Celia's blog

Musings on life in Lodeve, Languedoc

Posts Tagged ‘Markets’

Summer in Lodève – les Nocturnes

Posted by celiahukins on 07/12/2012

Paye ton Schtreimel
Apologies for the lack of blog – I’ve been travelling – hope to post about that soon. Anyway it’s good to look back to the summer as we sit by the fire.

On Tuesday evenings we enjoyed the Nocturnes de Lodève, with open air performances by various musicians. It was pleasant to sit in the Square Georges Auric, just outside the art gallery, and listen to music as it got dark. Usually there was a welcome freshness in the air, a relief after the heat of the day.

Here are Paye ton Schtreimel, a group of students from Lille University who entertained us with their take on Yiddish songs.

Earlier on Tuesday evenings there was the Marché du Terroir, where locals sell their home grown fruit and veg and the lady from Pégairolles sells her excellent goats cheese.

marché du terroir


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Easter in Lodeve

Posted by celiahukins on 09/04/2012

As usual a Saturday morning trip to the market. A good time of year for trays of Spanish strawberries (we’ve been enjoying them over the weekend) as well as radishes, lettuces, and asparagus (we didn’t buy any asparagus this time as we’d had a lot previously). We did buy basil and coriander plants for our new herb pots.
We bought cheese from our usual stall – Comté, Tomme de Savoie, Roquefort – and a paella (sorry no photo of this)

Then we sat in the sun admiring the tamarisk with our Pastis and the olives we’d bought

Sunday in Sète – more tomorrow!

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Oysters at Lodeve market

Posted by celiahukins on 04/05/2011

As ever the Saturday morning market calls. Fortunately it’s not raining as it was last week. A quick tour of the stalls (local strawberries, asparagus, broad beans – you know the sort of thing) and it’s time for the local tradition of a pichet of white wine at the Bar des Halles, with oysters from the oyster stall just outside.

All the usual people come and go at the café; a chance to have one of those long philosophical discussions with Paul, fuelled by more wine and a second dozen oysters. At 2 pm the tables are cleared away and the cleaning van comes round – goodbye until next week.

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Market day

Posted by celiahukins on 16/04/2011

Sorry there have been no blog posts for a while. I’ve been visiting Paris, the Loire valley, and spending some time in the UK. Now I’m back in Lodève and have been enjoying the sunny weather and watching the blossom appear on our front bank. Each day the excitement of something new – until the bank is full of yellows, whites and purples and we take it as a matter of course.

In the local markets there are radishes, asparagus, broad beans, and lots of lettuces. Clermont l’Hérault (a 20 minute drive from Lodève) has been spruced up this year; the cafés now have new outside seating areas and menus printed on boards outside. But the Wednesday market is still the same – the three fish stalls, the lady selling eggs as well as her home made pies filled with herbs or chicken, stalls for olives, cheese, fruit and veg, and stalls for just about anything else – shoes, handbags, fabric, mattresses. Not forgetting of course the obligatory accordeon player. This week I found some tin trays with a fish decoration to add to the one I’d already got.

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A week in the Languedoc

Posted by celiahukins on 20/10/2010

There are always things to do in the Languedoc. I had a first time visitor last week (Most other friends have been at least once by now). We started off with a wander round Pézenas (the weather didn’t look too promising but it turned out all right), had a tasty lunch in the square, then on to Villeneuvette, the former cloth factory where there is a pleasant walk around the grounds with their complicated irrigation system. Of course we had to visit Lodève market, where we tasted the first of the new season of our local luques olives – delicious – and bought some tapénade for my friend to discover. (Note – this has no resemblance to the tapénade you buy in jars)

We also did some other old favourites – Cirque de Navacelles
Saint Guilhem le Desert and the Pont du Diable

and a driving tour round the Lac du Salagou.

New for me was a trip to Millau – we drove down into Millau, with views of the bridge on the way, saw the market (note the cepes!), had a picnic lunch by the river in the sun (baguette with local ham, goats cheese, pine nuts and a mystery ingredient – was it honey?) then drove on to the viewing area and to drive over the bridge itself. (Alas by this point my camera battery was flat, but here’s one I prepared earlier).

We returned by way of La Couvertoirade an authentic medieval village, former home of the Knights Templar.

What to do on a rainy day? What better than a Sunday afternoon concert at Le Minuscule – Gershwin and Mozart on 2 pianos, and green tea and scones. And yes, it is possible to get 2 pianos in the small café, not to mention a large number of people as well.

We nearly forgot to pop in to the cathedral. When we did the sun was shining and the stained glass window looked splendid.

We ended our trip with a picnic lunch on the beach at Vias, before catching our £5 Ryanair flight from Béziers to Bristol at 3.30 – Vive Ryanair!

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A November weekend

Posted by celiahukins on 25/11/2009

The friends who came for the weekend (Bristol to Béziers flight) reminded me how many things the Languedoc has to offer. It was the second time they had visited; this time we spend Friday in Béziers, enjoying the cathedral and wandering round the old town, and of course having lunch. We ate at le Cristal on the Allées Paul Riquet where I had been in the Spring, and enjoyed a wonderful fish stew. Next time I must find another car park which has spaces you can actually get into. We parked in the car park under the Place Jean Jaurès and the pillars are always in the way.. We drove back to Lodève in the late afternoon – time to reacquaint my friends with a pastis for an aperitif.

You can’t let Saturday morning go by without a visit to the market at Lodève. We bought goats cheese, olives, tielles, pears and clementines. Then it seemed a good idea to pause for glass of rosé before going back up the hill for lunch. We wondered about eating some oysters from the adjacent stall, but gave them a miss as we had the tielles to eat for lunch at the house. We ate them outside in the sunshine with a salad of local tomatoes.

The olive shop in Clermont l’Hérault is another essential stop on a weekend tour, and we went there on Saturday afternoon. As well as olive oil, they have a wonderful range of things made with olives and olive wood, including soap, shower gel and various cooking implements, and local produce as well. It always keeps my visitors happy, but unfortunately as they only have hand luggage booked with Ryanair, they are limited as to what they can take back.

On Sunday we drove up to the Cirque de Navacelles, which looked quite different at this time of year. After that we drove across the plateau to Le Caylar. There was thick fog on the way but we decided it had cleared enough to drive on up to the Millau bridge, and it wsa certainly well worth the drive.

Here’s an article from the Independent on a weekend in Beziers

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What I bought at the market

Posted by celiahukins on 31/10/2009

Market purchases
Anchovies and black olives as I’m going to make a pissaladiere – I’ll let you know how it goes. Large tomatoes – I could stuff them with brandade de morue or just use in ratatouille or a salad. Clementines and Muscat grapes. The small tomatoes came from the garden.

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Birmingham market

Posted by celiahukins on 20/08/2009

Birmingham market
Any bowl a pound

I’ve written about markets in France – but we have a market in Birmingham too. As in Lodève, it’s a 10 minute walk from our home, and as in Lodève it’s uphill on the way back, but in Birmingham I can get a bus.
There are some great bargains to be had at the market “Any bowl a pahnd” is the cry on many stalls. The bowls consists of generous amounts of tomatoes, mushrooms, courgettes, fruit, or whatever is in season. The market is popular with West Indians and stocks a lot of their fruit and veg. It’s also popular with visiting Asians who are used to street markets in their own countries.
West indian stall

There are always good deals on peppers, but as with much of the produce it’s a good idea to use them quickly as they may be on the point of going off. So it’s a good opportunity to stock up the freezer with ratatouille, chick pea stew, and sautéed mushrooms – and then look forward to returning to our local markets in Lodeve and Clermont l’Hérault.

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Spring in Lodeve?

Posted by celiahukins on 12/03/2009



I’m back in France again, after a trip to Birmingham and one to
Assisi with Voyages Jules Verne.

We flew in to Béziers airport over the lagoon on Monday; I could see Sete and other places I had been to, although I wasn’t quite sure which was which. The fields spread out in bright greens and yellows reminiscent of a Van Gogh painting. It’s always good to be back in France. This time some blossom is out and there is mimosa, but most trees are still resolutely bare.
On Tuesday morning I walked down into Lodève; smell of baking bread outside Sanchos, voices of children in the playground of the Maternelle; cafés with tables outside ready for lunch. Blossom here and there. After lunch it was sunny enough to encourage me to get the sunbed out, but on Wednesday it was dull again “Mais c’est l’hiver a Clermont l’Hérault” I hear at the market. Yes – it’s market day again. Today there are small artichokes at 2 euros the kilo, asparagus and strawberries from Spain. There are smells from the food stalls – chicken, paella, bourride. Our friends who live in France went to England recently and complained that it smelt of fast food and frying chips. Not so here – the smells are all fresh and you get hungry thinking about lunch. In the end I bought some brandade de morue for this evening.- maybe I’ll use it in stuffed tomatoes – and a tielle for lunch. I think this fish stall has the best tielles – they have chunky pieces of octopus. So, loaded down with my purchases, – peppers, courgettes, tomatoes and aubergines for ratatouille, oranges, apples, cheese and olives – I drive back to Lodève with the smells of the cheese and brandade in the car.

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February in Lodeve

Posted by celiahukins on 13/02/2009

February morning

February morning

It’s good to be back, after spending January in Birmingham. It’s 5 years since we had our house built, and now I fit easily into the way of things when I come back.
My new route – train Birmingham – Bristol, 1 and a half hours, bus to the airport, flight Bristol – Beziers – was painless. I left home at 7.30 was met at Beziers airport at 2.30 and was back here by 3.30. Lucky I made it – if I’d been earlier Bristol airport was closed because of the snow, if later there was fog. And there were no flights taking off from Northern France.

Yesterday I went to the market. There are 2 main local markets. The Lodève one is on a Saturday morning, but there is also one at Clermont l’Hérault (20 kilometres away) on a Wednesday morning. It was fresh with a chilly wind, but sometimes the sun was warm. I wasn’t looking for very much, as I had only myself to feed, but I found some of my favourite Muscat grapes. I bought some Chantecler apples which we’ve just discovered and some clementines from Spain. I stopped at the olive stall to buy some olives stuffed with anchovies (my favourite) and some black tapénade. I bought some Pérail sheep’s milk cheese from the Larzac – the stall holder explained that it was just the beginning of the season and he was starting to make it again. Then I found some herb pastries which I enjoyed for lunch.

I’ve been meeting up with friends and acquaintances. Most mornings I walk into Lodève and have a petit déca at Le Minuscule. Gisela, the owner runs Thursday evening entertainment. This week there is a Brazilian singer and she’s booked up. I say I’ll just go for the concert at 9 pm and forgo the food which she provides earlier – another time. My usual paper shop is closed for 2 weeks – winter holidays. I go to another and am greeted by an English voice – it’s Rachel Thornton, the author of The fast guide to Lodève, which is a very good account in English of Lodève’s history and culture, rather like the one I was planning to write myself but had never got round to.
Rachel’s husband is a glass blower – they moved from the UK about two years ago and I first heard about them from a contact on friends reunited.

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