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Water market At the foot of the Cathedral, the weekly Saturday morning market along the pretty Quai Belu in the old district of St Leu with its higgledy piggledy colourful houses, has a lovely, festive atmosphere. The market on the water as it’s known, is where the market gardeners of the hortillonnages sell their produce and have done so for centuries. Almost everything here comes from the hortillonnages or around the Somme area - from flowers and vegetables to wild herbs, cheese, honey, charcuterie and even beer. Every third Saturday in June, the market gardeners arrive by traditional flat bottomed boat to sell their goods at the “Marche sur l’Eau” (water market). It’s a very colourful and merry event and the market traders dress in medieval costume in this homage to the days of old when market trade was conducted from boats. It’s a delicious day out and lots of fun. Jules Verne’s house You mustn’t miss a visit to the home of one of France’s great writers. Jules Verne has inspired generations for more than 100 years with his tales of adventure, science and daring do. He wrote many of his stories right here in Amiens where he lived for 18 years. His 19th century mansion has been restored to look just as it did in the late 1800s when he filled his rooms with the reference books, geographical surveys and scientific reports which inspired his fantastic stories of journeys to the centre of the earth, the moon, under the sea and of course, around the world in 80 days.
Where to eat out There are plenty of cafés, bistros and fine restaurants in the city… The great writer's study looks as if he’s just popped out. The wood panelled walls have the patina of history embedded in them and there’s a fabulous collection of books, posters and even models – including a flying machine Verne imagined before aircraft were even invented. It’s a fascinating visit, a trip back to the past. I recommend taking the tour with an audio guide. Details: maisondejulesverne Locals love: Le Quai restaurant is hugely popular with the locals. In its prime position in Quai Belu overlooking the canal, with the Cathedral in the background, it’s great for coffee, a glass of wine or a cocktail, and even better for lunch or dinner. The staff are friendly, the menu is terrific with an emphasis on fresh regional products, classic French brasserie dishes, delicious salads and excellent vegetarian options. restaurantlequai.fr/
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