Markets and Marais day.

Saturday 5th October

It was a cloudy morning but the forecast didn’t show much chance of rain. That was until we stepped out the door at 10 am!  We didn’t get too far though before being drawn in to all the wonderful fruit and produce shops just along the street from our front door; it was gourmet heaven! We were on our way to some markets, Marche Maubert, across the river in the 5th arrondissement but decided to buy some dinner supplies here just in case. We dropped them back home and set off again in the rain; this was a bit of a challenge given the number of other folk out braving the weather all with umbrellas aloft. It wasn’t much fun.

The markets were about a 20 min walk from our apartment and were well worth the visit. We found one merchant, David, who advised us that he had been part of Maeve O’Meara’s Food safari series. He and his mother, Helene Mudry, run a foie gras based business that is world renown and we bought some of his Rillettes Au Foie Ggras to take home to Sydney.

The rain was still enough to be annoying and so we made our way back to the apartment, with a coffee stop along the way.

Our plan for the afternoon was to take a 90 minute free walking tour of the Marais district and that started at 2:30 pm. The rain has eased up a bit and so we left the apartment with a bit of time so that we could check out the shops around the area.

We stumbled upon this great little shop run by a German guy, Alexander, and he sold handbags that he had designed and patented. They were reversible and this allowed for space so that you could carry a bottle of water, bottle of wine or a baguette of bread; the choice is yours. They were fantastic but, sadly, just a little bit out of my price range starting at €400 or $650 AUD. Check out his website at Abby Union and Instagram page @abbyunion.

We met our our guide for the tour and although he kept reminding us he was a professional guide I don’t think he mentioned his name; at least not in my presence. He did lead us on an interesting route through the Marais though noting key points of interest so it was worth the while. We now realise the Marais is the heart of the ancient Jewish quarter and, hence, the rag-trade industry that still persists today with lots of fashion and design boutiques but it also has a ‘Darlinghurst feel’ being the home to the LGBT community and with many Vintage clothing outlets as well as an abundance of cafes, bars and restaurants of all cuisine types.

One staggering fact he revealed was that the price per sq/m in the Marais is 30,000 Euros; one of the most expensive in Paris. Our apartment is 120 sq/m so that makes its value at 3,630,000 Euros! OMG!!!!

As as per usual, here are some other facts that caught my attention during our walking tour:

  • Marais: means swamp.
  • The King and Bishops worked together to convert swamp to more habitable land during the 13 th century.
  • The Marais was traditionally a Jewish area with tailors and, hence, the current focus on  fashion.
  • During the French Revolution ‘saint’ was removed from street names.
  • Before the French Revolution the wealthy owned 30% of land but payed no tax.
  • Paris has the highest density of population of developed cities.
  • During WW2 there were 74,000 Jews deported from Paris to Concentration camps. Only 2,500 survived. There were 11,000 children deported.

We wandered back to the vicinity of our apartment after the tour and stopped off at one of the many bars for a drink. Our one beer and one Aperol Spritz was 20 Euros, or $32 AUD so we stuck to just the one. We then went and bought a bottle of red wine and four craft beers for 28 Euros, $45 AUD, and took these home to have with our market-sourced food for a night of dining in.



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