Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

It’s a year since the Cours Sextius was so suddenly closed to traffic: the inhabitants of numbers 90-98 were given just half an hour to collect what belongings they could, and leave their homes which were in danger of imminent collapse. (more…)

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Dec 4 is the feast of Sainte-Barbe and the traditional day for planting your blé d’ésperance.

If you are new to the area, this is the mix of seeds sold in little packets everywhere in town for 1€. The custom is to germinate the seeds on damp fabric on the window-sill so that you soon have lovely green shoots. You tie a red satin ribbon around them and place them on your Christmas Eve table as a pretty Provençal centrepiece and to ensure prosperity for the following year. (more…)

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Just Opened in Marseille

A tiramisu bar!  What’s not to like?  Launched by a dynamic young couple, there are seven flavours and a choice of toppings, all made in-house.  Small premises so mainly take-away.  Le Tiramisu is at 191 Bd de Saint-Marcel (11th). tel: 33-7-68-74-86-55. https://www.facebook.com/laprovence/videos/2476335939266028/?v=2476335939266028

Alinea who have loads of lovely things for the home have opened a boutique at the Docks Village in Marseille: https://www.lesdocks-marseille.com/boutiques/45/alinea

and while you are there, you may like to visit Le Hippie Chic Café, one of the new eateries recommended by ‘Made in Marseille’.  Can’t wait to try it!  Read on…

Les bars et restos “tendances” qui font bouger Marseille

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It’s a sign of the times that people are reclaiming the streets from the remorseless  increase in traffic and it’s no different in Marseille’s main thoroughfare La Canebiere which is going from this:


to this:


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No sign of Burger King, Librarie de Provence still empty, Bistrot Romain no more, and the venerable Les Deux Garcons for sale. It’s all change in the cours Mirabeau! (more…)

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A busy weekend coming up with –

An ultra-stylish décor exhibition

Open gardens across the south of France

and a Festival for Aix’s talented children.


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Aix: Stylish Ceramics on Show

Let’s start with the Galerie Maison Dauphine in the Quartier Mazarin.  They are currently showing, amongst other exhibits, quirky pottery from Cécile Colombo – here’s what’s in the window.  This is an interesting gallery which also has 3 super-stylish little apartments to rent.  Friends stayed and recommended it! Details : www.galerie-maisondauphine.com


I recently visited Galerie A: Miriam Hartmann has ceramics by Cyrielle Pardigon for sale, starting at 16 euros. Popular….Miriam is currently restocking. Gallery details here: https://aixcentric.com/2018/12/08/galerie-a-tucked-away-in-aix/


Just outside Aix, this weekend sees a Winter Open Studio by Matilda Parker – details below.  (Thanks to Jules for sending this to Aixcentric).


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This event seems to get more popular each year – this morning there was a big queue of eager people waiting for the gates of the Parc Jourdan to swing open. In fact 30,000 people are expected to visit the 260 stalls.

It’s their 20th anniversary, over which time the organisers have noted changes in the world of interiors: the kitchen is now a living area, inside and outside blend together harmoniously, interior walls have come down and the stylish have a blend of the modern, vintage and travel-acquired objects.  And this show certainly caters for the stylish!

The central walkway has stands selling all  manner of tableware, pottery, glasses, fabrics and wall-coverings.  One very popular stand was Beija Flor who sell floor-coverings and table mats that look like traditional French tiles – people were queuing to buy them.

The garden section is useful – landscape designers, garden furniture, cool lighting, plus solutions for living in the sunny south like pergolas and sails.

Coté Saveurs is where you can eat – there are stalls selling patisseries, coffees, or juices; Aix&Terra has tartines and pasta dishes.  Bistro-style tables and chairs are dotted around for people snacking.

Loved the decoration of the Parc Jourdan.  The central pool is adorned with giant enamel poppies and the stairs have been transformed by Carocim.

The show is on tomorrow, Sunday and Monday, opening at 10 each day.


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A heads-up that this annual design extravaganza will be taking place in Aix’s Parc Jourdan this weekend.  Over 260 exhibitors will be showing furnishing, fabrics, lighting, brocante, kitchen items, tableware, and all sorts of inspiration for the house and garden.  Also:

  • Special products designed to celebrate this 20 year anniversary
  • ‘La Cuisine en Transmission’ – sessions from leading chefs describing the inspiration they have had from their families and the recipes passed down the generations
  • ‘Coaching Deco’ – 20 min workshops given by stylists who advise on how to ‘reinvent your home’.  Or you can book an individual 1-hr slot for 90€
  • Friday night is late-night (until 23:30) when the whole site will be illuminated – you could dine here too.

Details here: DP-VCS AIX-MARS 2018



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Did you know that Marseille has France’s oldest quincaillerie, or hardware shop?

It really is a must-visit if you are interested in traditional Provencal life.  Take the magnificent big hand-graters for instance – just the sort of gadget used in café kitchens many years ago for churning out carrots and cabbage for salads.  Then there are traditional crepe pans for sale, as well as Provencal jugs for the table.

See the original fittings in France’s oldest quincaillerie


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