Sommières is a small town situated between Nîmes and Montpellier in the Vaunage well-known for its medieval centre, its castle and its bridge. The Roman Bridge over the Vidourle, originally consisting of 20 arches and a length of 200 metres, was built in the first century by the Emperor Tiberius to join Nîmes and Toulouse. After the Pont du Gard, it is one of the most impressive bridges in the area. The city of Sommières was established in the 10th century, a part of it directly on the bridge.
Every Saturday my grandmother, living 11 kilometres far from Sommières like me, would go to the market with her friends. Sometimes she would take me with her or we would all go together to have a nice family lunch. The market of Sommières is my favourite one in the region. The setting is idyllic!
Plenty of stands are opening in the medieval centre at Place de la République, Rue Général Bruyère and Place du docteur Dax. They propose local foods and drinks but also plants. Last time I went there, I bought a vine tree to bring back with me in Switzerland. Sommières also hosts numerous artisans that expose their art in the city centre.
The traditional way is to walk around the market buying —as one goes along— cheese, such as Pelardon, dried sausage of bull or wild boar, olives and bread. Depending on our wishes we would buy different products. If I were in the mood for sweets, I would also purchase a pain au chocolat, a croissant or even an oreillette or a Fougasse d’Aigues-Mortes. When we were done shopping, we would take a seat at a café next to an oyster merchant.
The next step was to order a bottle of local white wine, such as Sauvignon from le domaine de Trépaloup, while somebody else was ordering the Bouzigues, oysters and other sorts of shellfish at the oyster shop. We just had to let them know where we were seated and, as soon as our platter was ready, they would bring it to us!
Waiting for the seafood platter, we would unpack our acquisitions and begin to eat some cheese and sausage. If you decide to do the same, don’t forget to bring a knife with you, as nobody is willing to provide you with one either at the oyster shop or at the bar! If you do forget to bring a knife, don’t worry much; you can still buy one at the market, like I did last time I was there; but even though it was a very nice knife, which I still have in my kitchen, it was really expensive!
When you have your glass of white wine and your delicious shellfish platter has finally arrived (sometimes it can take quite long), you can finally enjoy the living in southern France!
If you want more information about Sommières and the surrounding region, you can visit the tourism office website, and if you are interested in booking a hotel in Sommières, then visit Escargot Holiday!