A few years ago, I found myself dancing up a storm in what is known as the “little Marais market” in Paris.
It was a day in June when Paris holds its annual “Fête de la Musique”, or “Make Music Day.”
On this day, music of all kinds invades the city’s local neighbourhoods and streets.
That night there was something happening literally on every corner.
From the window of my apartment, I could hear techo “crap” blaring from a laptop in a store front; Heading out and down the street, I encountered a seasoned ensemble playing Big Band music in the community centre; around the corner a rock band was set up playing covers on a small side street; and in my favourite food market, there was disco. It was that music that hauled me in like a fish drawn to a bright-coloured lure.
The Little Marais Market
For I am not sure how long, I lost myself in a throbbing, pulsating crowd dancing with no one in particular in one tiny corner of this market called “Le marché couvert des enfants rouges,” or “the covered market of the red children.”
Lunchtime at the market
This, I discovered, is the oldest covered food market in Paris (created in 1628) originally named after the orphans who wore red uniforms and lived in a nearby hospice.
Food Shopping in Le Marais
During the day mostly, the market bustles with activity as vendors display and sell their fresh produce, such as fruit, fish, vegetables, along with exotic cooked meals and snacks from Italy, Japan and Lebanon.
Here’s looking at you sweetheart!
Mushrooms of all kinds!
A beautiful bouquet of French radishes
In Paris, people shop almost every day so it is not unusual to go to the market to buy just a couple of things. I have learned that it is rude to feel, test or pick out produce as I might at home. The protocol is to point to what you want and allow the vendor to select and package it for you.
You often have to wait your turn but you can take as much time as you like quizzing vendors about where their blueberries came from, or what kind of cheeses they would recommend.
Flower shop in Le Marais market
Bouquet of flowers makes a nice gift if you are invited to dinner.
You will find this little market at 39 Rue de Bretagne in the Marais (3rd) arrondissement.
The market has been listed as a historic monument since 1982.
Have you got a favourite food market in Paris? Do tell us about it!
A mural at the entrance of the Marais market.
I just couldn’t stop taking pictures!
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Speaking of markets, no one is more knowledgeable about food, clothes and antique markets than Dee Pocquette. She has now published her Tour dates for 2020 that includes her week-long packages where she is your personal guide to authentic Provence.
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Dee’s 2020 Upcoming Tour Dates
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OCT. 12-20, 2020
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