Letter from Bouisse - Marché Gourmand Nocturne

Last summer we were lucky to be visiting Bouisse when a Marché Gourmand Nocturne was hosted in the church yard. A lively event getting underway at around 6pm to draw to a close at around 10pm, which of course, when the band appeared, was never going to be the case…..

Local purveyors of goats cheese, honey, conserves, vegetables, patisserie and wines mingled with artisan baskets, colourful pottery and carved wooden decorative ware, to name a selection, though the specialty of this particular event was it’s ambiance: This was to buy and sell but also an opportunity for meeting friends over aperitifs, a shared meal then music and dancing until the early hours.

This year the evening market was held in Montjoi, a hamlet about 5km drive down a narrow mountain road - a route which over the years I have gradually built up confidence to use. I have driven through Monjoy many times but never had the occasion to explore. It appears a collection of homes which are entrenched into a steep ravine; what I discovered was much, much more – a beautifully restored 16th century church, a modern community hall and Mairie (civic office), a tiny village square with a fountain and a sizable collection of beautiful stone homes.Not as many stalls as last year, but enough and a sizable art exhibition together with ½ the population from Bouisse, so we were quite at home and satisfied.

With a need to feed the children I purchased each a Croq-Monsieur with a portion of frites, for which the lack of healthy attributes were balanced by the company. We were soon joined by both French and Anglophone friends to enjoy the stillness of this balmy evening over glasses of Corbiere wine.

Throughout the summer months these evening food markets are advertised at tourist information points and street banners – so do take the time to visit, lingering over local wares which make original gifts and souvenirs.