Connoisseurs of French-made quality blankets will know the name Brun de Vian-Tiran, the oldest cloth-weaving factory still running in France. For eight generations and down two centuries, the Brun family has been travelling the world in search of the finest wools to weave at its l’Isle sur la Sorgue manufactory. Now they’ve opened a new museum to showcase the wonderful saga of their family business.
There’s one Provençal speciality that’s not very well known, but it’s very photogenic – candied fruit! Vaucluse has long been a kitchen garden of France, and this technique preserves the fruit so it can be eaten in winter – especially at Christmas, when glacé fruit forms one of the traditional “13 Desserts”. As the candied fruit capital of Provence, Apt has just opened its Maison du Fruit Confit (House of Candied Fruit), where visitors can discover these magic ingredients and learn how to cook with them.
It’s not always easy to visit the workshops of artisans in the fields of crafts or food: you need to be able to find them, make sure they’re around and available, and be immersed in the region’s specific culture. Sarah Cheron knows them all, and offers guided day or half-day visits to their workshops for individuals and groups.
Of course, there is the Palace of the Popes and Avignon Bridge, the incredible collection of contemporary art at the Lambert Collection, the treasures of the Angladon Foundation, the Italian Renaissance art at the Petit Palais… and much more besides. But what next? Well there’s shopping! And when you want to tell your customers about the best places that can only be found in Avignon, far from the depressing line up of large international brands, don’t beat about the bush, give them this address book specially designed for curious and informed travellers.
Please note: in France, the shops are often closed on Mondays (in addition to Sundays), and very often between noon and two. So a bit of advice: don’t go shopping on Sundays or Mondays!
The covered market at Les Halles
It goes without saying! The indoor market is the beating heart of the city, where everyone in Avignon goes in search of the best local produce. It’s where you can buy bottles of olive oil from Provence, local cheeses and cheeses from all over France, truffles (in season), and of course, fish from the Mediterranean, humanely raised meat, olives, tapenades, organic bread etc.
Open every morning from 6am to 1.30pm, except Mondays. Cooking demonstration by a different local chef every Saturday at 11am, followed by a tasting of the dish with a matching wine (free). www.avignon-leshalles.com
CQFD – all “Made in France”
Création EthiQues Franco Décalées (Quirky Ethical French Designs)! This small shop is a concept store that sells a range of sometimes unique […]