November in Provence. Bring on the chestnuts! Have you ever had crème de marrons (chestnut cream)? It’s like a gourmet version of Nutella. How about chestnut honey? Now that’s different!
Are you in the holiday spirit yet? The massive amounts of high-quality chocolate boxes at the supermarkets are tempting me… Has anyone made a Christmas cake already? Spiced German cookies? It feels a little early for me but the first Christmas market is on this weekend in Maussane. You’ll find two of my favourite Christmas markets in Provence during this month; the Foire du Gras and the Alsace-Sénas market.
Here is my selection of some of the most interesting events in Provence this month, focusing on the Bouches du Rhône region.
Toussaint (All Saints’ Day)
Public Holiday. Many businesses may be closed.
Foire de la Toussaint – Châteaurenard
350 stands from all over France with artisan and gastronomic products in the centre of town.
Marché Italien Portofino – Cassis
Every day except the weekends, pasta demonstrations and more. Place Baragnon. A market celebrating everything that’s lovely about Italian products in chic Cassis. Perfect day out in my books.
Festival Vin & Chocolat – Rasteau
10h demonstrations and tastings of chocolate and local wine. Cave de Rasteau.
Nimagine -Salon des Créateurs – Nimes
On weekends: 10-19h
During the week: 12 to 19h
Friday night until 22h
A large indoor exhibition space. 190 artisans display their work and demonstrate their craft- great for Christmas gifts!
Fête de la Courge – Rognes
Annual gourd festival- everything to do with pumpkins and squash imaginable!
A Family walk starts at 8h30 and the market starts at 10h-17h00. I love this little village close to Aix en Provence.
Marché de Noel – Maussane-les-Alpilles
Place Henri Giraud. It may be a little early but Maussane kicks off the festive season with the first Christmas market. For those early shoppers…
Amistice Day commemorating the end of hostilities on the Western front of WWI. At 11h15 a parade will start in Tarascon to commemorate the dead.
Festival d’Abrivado – Saintes Maries de la Mer
200 gardians and 1000 Camargue horses come together to be seen on the beach to celebrate the cavalry skill of the gardiens and the beauty of these white horses. Quite a sight!
Foire aux Santons et Marché de Noel – Fontvielle
Market of traditional craftsmen selling ‘santons’ or Provencal figurines meant to populate one’s family nativity scene, Centre ville et salle polyvalente (Cours Hyacinthe Bellon)
9h30-18h30 outside and in the community room.
Marché de Noel – Rognonas
Christmas market, 10-19h.
Beaujolais Nouveau Day en France
The first arrivals of the new Beaujolais Nouveau bottles of the year. I’m personally not a fan but people do go crazy for the stuff!
Click here for a little context and history. For events in the Beaujolais region, click here.
Otherwise, look out for the grand displays of the new bottles in your nearest local supermarket…
Marché aux Truffes d’Hiver – Carpentras
The opening of the first Friday morning truffle market that continues throughout the winter season, until March. This is a market for serious buyers of truffles. It can be secretive.
Cour de l’Hôtel-Dieu- Professional market at 9 am for 1 hr. At the Parvis Office de Tourisme there’s a market for the public from 8am-12h.
Le Ban des Truffes– Richerenches
The opening of the most important truffle market in France…
Check out this Wikipedia article on the Richeranches truffle market to further comprehend it’s importance. Richeranches is a bit far from anything else but it’s a lovely drive through the Drome Provencal to get there. Also, make sure to order a sneaky glass of wine in the town’s main bar, which on truffle market day, is bustling with locals comparing truffles and snacking on mountain cheese.
Fête de la Châtaigne – Cagnes sur Mer
10h-18h Festival celebrating all that is wondering about the chestnut.
Salon Provence Prestige – Arles
150 stands of haut de gamme products (gastronomic and otherwise) great for Christmas gifts. You’ll find products such as the original Savon de Marseille and Santons de Provence.
Marché de Noel – Tarascon
Christmas market including a Santon fair.
One of my favourite Christmas markets because it’s different and you get a little taste of Germany. Click on the link to read my article where I get a little excited about smoked sausages… You’ll find me in line at the Alsatian butcher.
Foire Gourmande au Gras – Fontvieille
Fat festival! Yes- that’s right! Producers of foie gras, confit du canard, and mountain cheeses with displays of truffles and all manner of poultry. A typical meal, often duck, for 13,50 euros sold on the spot. Eat at long tables with the locals. A unique market that is great fun! Click the link to check out my article on this unique market with photos.
Belle Brocante – Eygalières.
Brocante, or antiques market in the centre of the village all day.
Fête de l’Huile d’Olive Nouvelle et Marché de Noel – Mouriès
A combined Christmas market and festival to celebrate the newly pressed olive oil of Les Alpilles.
Vide Greniers (village flea markets)- many throughout the month
6 October – 24 November
Festival des Soupes du pays – Vaison la Romaine
19 villages around Vaison la Romaine compete for the best bowl of soup! Isn’t that fantastic in it’s simplicity?
23 novembre-4 janvier
Foire aux santons– Aix en Provence
Tous les jours (every day) de 10h à 19h (except 25 décembre)
Espace Cézanne aux Allées Provençales
mid November to mid March
Les truffes sont là ! Truffles have Arrived!
Valréas : mercredi matin (Wednesday mornings)
Aups : jeudi matin (Thursday mornings)
Carpentras : vendredi matin (Friday morning)
Richerenches : samedi (from Nov 19)
The most well known and vibrant truffle market. Truffle omelette tastings every Saturday and a very lively town café.
Encierro d’Hiver – Châteaurenard
If you missed the bulls this summer you can find them at the arena of Châteaurenard every Sunday at 14h.