This article is part of a series about our ten favorite markets in Provence. Thus far, we have written about Aix-en-Provence, Apt, Cadenet, Cucuron, Gordes, Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, and Lourmarin. When we chose our top ten markets, we considered the quality and variety of the offerings, the friendliness of the vendors, and the ambience of the venue. Practical issues (e.g., traffic and parking) were also weighed, but, in the end, it was the market itself that mattered most. Get there early and avoid the inevitable traffic and parking challenges! These are the markets we visit again and again when we are in Lourmarin.
Saint Rémy’s thriving Wednesday market made it on our list of top ten markets because it has everything discerning shoppers want in a market. Beautiful fabrics and ceramics; fabulous prepared foods; excellent produce; fish so fresh they look like they just jumped from the water to the ice; spices, herbs, teas, and olives galore; enticing meats, pâtés, and sausages; clothing (I’ve found a lot of linen dresses here); the usual hardware and kitchen doodads ; luscious soaps; and even a little artwork.
After the market, we recommend Crêperie Lou Planet, on Place Favier, for a light lunch. Musée des Alpilles, located in the Hôtel Mistral de Montdragon, is on the same square; it is a collection of Provence art and artifacts (that I would only recommend if you have lots of time to spare). The nearby Hôtel de Sade houses the Musée Archéologique where there are many pieces from Glanum (very interesting if Greek and Roman history in Provence appeals as much to you as it does to me).Other restaurants we have really enjoyed are Chez L’Ami, Grain du Sel, and Le Apostrophe.
Outside the city in Paradou, we really like Bistrot du Paradou, where regional food is cooked to perfection. Sitting outside is best.For a fabulous meal—if you really want to seriously splurge—there is always the two-Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant, Oustau de Baumaniere in Les Baux de Provence. Located in the five-star Relais et Châteaux property, it is a special occasion. I can’t see myself going there after the market—I would make it a destination.