Wednesday, 30 September 2009

This Little Piggy went To Market...

My trip into town this morning was supposed to be just the bank, the GPO and John Lewis Haberdashery. But I noticed that there was a European Market set up in the pedestrianised area- so I just had to go and look at the stalls. I love the colours and the variety of goods on sale from all over the place.

Polish sausages...


Interesting meats...



Artery clogging tartiflette!


Beautifully painted matryoshka dolls [ I think I would prefer a 'trad' one to a Barbie-pink one, or President Obama!]


Fabulous french biscuits, tarts, and brioche...


DSCF0631 DSCF0630

Every sort of dried/candied fruit imaginable - looking like trays of bright sparkling jewels...


I am not sure quite how 'Peru' qualifies as part of Europe...


And finally some Dutch and Flemish produce



So I bought a packet of Speculaas for my beloved Belgian, as he is inordinately fond of these biscuits...


Then I walked back to the car park through the Highcross and stopped to look in this shop


The assistant seemed eager to chat and offered me a free cup of tea. It was absolutely delicious and made from lavender. Unfortunately they do not sell the teabags! We had an interesting conversation about the lavender fields of Provence - and Norfolk!Lavender is fast becoming one of my favourite fragrances. l'occitane lavender

The L'OCCITANE website declares it "has always been a socially responsible company. The meaning and purpose of the brand are based on strong values: respect for both man and the environment, with an emphasis on exchange and sharing."

Their products have braille labelling, and they are very committed to supporting visually impaired young people. They train them as perfumiers and also offer student scholarships each year. The company has, not surprisingly, won awards from the Helen Keller Foundation for its efforts. [HK said "Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived."]

I came home feeling a sense of continental je ne sais quoi!


  1. What an interesting place to shop - and fun!

  2. Hello, long time no visit from me. I'm blogging again, not sure how much I'll blog though.

    I like the look of the food, it all looks decidedly yummy!

  3. Fantastic! L'Occitane is one of our local companies, and I am very pleased to see its progress. I can't buy any of the products for a year, but... Those duck sausages also look very familiar - I bet they came from near us! I'll be doing a post (Friday or Saturday) on the Occitan language and culture, if you're interested.

  4. What a lovely glimpse of other countries. I love L'Occitane and a new shop has opened about half an hour away here. But I use it for special presents only!

  5. Welcome back Sarah!

    E & F - how fortunate you are to have all that lovely French stuff on sale close by ALL the time! [but I expect there are English delicacies you miss]

  6. I want some of those wooden shoes and a sweater made in Peru.

  7. PP - would they have to match or contrast with your wacky purple pants!!

  8. We have a L'occitaine store at the mall here, and I splurge on their hand cream, which is very light and smells wonderful!

    Thanks for all the great food pix--you know how I love them!



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