Our first day in Provence was pretty amazing, but after a well-rested night, we were ready to have an even better one (at least more alert and alive!). It was Saturday and we were checking out of our hotel and into the house we rented for the week. Since we were staying at a house, we wanted to take advantage of the kitchen and grill and cook a lot of our meals there. The house was in Saint Saturnin Les Apt and one of the best Saturday markets around was in Apt, so we decided to head there.
We initially had ambitious plans of getting to the market first thing in the morning after reading that it gets pretty crowded, but we decided to take our time and have some breakfast at the hotel first. I’m glad we did because their eggs and croissants were amazing. I think we were out the door by 10am and off to the market, which was only about a 20 minute drive.
The Provencal markets are incredible! Unlike the typical farmer’s markets we have back home, with fresh produce, some meats, cheeses, flowers, local products and goods, these are filled with everything from fabrics to hats to clothes and shoes, accessories, blankets and basket bags, jewelry, street food, vegetables, fruits, fresh honey and jams and much more! They are so much fun to explore and seem to just keep going and going. The Apt market is in the middle of the town and winds through little alleys and streets, with new vendors and booths every which way you turn. It can be a little overwhelming at first, especially for me since I want to take in everything, so it’s nice to have an idea of what you’re wanting to buy.
Our first stop was for some flowers for the house. I saw these beautiful pink peonies and couldn’t resist buying a few bushels of them. They are my weakness! Right across the street was a table with the most beautiful linens and quilts. I fell in love with a blue and pink floral one (if you scroll down, you’ll see it in Thomas’s backpack) and couldn’t pass up the crazy inexpensive price. Luckily we packed an empty duffel bag with us so we could bring back any goods we found on our trip!
We planned for quick breakfasts to whip up, easy salads to make and simple dinners to grill at the house. So we bought a bunch of fresh produce, like lettuce, tomato, onion, carrots, asparagus, along with different fruits, from cherries to apricots, strawberries, raspberries and melon. We also picked up baguettes and croissants and a variety of cheeses. We didn’t know what condiments the house would have, so we bought some lavender honey (after having it on our last trip we were obsessed!) and some local jam to add to toast in the morning.
It’s hard not to get completely distracted at the markets. I find myself wandering into local shops and bookstores, wanting to get a sense of everything around me. It’s the most fun to discover and explore this way! Since we didn’t arrive until 10:30, the time quickly flew and before we knew it, the vendors were closing down their tables. The market only stays open til around 12:30, which worked in our favor since we were checking into the house at 1. If they didn’t start packing up, I could have kept going for hours!
I’d been wanting to purchase a Gul Hurgel dress for so long and after I wrote this post on my love for color yellow this season, I ended up buying this yellow linen maxi dress. It’s all the things I love this season in one- shirtdress, linen, yellow and striped. I got stopped about every 10 minutes at the market with people asking me where it was from. Thomas made me giggle on the way home when he told me that he saw lots of woman “oh-la-la-ing with their eyes at my dress all morning”. Ha! It also comes in a blue version, a red version and a pink version here.
After the market, we headed back to the house to drop off our luggage. It wasn’t quite ready with the house cleaners still tidying up after the previous guests had left, so we ventured out to the village we were staying in, Saint Saturnin Les Apt. This is an incredibly charming spot to stop by if you’re in the area (especially if you’re visiting the market in Apt). It has fantastic views (see above left photo), colorful buildings and streets and cute little restaurants and shops, although most of them were closed when we arrived around 2:30. Still, we enjoyed walking around the quiet village, with hardly anyone else around during that time, except one small cafe where everyone in the town seemed to be!
After finally settling in at the house, we relaxed a bit, snacked on some of our market goods and sat by the pool. Later in the day, we changed and got ready for dinner (I wore this Club Monaco dress that’s now on sale). We made reservations at Auberge la Feniere, a fantastic Michel star restaurant located near Lourmarin. All I can say is truffle risotto! Amazing! We did’t realize it ahead of time, but it’s a completely gluten free restaurant and they have the most incredible gf bread. I mean, I would buy loaves of this stuff and ship it home. It’s that good!