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Friday 18 September 2015

If it is Sunday it must be market day

As is the case in most French cities, downtown Bordeaux can be a very sleepy place on a Sunday. Many of the shops are shuttered and several of the leading cafes and restaurants are closed, even in peak tourist season.

Fortunately there is no shortage of things to do, with two very different markets among the major attractions.  

The Marche de Quais, a gourmet producers' market, is held along the riverside Quai de Chartrons, just down the road from the central Place de Quinconces. 

It offers a feast for the senses; with various aromas attracting patrons to stalls selling everything from artisan breads, pastries and cakes to cooked chickens, paella and other hot delights. 

Farmers from around rhe region sell their cheeses, fruits and vegetables and locals flock to buy fresh seafood (half the price of that in Australia), along with their red meat for the week and local beers, wines and ciders. 

It is held every Sunday and there are generally over 60 stall holders.

The whole scene is a hive of activity with many patrons sampling fresh oysters from nearby waters along with a glass of Bordeaux Blanc, or maybe a plump fresh fig. 

A very different, but even more bustling market, is held on Sunday's in the square in the shadows of the St Michel basilica in the old city.

The Marche de Puces, or flea market, sees dealers and enthusiasts selling all manner of bric a brac, ranging from jewellery and used clothing to artworks, second-hand bicycles, cutlery, crockery and immense amounts of rubbish that no one in their right minds would want.

Sit down at a sidewalk cafe and watch the French in their natural environment.

# The writer is a guest of Scenic Tours on board the river cruising ship Scenic Diamond. 

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1 comment:

  1. Our favourite thing in Bordeaux on a Sunday is a plate of freshly shucked oysters at the Marche des Quais. Washed down with a glass of Bordeaux Blanc of course!