The freshest produce – and treats – are only a stall away
This lively, colourful Sunday-morning market on the banks of the Loire is one of the most popular in the region. With two long, tree-lined avenues in the marketplace packed with stalls selling dazzling displays of local produce including fruit and vegetables, meats, cheeses, freshly baked bread, rillettes and Vouvray, it’s easy to see why. Producers come from further afield too. You’ll even find fish and seafood from Brittany.
LE MARCHÉ DU CARREAU DES HALLES, TOURS
Historic Tours boasts a whopping 20 markets. Head to Le Marché du Carreau des Halles on a Saturday morning for a real farmers’ market and one of the oldest (it was established in 1833). Choose among the straight-from-the-field fruit and vegetables, plus local cheeses and meats you can buy direct from the farmers. An early start is absolutely essential to beat the rush!
Blois’s striking cathedral and famous château are big draws, but the hillside city also has great markets. The one on Saturday morning is more than 100 stalls strong, selling farm produce. In summer look out for the piles of local stone fruits and berries; while in the winter months, fresh oysters take their place.
Medieval Loches has a cracking morning market every Wednesday and Saturday, held in the lower part of this gorgeous cobbled city, below its imposing château. Along with tempting local produce, you’ll find stalls displaying freshly roasted local Géline de Touraine chickens and mouth-watering Sainte-Maure de Touraine goat’s cheese.
If you’re staying in the city, make sure to set your alarm for the Saturday morning market. As many as 130 stalls selling tasty seasonal produce pack the marketplace on the Quai du Roi, on the banks of the Loire. For something different, on Friday evenings (until 9.30pm) there’s a market in the town centre at Place du Martroi. It has bags of atmosphere – not to mention plenty of food stalls and nearby snack-stops so you won’t go hungry.