Southern flavours spice Paris for a tasty weekend – Meanderings through France n° 156
By Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny
On September 14, 15 and 16 Parisians are invited to enjoy all the flavours of Southwest France. For the nineteenth year running three French departments, Gers, Lot-et-Garonne and Tarn-et-Garonne, work together to organize a unique festive event on the banks of the Seine, right at the foot of Notre-Dame cathedral. It’s called “Les Marchés Flottants du Sud-Ouest à Paris”. Entrance is free and you’re more than welcome to join in.
The French Heritage Days will be held on that very same weekend and besides enjoying southwest France art-de-vivre in Paris, it will also be an opportunity to visit Parisian monuments that are not usually open to the public. The “School of Fine Arts”, the stables of the French Republican Guard in the 4th arrondissement, the UNESCO headquarters or even the backstage of the “Crazy Horse” one of Paris most famous cabarets are a few examples of secret places that you will be able to visit on September 15 and 16. More at https://journeesdupatrimoine.culture.gouv.fr/
Gers’, Lot-et-Garonne’s and Tarn-et-Garonne’s gastronomic reputation continues to attract more and more tourists and if you already had the chance to spend some time in this beautiful French region you know what I’m talking about. This is a land of plenty where wines, cheeses, fruits, pork or duck cold cuts as well as sweet specialities undoubtedly are among the very best ones made in France. During this September weekend, no need to travel that far south, in just two hours and a half from London by train you will be able to get to Paris to (re-)discover great products.
Even if kids are back to school and most of us are back to work, an air of holiday will linger on the Seine banks. On the Montebello Bank fourty two stands will propose iconic products of the region, while on the La Tournelle Bank there will be free distributions of sun-ripened fruits, live music and a huge restaurant will serve typical dishes concocted by Michel Dussau, a renowned chef working in the city of Agen in Lot-et-Garonne. Over six tonnes of apples, Chasselas grapes and Lomagne garlic, all grown in the three departments, will be distributed for free!
You will also be able to meet local producers who will be selling their products and share with you their passion for quality and taste. Farmers, wine makers, confectioners, Noir-de-Bigorre pig breeders, duck breeders, craft beer or Armagnac brandy makers, beekeepers, prunes producers, cheese makers… and many others, will be glad to have you taste their delicious products and invite you to visit their workshops on your next trip to their beautiful region. The Tourism Office of each of the three departments will also have a stand and help you plan your next stay in southwest France.
Hopefully the sun will show up… but whatever the weather it will surely be a joyful, satisfying, in every sense of the word, and great Parisian weekend.
More at: www.marchesflottantsdusudouest.com (sorry only in French).
Text ©Annick Dournes