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24 September 2015 / leggypeggy

Who needs rich and famous when you can lunch like this?

Seafood counter

Where we bought the prawns and oysters. Check out the typical striped shirts

Prawns and oysters

Our order

We were in Sainte Maxime’s—a mere stone’s throw from St Tropez, France’s playground for the rich and famous and a whole lot of wannabes..

To be honest, we were on the way to St Tropez when we decided to check out the wonders of Sainte Maxime’s. First we stopped at the beach, Plage de la Nartelle. The beach is nothing all that special if you come from Australia—the land of amazing beaches—but we found something to intrigue us.

The French military (I assume the Navy) were having exercises on and near the beach. We weren’t allowed to cross the sand near the sea (because that’s where they were landing their equipment), but once we were up by the road we could walk among the vehicles and talk to the soldiers. Not that we had enough French for any sort of discussion.

Libby and Daniel, daughter and son-in-law, went for a brief swim on the beach and then we set out to explore and find lunch. That meant driving on a bit farther and finding a precious parking place. As principal driver, I was pleased to find something free and convenient.

Then we strolled through the streets of Sainte Maxime and were lucky enough to come upon the town’s covered market. It’s tucked out of the way, and probably quite easy to miss. But we’re all market experts, so it’s unlikely that a market would go undetected by us.

We strolled in to check out what was on offer. Luckily Daniel has enough French to figure out that it was possible to order a meal at one of the seafood counters, and then have it prepared and delivered to the eating area, which is named, of all things, Daniel Coquillages.

So we ordered a selection of prawns (shrimps) and oysters. Libby and I went on to order some duck rillettes (sort of like paté) and finely sliced ham, while the fellows found a table and ordered bread and wine.

The tables around us were filled with locals (except for one German couple), so we knew we were in the right place for people who didn’t feel the need to be among the rich and famous.

It was a most amazing choice. The food was superb. Plus, about the time we finished our carafe of white wine, the woman who was serving us insisted on giving us an extra half carafe for free. Our collective French couldn’t figure out why, but we polished it off and made Poor John, our non-drinker, drive us on to St Tropez.

wine and toast

The tail-end of the extra wine

All in all, it was one of the nicest meals we’ve had in France.

The food was excellent and people were quite happy to have me take pictures in the market itself.

If you’re ever in the neighbourhood, be sure to stop by. As an aside, I often post reviews on Trip Advisor. I posted one about this place and was the first person to ever do so. Still surprised that such a great find is so little known.

Charcuterie

Just a third of the cold-cuts case.

33 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. jeanettev2014 / Sep 24 2015 8:16 am

    Oh lunch looks lovely! We had a designated driver his name was Norm. Like Poor John a non drinker & they are very handy to have a round.

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 24 2015 3:35 pm

      I’ve done the bulk of the driving on this trip. so it’s great when someone else can take over when you’ve been tipping the bottle. 🙂

      Like

  2. Dorothy / Sep 24 2015 10:34 am

    Wow, those prawns look tempting. I like trip advisor too and have posted a few good recommendations. With all those food postings we will have to call you the galloping gourmet.

    dorothysstories.wordpress.com

    >

    Like

  3. suchled / Sep 24 2015 10:48 am

    It looks great but I don’t understand what “tail-end of wine” means.

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 24 2015 3:38 pm

      I hope never to get to the real tail-end of the wine.

      Like

  4. Vicki / Sep 24 2015 11:40 am

    That platter of prawns and oysters looks truly delectable. Markets and local food really are the place to stroll around in foreign countries. You really do get a sense of place (and flavour).

    I haven’t had prawns for ages. Yummmmy.

    Wish our market stall holders weren’t so shy with a camera around. Aussies don’t like strangers taking their photo in the street and it makes my street photography efforts so few and far between posts.

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 24 2015 3:38 pm

      Vicki, sometimes I wish I had a camera tooth.

      Like

  5. Yvonne / Sep 24 2015 11:51 am

    What a lucky stumble upon!

    Like

  6. blondieaka / Sep 24 2015 12:22 pm

    Oh what a lucky find,,,,, it’s a shame when you realise from the like of Trip Adviser that they have no other comments but lucky find for you all that lovely fresh food 🙂

    Like

  7. priyankamoraes / Sep 24 2015 3:24 pm

    Loved your order. Here in India too , the best meals are often to be found in ‘Khau Galis’ translated as food streets with a variety of pop ups . Nothing fancy but the food is simply yum !

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 24 2015 3:40 pm

      I love finding out-of-the-way places to eat in India. I’ve had some sensational meals that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Michael / Sep 24 2015 10:03 pm

    That is a gold mine!

    Like

  9. goodlifeoclock / Sep 24 2015 10:47 pm

    I love seafood… and those prawns and oysters are simply WOW!

    Like

  10. chattykerry / Sep 25 2015 1:12 am

    We went on a delayed caravan honeymoon in 1984 and it was the simple fresh food in Provence and all along the coast that we remember, especially Sainte Maxime.

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 25 2015 3:22 am

      It must be reassuring to know that Sainte Maxime’s is still memorable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • chattykerry / Sep 25 2015 3:59 am

        It is – and wonderful blog and photos, per usual. You sound like you are having a marvelous time, enjoy!

        Like

  11. LaVagabonde / Sep 25 2015 2:51 am

    Looks so much more pleasant than eating in a place full of snobs.

    Like

  12. yeahanotherblogger / Sep 25 2015 9:16 am

    This article has made me very hungry and thirsty!

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 25 2015 3:29 pm

      Does the same to me every time I look at it. 🙂

      Like

  13. lifestyletalks.wordpress.com / Sep 26 2015 3:26 am

    Fantastic!

    Like

  14. cookiesnchem / Sep 26 2015 10:12 am

    Oh my goodness your meals are incredible here! So jealous of this whole trip.

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 26 2015 4:11 pm

      We’re eating too well. My waistline is complaining. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • cookiesnchem / Sep 26 2015 10:58 pm

        It’s worth it! 🙂 Calories don’t count on vacation!

        Like

      • leggypeggy / Sep 27 2015 1:53 am

        Yeah, but they’ll add up when I get home.

        Like

Trackbacks

  1. Saint Tropez shows us something of her maritime history | Where to next?
  2. Riga’s market one of the best | Where to next?

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