The weather forecast for Saturday was mixed, so we decided to leave weeding the garden and visit the market in Royan, living in the Medoc the journey is quite easy. We caught the morning ferry from Le Verdon as foot passengers (3€ each way) and enjoyed sitting in the warm sunshine on an outside deck for the 20minute crossing.
Most visitors to this area think of Royan as a ferry crossing point only. Usually after a long days drive, the weary travellers
just sit in their car waiting for the next ferry which will speed them on their journey. In fact Royan is a charming seaside town
with lots to offer apart from its excellent beaches and the ferry crossing and well worth exploring.
The daily market (closed on Monday) is held throughout the year and is within easy walking distance of the ferry port, simply follow the quayside to the marina wharf. There are many café’s and restaurants on the quayside to tempt you but, the market closes at 1pm, so try them on your return. Cross the road to the pleasant square “place du Charles de Gaulle” then follow the tree lined “Boulevard Aristide Briand”. The unusual shell shaped concrete dome of the market place can be seen at the end of this road.
The produce stalls are laid out internally in decreasing circles in this circular building, the outer ring mainly devoted to butchery with a wide selection of mouth watering items from Limousin beef, to a tripery and purveyors of foie gras. The next ring of shining cold counters, is given over to produce from the sea. We tend to spend more time following this ring of delicacies usually making the circuit more than once. Giant Turbot down to over flowing baskets of crevettes with live lobster and crab of many varieties, trying to break the restraining elastic bands around their claws, what a choice, what do we want for dinner?
As you follow your nose to the centre of the building, through the circles of fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese and mouth watering cakes, pastries and breads of every size and recipe, you will find your shopping basket become heavier and heavier unable to resist the freshness and range of the produce before you.
Call in and enjoy a coffee at Café du Marché or if you can’t wait for dinner at home, collect a picnic lunch to eat on the quayside while you wait for your return ferry crossing!
2009 Judi Humphrey and "T" Brookman (Saint Vivien)