Remy de Provence swells to double or even triple the size and by 11am, there is scarcely room to move.

Each week I am in St Remy de Provence bright and early to buy from my favourite vendors.

Flowers from one, fruit and vegetables for another… to die for tapenades, olives and nuts near the local town hall.

Then there are all the fun bits and pieces… the vintage, the hats… the bracelets.

More is definitely merrier when it comes to those bracelets, the hats and the baskets.

The baskets get better and better.

I usually have a friend with me who is visiting so we make the tour and find the best baskets.

One for them, one for me.

Like the bracelets, there is no such thing as too many… Right? xv

Need To Know

* be early, the crowds can be overwhelming

* the best baskets are on the church steps and in front of the truck that cuts keys ( yes, that’s a market service)

*the best linen is in the car park opposite the church right near the pedestrian crossing

* the best bracelets are in place favier right at the back next to the musee des alpilles

( walk through the arch and straight ahead to take a peak at le petit bijou)

*the best hats are in place favier… on the far right hand and near the fishmonger on the ring road

*the best soaps are in front of the town hall… try the fleur d’oranger… heavenly

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Elizabeth Eiffel

I have market envy. Our village market lacks the variety and colour of the St Remy de Provence market. I am saving you tips for my next visit south.
Warm regards.


Agree, it’s such a fabulous market! Not to be missed. Those are such good tips for your fave stalls.
It’s not part of the market, but I rather like the vintage clothing shop in the Place Favier, next to the bar, Les Filles du Patissier. While husband would sit with a drink and his watercolours in the square towards the end of each day I used to take a little wander through their shop. Found a fabulous necklace by a Brazilian designer – great fun, wonderful design. Cheers, Pamela

Anita Rivera

Bonjour Vicki!

Your Petit Bijou is a dream destination for me, and my husband and I would love to stop in one day.

Oh do I know these fabulous morning adventures. I always got to my favorite vendors early because as the clock ticks, the crowds expand. I remember one day in Menton. I was there very early, spied out a great bread stall and had my eye on a HUGE boule for my lunch later in the day. I decided I’d go back after I investigated all the other great stalls. When I returned, it was GONE! BUT, I got a photo of said boule, and I look at the photo from time to time, still with mouth watering!

Have a luscious Provençal day! Anita

Jeanne McKay Hartmann

Vicki, we were in Provence this time last summer, and I wish we were back there again. We loved St. Remy and next time I hope we can stay in your charming apartment. You are so right – the color is just inescapable. And the markets a delight. Thanks for bringing me back this morning for a few moments. XOXO


Vicki such fun bracelets and I AM a basket freak, oh and I love to fun unique, antique or vintage linens!! Your links are invaluable, thank you so much!

The Arts by Karena

Cathy C

Though I haven’t been to St. Remy de Provence’s marché, I can see it in my mind’s eye from your descriptive post Vicki. I “stumbled” upon Aix’s – happy accident indeed. The colors and selections were amazing. Your pictures take me back. Thank you!

susan cavanagh

Hi Vicki,
how wonderful your markets look…all that fresh food…and baskets ,that I love!We will be there next year in September, if our friends join us we will be definitely be looking at your Petite Bijou for our stay……..the linens you have look devine!!
have a lovely day.


Love hearing about the St. Remy market! My husband and I will be arriving in Avignon on a Wednesday afternoon, too late for the St. Remy market. May I please get your recommendation for the “next best” market on either Thursday, Friday or Saturday? Given our current itinerary, I think the possibilities would be Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, Roussillon, or Lourmarin. We have been to the L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Sunday market in the past and I think he would prefer one in a different locale. :(
Thank you for your input and for your lovely blog.
Less than a month to go!


It sounds like you have a good selection of markets already, Terri… :) Arles is also good on a Saturday, that is if the lure of the flea market isn’t too strong… Villeneuve-les-Avignon on Saturday is my favourite of all… :)


Thank you. I think our choice will be Villeneuve-les- Avignon since I have to pick just one.


I’m thoroughly enjoying your dispatches from
Provence. I’ve had the pleasure of shopping the St. Remy market — a Top Ten in France, in my opinion.
Thank you for bringing back the memories! I will have to schedule a return trip!!!


Thank all of you for the good info! We are on our way! Vickie, we tried to stay at your place but . alas. it was booked! But what a good excuse ( as if one is needed ) to go back….before we are too old to travel so far.
I accidently found your house , then realized I have all your books. That was a magical moment!
This post is so timely for me.
Merci! Merci!


The markets, daily here in Aix, are certainly one of our favorite things in Provence…and your St. Remy de Provence market is one of the best! Our Music and Markets Aix Easter Festival guests said it was their favorite!
Let me know if you come to Aix – we can meet for a cold rosé after shopping ;)


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