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On a sunny day about midweek we made a trip to Sète. It’s about 30 min by train from Béziers.
The sky was blue, the sun was brilliant: it was hot – we stumbled direct into the farmer’s market which sprawled along the streets and alleyways … and the market hall. My better half & I were enthralled by the abundance of fruits & vegetables, the cheeses, the fish & seafood, the meat … and all the rest.
During this trip we only stayed for few hours, just until after lunch, because of the heat. (We made another trip somewhat later …)
Sète is a lovely town at the coast with a vast canal system leading to the harbor & the Mediterranean Sea. It’s just fun to walk along the canals, make a stop at a café, watch the traffic … In the hinterland there is the Étang de Thau, a vast lake where oysters are bred – as I read.
However, now let’s start with the food!
The food market feels like a natural part of the city. There are booths with whatever you like, especially fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. People mingle in between & fill their shopping bags.
It’s not only one single street filled with offers, but the quarter left to the main canal, le Canal de Sète, is filled with people and booths. There are also some cafés offering refreshments and tables outside … so the exhausted shopper may take a break.
Doesn’t it look gorgeous?
What did we buy?
To be honest – not so much, because we had to return home by train … but I had to hold off. Even if I don’t do so much cooking … (I already wrote about leaving my comfort zone for cooking & baking … and it’s hot in the Mediterranean area which in addition doesn’t invite me into the kitchen) … I just enjoyed the variety of everything!
The absolute highlight is Les Halles, surrounded by the alleyways with the market booths, a really vast market hall where you may buy whatever you plan for dinner as well as take some food to some tables and eat on the spot. (Of course this wasn’t the first market hall we encountered in France … however, it was one of the best!)
From vegetables & fruit you’ll find meat (w/o photo) & sausages as well as ham … There are booths offering cheeses as well as booths for bread (no photo) and cakes& tartlets … as well as regional nougat. You’ll also find wine merchants (if you eat you’ll need some wine accompanying the food!) and …
(Of course also fish & seafood – however my photos didn’t work out in a quality I would have liked!)
For completeness: there is also a market for clothes and anything for the household on the other side of the canal.
We didn’t manage to get a table in the markte hall, but we found a small bistro near the market chaos. I had a plate filled w/ palourdes (venus clams) on a bed of spaghetti – I cannot remember ever having had such delicious clams!
We walked along the canal … and its side canals …
L’Église Saint-Louis is a landmark as well as the Cimetière Marin, the burial ground for the fisherman and seamen. The harbour is rather large – there is a part for weekend warriors and a larger part for business.
During our 2nd visit we made a short tourist cruise crossing the harbor & along the coast. It was quite interesting to get a view of Sète from the seaside.
Finally we had to return to the train station – each time.
… & each time it was a trip worth its effort – and always have in mind that you’ll find some nice café or brasserie or whatever if the sun burns too hard!