Daydream Destination: Lourmarin's Market in Provence

As I'm working on getting my first Vignette Guide done, I think it's time to revive my Daydream Destination posts for a little Friday inspiration and escape. They will be short and sweet posts of places and spaces from cities to specific restaurants to tiny village corners. Just to set the mood--and because I've been a bit obsessed with this song for a while--here's some Carla Bruni.



Today's destination is the Lourmarin market in Provence. 

Each Friday morning it unfolds throughout the narrow streets and into the main square. The lovely setting, from plane trees to time-worn, ivy covered shops, makes it easy to meander from stall to stall, even when the quiet of the early morning fades.

Like most Provençal markets, it's a mix of fresh food, housewares, linens, lavender, soaps, clothing, "Provence stuff," and miscellaneous odds and ends.

It was, by far, my favorite market from the trip. I think part of it had to do with being able to walk out of our front door and be in the middle of everything. But Lourmarin has a nice feel to it. It's compact but not cramped, time-worn but still lively.

I mostly did a lot of looking (and drooling over the food, despite having just eaten breakfast). I have a rule about only buying things that I fall head over heels in love with when I travel.

This time around , it was soap. The owner of our house left us with different types to try. One particularly questionable looking brown square turned out to be an amazing verbena. And that was that, I had to have a stash of verbena and lavender soap. It was in this market that I finally found exactly what I was looking for and bought about $30 worth. It lasted me a year. I wanted to cry when that last tiny sliver slipped from my hands and went down the drain.

So, what I'm trying to say is, if you're in Provence and in the market for soap, Lourmarin's market might be your place. If you want soap-buying tips, then drop me a note because I could go on and on. . .I'm only half kidding.

Besides soap, my second favorite part of the market was the sausage guy. He was at the back of the main square, wearing a great hat, one of those old leather butcher's aprons and drinking beer, beer, and more beer. He was jovial. Don't let the picture below fool you.

That man could probably convince me to give him my watch and then sell it back to me and I would probably leave a happy customer until a few days later when his charm spell wore off. He was fantastic!

Needless to say, we bought a lot of sausage.

I'm not sure how much more romantic life can get than waking up in real linen sheets in an antique bed in Provence, having coffee with whatever looks fresh and delicious that day at the bakery, and then walking out to a beautiful, bustling market with an empty woven basket that is just begging to be filled. When meandering gets tiring, you can wander back into town for a Perrier menthe or a small pitcher of cold rosé and snack on the 700 types of sausage you bought on impulse, because it seemed like a deal at the time.

Have a wonderful weekend!