Lot-et-Garonne is perhaps the France that you always hoped existed but could never quite find – medieval villages and sunflower fields, walnut and chestnut groves, plum orchards, quiet roads and small farms in gently rolling countryside, with castles and ancient water mills.

The area boasts some of the prettiest towns and villages in France, known as Bastide’s, they were developed during the 13th to 14th century to provide protection to the inhabitants working the fields and agriculture, at their heart and focal point is the market place.

The fortified towns were built by nobleman to protect their peasants and ensure trade and commerce could survive during the period of the 100 years war between the kings of England and France, if you are interested in learning more, click the link Monflanquin classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France since 1989 and once home to the Black Prince who earned distinction as one of the most successful English commanders during the Hundred Years War being regarded by his English contemporaries as a model of Chivalry and one of the greatest Knight of his age.

Monflanquin’s market square still exists much as it might have looked to the Black prince and the Bastide’s continue to serve the modern residence and visitors, through their splendour and focal point for the weekly market. Planning your stay in this area, then visit the Bastide’s of Monflanquin, Monpazier, Villereal and Issigeac on market days is a top tip and great way to feel the history and culture as well as engage with the local artisans who’s passion for their produce is as strong as ever

The local products are all here, fruits and vegetables, poultry, cheeses… all the flavours are gathered. Like all the traditional markets in the south west, the Lot and Garonne markets are busy, animated, friendly, colourful and very enjoyable. Along the very famous local products such as the Marmande tomatoes or the most famous fruit of the department, the Agen prune; you can also find strawberries, melons, courgettes, asparagus, nuts which all compete in tastes along with magrets, foie gras and cheeses.

Not forgetting to visit the stalls of the winemakers and taste one of their appellations: Buzet, Côtes du Marmandais, Côtes de Duras, Côtes de Bruhlois as well as wines from the  adjacent regions of Bordeaux, Bergerac and Cahors. The Lot and Garonne markets will surprise you in many ways, making you appreciate the quality and the tradition of the region many local products.

Click the link for all the local market information, including times and which day of the week they are held. Market day guide

So whether you are shopping for your picnic or evening meal to take back to your holiday let like La Balie the markets and beautiful Bastide’s that host them wont disappoint those looking for an interesting day out where you can really sense the history and culture of this region through its people, food and architecture.

La Balie can also put you in touch with local chefs expert in using the local products to cater for you and your family or group during your stay, if you’d like to know more about this please contact Paul & Cecile