The french market tradition…St Antonin-Noble-Val, South West France

saucissson and all varieties of cured meats

The french market tradition goes a long way back to medieval times and despite the arrival of the Supermarche in many of france’s villages the market days have continued, many villages having 2-3 market days a week where everything from fresh food, homewares and and other non food items are sold. It underscores the importance the french place on fresh seasonal produce.

St Antonin-Noble-Val founded in the 9th century along the Tarn river close to the mid-Pyrenees, is a charming little medieval village and this warm Sunday was abuzz with market day. Summer produce was stunning to look but also as we discovered later, tasted as good as it looked.

The Pyrenees is well known for its goat cheeses and this was in abundance and so were the ripe summer tomatoes. After the market we stopped for lunch along the Tarn river at Le Carre Des Gourmets, savouring a light degustation platter of melon gazpacchio, lapin confit (ie rabit confit in cigar shaped pastry) salmon tartare and canard en croute (duck en croute), finished off with a passion fruit dessert with mint gelato…

Join us in a photographic memory of market day (note St Antonin-Noble-Val is also the location where Charlotte Gray starring Cate Blanchett was fillmed)

the sweetest strawberries

goats cheese

sheeps milk cheese


exotic floral teas

small peppers and chilies

more shallots

dried fruit


stall setting up

walking through the village to get to the market square

Tarn river flowing by the side of the village, the view from our lunch venue

mackerel mousse in coffee cup

assiette degustation comprising melon gazpacchio, lapin confit cigar, canard en croute and salmon tartare

passion fruit dessert (passion fruit curd fritte) with mint sorbet

and of course the view from the table at Le Carre Des Gourmets Restaurant - the bridge that was featured frequently in the movie Charlotte Gray



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2 responses to “The french market tradition…St Antonin-Noble-Val, South West France

  1. Mapelle Doonikus

    oh my gosh that market looks wonderful! i love peppers when baked with potatoes.
    also i love the berets on the deli stall staff!!
    have never seen charlotte gray – i will have to now!!

    please send more photos from your travels xx

  2. Suraindra Rajadurai

    Shalini would go nuts for all those tras!

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