The month of May is one of the very best times to visit Europe, and particularly the Greater Daglan Area (or GDA) in southwest France. The weather is usually good (although this year it’s actually been superb), and the crowds of tourists haven’t yet reached critical mass. Still, it’s pretty busy — and it certainly was today in Sarlat.
After a fitness class and then some shopping this morning, my wife and I headed to Sarlat via Gourdon, arriving at just about noon and managing to find a parking spot. Then, as planned, we headed down to the town’s main street for lunch at Au Bureau. We’ve been there several times, and enjoy their hamburgers (yes!), but we’d forgotten that the restaurant has an outdoor shaded terrace. So that’s where we plunked down — with a ringside view of Sarlat’s Saturday market.
Here’s the view from our table, looking across the corner to the Crédit Agricole bank, which was surrounded by market stalls.
The Sarlat market (held on Wednesdays as well as Saturdays) is probably the biggest in the GDA, and these photos can’t begin to show its whole scope. Here’s one view looking south along what a Brit would call the High Street — the main shopping street of Sarlat. Today it was lined with stalls, selling everything from flowers and plants to clothes. No cars allowed.
Now here’s a view looking north — an area just a few feet away from our restaurant, and where my wife Jan found a place to buy a summer skirt and a dress after we’d finished devouring lunch. (Quick lunch note: Kirs to begin; a hamburger topped with seared foie gras for my wife; a cheeseburger for me; a bottle of Tavel rosé wine; followed by coffee for Jan and a café gourmand for me — that’s an espresso accompanied by a tasting platter of desserts.) Now, the photo:
One of my personal favourites at some markets is the stall where someone sells roast chickens and potatoes — and sometimes, paella. Sometimes we’ll buy a serving of paella at the nearby Cénac market (every Tuesday) for our lunch, but today in Sarlat we were just observers, since we’d already eaten. I have to say that this version of paella looked particularly good.