Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Summer is Coming

For us, summer in Provence means lavender, sunflowers, sunshine, brilliant blue sky, fabulous markets, all kinds of festivals, leisurely lunches in village cafés, rosé wine, the Tour de France, and the Journée du Livres, the annual book festival held in Sablet the third weekend of July every year. There are also lots of tourists.

One of our favorite things about Provence is that we can go to an outdoor market in a different village every day of the week if we wanted to. Besides the weekly open-air markets, there are special marché artisanale (art and craft markets) and brocante (flea) markets throughout the summer.

One Sunday morning we came across a marchés de potiers (pottery market) on Place Montfort in Vaison-la-Romaine, a town with lots of Roman ruins about 10 kms north of Sablet. Now there are few things we love more than Provencal pottery and to find a whole market devoted to pottery was just perfect.

As I said, we have a fondness for Provencal pottery and you can find a lot of it in our house in Sablet. We say the terroir of the Southern Côtes du Rhône is perfect for making wines and it's perfect for making pottery too—clay-rich soil, hot sun for baking, wood for firing.

Terres de Provence is an association of 100 artisans who make pottery throughout Provence and hold pottery markets during the summer months. Here is a link to the pottery markets they have scheduled for 2012. Here are pictures of the pottery market we visited in Vaison-la-Romaine. If you click on the pictures, you can enlarge them for better viewing.

A beautiful day, perfect for an outdoor pottery market.

The pottery displayed and sold at this market are all fabricated by the artisans at the market.

You have to be careful when you shop for pottery in tourist shops because a lot of pottery is mass-produced.and not hand crafted by artisans in their workshops.

One thing you will note is that each artisan has their own style and tend to do all of their work in similar colors.

We have been to ateliers (workshops) where we have watched artisan fabricating the pottery right in front of us in the Drome town of Dieulefit, the Languedoc town of Aigues-Vives, the Gard town of St.-Quentin-La-Poterie, and in the Provence town of Aubagne and around Sablet in Seguret and Gigondas.

On Tuesday mornings throughout the year, this café-lined square is part of the weekly open air market in Vaison-la-Romaine.

Summer is coming and if you are thinking about making a visit to Provence from France or elsewhere in Europe or from the United States, Canada or down-under in Australia or New Zealand, and you have not reserved a house, you had better hurry and do so right away.

We still have two weeks open, June 23 to July 7 and the week of August 25 to September 1 until November. If you are looking to spend a week or two in a charming village in Provence, we would be honored for you to consider our home for your stay.

Bonne journée mes amis et à bientôt.


  1. Oh how I wish I could have seen that pottery market! It looks terrific and I could have purchased so many goodies there. My pocketbook got smaller just looking at the photos!
    I must remember about the book festival in July. That is definitely of interest to me. I hope you are having a lovely time and as promised, I have really tried to keep the rain away for you. Not sure how strong my powers are, but I will keep trying!

  2. Oh Michel - it all looks fantastic! You are lucky. I have an absolute weakness for pottery and esp this type. What fun it must be to visit these markets - and to buy of course!!!

  3. I am so very excited for summer! I can't wait to live outside during the day, smell the lavender and explore new markets again. This morning I took my dog for a walk without jacket on so I think we're getting close! :)

  4. Can't wait for Spring...then there is still summer to look forward to!
    I can almost feel the sunshine on me from your gorgeous photos.
    There is a similar fair here in la Bastide Clairence, this year it is the 15 and 16 of September. I love going to it every year!

  5. Your summery photos make me smile. Seeds are going in now and I am looking forward to smelling my lavender very soon :-) Diane

  6. You summed up summer in Provence perfectly, Michel. And going to a different market everyday of the week has got to be one of the top things to do here. We'll have to be on the lookout for more pottery markets, I've yet to stumble across one in the Var!

  7. Ashley - Do try to come to Sablet for the Journeee du Livres books of all kinds with about 100 authors in attendance.

    Claudia - I love all the markets and especially the special markets during the summer like this one devoted to pottery.

    Sara - We arrived in Sablet on Saturday afternoon and unfortunately it rained all day on Sunday. But looks beautiful today and can't wait to get out and enjoy Provence.

    labergerebasque - I think it would be great to visit some of the markets and festivals in your part of France. I am sure that every market reflects the region where the market is located.

    Diane - Summer is definitely a great time of the year for me.

    Tuula - The link in my post to the 2012 schedule for the pottery markets shows several for towns in the Var.

  8. Love reading about your house in Sablet; We stayed at the Domaine Piagier (sp?) this last summer and loved your town. Live in Germany but am returning to the US this Spring. Not sure if we'll ever get back but will keep your house in mind. It is lovely and such a great place to live. I envy you and hope to do the same some day.

  9. Scott - Thanks so much checking out our blog and for leaving a comment. We love Sablet and it has been great fun to get to know the village residents who are here full time and those who are here only a few times a year like us. Good luck with your move back.