If you love French design and food you should really try and plan a little trip to Aix-en-Provence for the Salon Coté Sud in early June. It’s held in the Parc Jourdan in the middle of this beautiful and picturesque town with artisans from all over Provence exhibiting; delighting you with their colourful and unusual products and great food.
We adored the plethora of food and coffee stands, with mountains of Meringues and Calissons (the typical soft melon and almond biscuits of Aix). Throughout the food section you can sit at colourful little tables, with furniture and shabby chic items decorated around you (which are also for sale). It was lovely to see how many foody artisans are producing things we’d never seen before: a gorgeous pungent truffle salt, walnut jam, rose petal curd, tea infused chocolate spread and many other yummy things. On the deco front I saw plenty of gorgeous cushions, boutis (bedspreads) and pottery items mostly in the crazy colours that work so well here in the south, with the bright blue sky as a contrast.
There is also a nice selection of jewellery beach dresses and kaftans, bags and shoes, as well as a gardening section with unusual plants. All in all there’s really something here for everyone and you can relax and eat something with a nice glass of Provence rosé between your shopping, or slip off to the amphitheater to follow a live cooking demonstration and try the results after.
My only regret is that we had to leave mid-afternoon to pick up our kids from school, as we could have easily spent many more happy hours browsing, eating and taking in this feast for the senses.
Location: Parc Jourdan, Aix en Provence. Entry price at the gate: E8