Thursday, February 18, 2010

To market, to market...

About ten minutes walk from 'our' apartment there's a great market - Marche de Place d'Aligre (I'm going to have to find French accents in Blogger!). We needed some fruit and salad vegetables, so ventured there yesterday. In the centre of a small square there's a traditional covered market housing the butchers, chicken and other feathery things sellers, the cheese-monger (so beautiful - all the cheeses of various shapes and sizes displayed like jewels), the fish-monger and the charcutier, The covered market still has its central fountain-like water supply to sluice the tiled floors.

covered market

Spreading out from the central covered market, fruit, vegetable and flower stalls set up in the surrounding streets, which are lined by small shops supplying oil, coffee, dry groceries and other household necessities.


Everything was so enticing. The fruit and vegetables were pristinely fresh - a miracle of modern marketing when you read the labels so helpfully telling you where they had come from. Blueberries from Chile, mangoes from Peru, mandarins from Spain, many things from Morocco. Africa and South America as sources of your food supply - all of a sudden the geography of your food world is turned on its head.

As well as the freshness, the diversity was amazing. Things I knew but didn't usually see at a market; things I could guess at; and things I'd never seen before.

coquilles st jacques

I have a tendency to take photos that make the world look unpopulated. In this case we were at the market so early there really were very few people around. Coping with jet lag leads to all sorts of opportunities - and of course provides a excuse for another coffee.

cafe au lait

I loved the Moroccan colours of the cafe where we had our cafe au lait. Love how the tables match the window frames.

I've also made my first foray into the French knitting world. My friend with whom I'm travelling wants a knitted hat so yesterday, on the advice of a colleague at my work who frequently visits France and is a knitter, I went to Le Bon Marche. This is a wonderful old department store - very spacious, elegant, and it has an excellent mercerie - ribbons, buttons (to die for), braids, fabrics for quilting, Liberty prints, and knitting yarn. It also has a small branch of La Droguerie within the mercerie. My friend chose some Rowan Cocoon in a colour called bilberry, which is a lovely slatey purple. I can feel another visit to Le Bon Marche coming on - next time with photos and without jet lag.


Jan said...

The little restaurant sounds wonderful and I love your photos.

Accents? If you want to write cafe with an acute, type caf & eacute ; Café. Leave out all spaces.

Voilà comes from voil & a grave ; again omitting spaces so the word and code runs altogether. This is a useful code. 30 &deg : gives 30°. Lots of other examples which a search will find easily.

Enjoy your three weeks.

messicat said...

There is always the number pad when you are looking for accents. Eg é is Alt+ 0233

I love your photos!

Charisse said...

I love your "unpopulated" photos Lyn! Glad you're enjoying your holiday so far, I'm looking forward to more updates.

Unknown said...

Buttons sound superb. I bought two hand-made pottery buttons in Belgrave Victoria when visiting my niece. They have swirls of purple and blue on rather large square buttons. Susan King brought back some beautiful little silver butterfly buttons from Cambodia on one of her visits. I was looking at them the other day and thinking that I really must put them on a garment so they could see the light of day.

Cecilia said...

As always, beautiful pictures! Your trip sounds fantastic!

Rose Red said...

Oh Lyn, if you keep showing all these wonderful things I think I'll have to stop reading your blog otherwise I'll die of envy!!

Looks just so so wonderful. Sorry about your jetlag but glad it provides wonderful coffee and early shopping experiences.

1funkyknitwit said...

Oh Lyn I'm living 'one day to be.. ?' french holiday through your yours!
Love the pics & love that wonderfully coloured cafe.
So wish I were there...

missfee said...

love the market shots Lyn - is that a water fountain in the first one?
The dates and scallops look delicious
And adventures in yarn - weee

DrK said...

oh why dont we have those markets everywhere here, they are so amazing! terrific photos as well. hope the coffee is helping with the jetlag at least!

Lynne said...

Wow, the markets are just what I imagined and that little cafe is so colourful and jaunty.