See you at the market !
Local French markets aren’t just for shopping. They are social gatherings. It’s where the locals come out to visit, and fill up on perishable goods. « Le Marché » is the place to be seen and to see the latest. The market of Uzes in Provence is one of France’s most renowned. The « Place aux Herbes » where the market is held twice a week, is surrounded by white limestone arcades. In the center, rise high plane trees, providing shade on hot summer Provençal days.
The market in Uzes dates back to the medieval ages. It was the place where monks sold their herbs and concoctions from the nearby medicinal garden. Now there is a modern re-creation of the gardens situated in the walled premises of a 12th-century ruin. The garden is divided into a herbarium, where medicinal plants are grown and a vegetable garden.
Wednesday is “local produce” day
On market day a rainbow of canvas tents fill the place, harboring underneath local treasures: olives, cheeses, breads, fruits and vegetables, cold meat cuts, and wines….Wednesday the market is dedicated to local produce. It’s a foodies market. Saturday you can find the rest of what you need: local craftsmanship, like pottery from nearby St Quentin de Poterie, fabrics and clothing, leatherwork, etc. It’s a great place to find a perfect gift to take home. But don’t go with a list to fill. Go rather for that French “ambiance”. The old stones, musicians jiving on corners, the scent of spices, salesmen with amusing pitches to check out their goods, the colorful hustle and bustle…all the senses come alive.
The market finishes around noon leaving plenty of time for a ride in the countryside, a nap under an olive tree, or a visit to the remarkable antiquity site of Pont de Gard. Return later in the evening to savor a local wine in a café along the arcades. The “ambiance” has completely changed. Now you can admire the architecture and stone carvings. The Tour de Fenestrelle towers above the Cathedral St Théodorit. This lacey spiral bell tower is the emblem of Uzes.
A short walk from the Place aux Herbes along narrow cobblestoned streets is the elegant and chic Maison d’Uzes, a classified historical monument entirely renovated into a five star hotel and spa and its restaurant, La Table d’Uzes whose menus are prepared by the youngest French starred chef, Oscar Garcia. He elaborates his dishes from top quality regional products, bringing out the best of their flavors with a refined presentation. Here is where your taste buds are going to come alive.