A tale of two French food markets, Les Halles in Avignon and le Marche Couvert in Colmar, which are very different, but both brilliant showcases for regional produce and less aimed at tourists than many others.
They are also my 'spring'(Avignon) and 'autumn'(Colmar) favourites. New season garlic, artichokes and other bounty from the south of France, with a Campari or Pastis while people watching in Avignon and with visiting chefs doing demonstrations every Sat 11am, plus a truffle festival mid-February to reward 'early birds'. Then the autumn treat of vin nouveau and flammekuche, plus all the ingredients you need for a hearty Choucroute Garnie from Colmar's smaller market.
I would recommend the train for a weekend trip to both -about 6hrs from London, though for Colmar you would need to rent a car in Strasbourg to get around the area. Of course it all depends on how carried away you get with the shopping. If you are seriously stocking up on for example wine, you'll need a car all the way!
Les Halles, Place Pie, Avignon open daily except Monday 6am-1.30pm
Google map: bit.ly/hKzrte
Le Marche Couvert de Colmar, Rue des Ecoles, 68000 Colmar. Open daily except Monday approx 8 am-5pm.
Google map: bit.ly/hCpHpU
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