Every Monday from around 9am to 2pm there is an amazing regional market in the adorable little village of Forcalquier. It's year round but in the summer it's absolutely heaving to capacity - in the best way. Mouthwatering produce of course but also a fantastic variety of other things like beautiful Provencale tablecloths, homemade soaps, artisan crafts. It seems to take over the entire town and extends onto the "ramparts" and upper square. There are often second-hand clothes bargains to be found (tables of lovely stuff to dig through for 1 euro!) and usually there is some extremely funny demonstration going on of the latest cooking implement like a frites-cutter. It's definitely the type of place you can pass the whole morning (and fill your shopping baskets).
I also love dining at any "Bistrot du Pays" whenever I'm in Provence (they have them in other regions as well). This is a regional network of bistrots in very tiny villages that are the lifeblood of the villages. They all serve tasty, inexpensive three course lunches and most serve dinner too. The focus is on regional traditions and local food. My two favourite near Forcalquier are Pierrerue and Cafe de la Tonelle (reservations recommended at both).
Google map: bit.ly/MVFCsz
A list of Bistrot du Pays is at:
Cafe de la Tonnelle:
+33(0)4 92 73 19 89
Rue de la ferraille
+33(0)4 92 75 33 00
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