The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 17

Packed with fabulous features: Carcassonne, Nimes, Orange in Provence, Nice Carnival, Paris at Christmas, Laval in Mayenne, absinthe, the fashion district of Paris, recipes, guides and more. Our secret ingredient is passion!

The weekly market

The weekly market (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) takes place here as it has done for centuries. It’s a vibrant, buzzing market and plenty of delicious smells scent the air. At the popular stall of Chez Gaston, try the arachides, peanuts in a rice pastry shell dipped in mustard and spices. Or La Lucque – enormous olives that are rugby ball shaped, they’re considered the “rolls Royce of olives” by the locals I’m told and they’re grown in the area. From Monday to Saturday there is a covered market at Les Halles. This is the place to come to order fresh cooked cassoulet to take home. It’s sold in terracotta bowls which make for great souvenirs. At one stall I spotted “La cargolade” tiny snails ready to barbecue, a speciality of the area. There’s “casser la croute” salted pastry with a meaty interior, a recipe that dates back to the middle ages when makers would decorate the pastry as their signature. And, don’t miss a visit to the patisserie boulangerie shop of Chef Fuster who makes the special madeleine cakes of Carcassonne. Outside in the car park you’ll see a circle of stones, they mark the spot where the town pillory used to be in the medieval days. The history in this town is palpable. Stop off at Bistro d’Alice (26 rue Chartran) where the friendly staff take real pride in the produce. Everything is home cooked and its loved by the locals. Outside you can enjoy the breeze, inside there’s a typically French brasserie atmosphere, banquettes and brass and a buzz of conversation, it’s the perfect place for lunch after a trip to the market or in the town. There are several churches from the 13th and 14th centuries. Magnificent mansion houses date back to the 17th and 18th century when the city was home to prosperous merchants, who made fortunes from the textile manufacturing industry.