Tag Archives: Food & Wine

The Marche at Chartrons

As part of my bid to get out and about and see more of the area, I recently asked our readers for some input as to places they’d like to hear about, or recommendations of places they’ve enjoyed.  I’m still waiting ……. there are no comments for that post.  We really DO want to hear from you.

Anyway, Graham, having once again experienced a sojourn in one of the local hospitals, had a hankering for some thoroughly indulgent fish n’ chips.  There’s a restaurant a few KM from us that does a very popular Friday night fish n’ chips special, but neither of us likes driving at night.  However, our lovely friend, Kate, has been operating a food stall at the Sunday morning market on the Quai at Chartrons in Bordeaux.  We’d threatened to take her by storm at the beginning of the year when we had friends and family visiting for the holidays, but other events (and terrible weather) conspired against us.

So, last Sunday we made our plans to go.  There was thick fog blanketing the Dordogne valley when we left Les Terraces, but it slowly cleared as we headed west and we enjoyed a gloriously warm and sunny early spring day.  Rather than try to find a parking spot in the centre of Bordeaux, we opted to try the park-and-ride tram instead.  Awesome! €4.50 to park the car and give us both a 1-day ticket for the tram.  Brin travelled for free.  The trams run regularly, and are clean.  They were also busy, so most of the time we stood

We arrived at Chartrons via a slightly scenic route (mea culpa), and headed straight for Kate’s Kitchen, as we know that it isn’t unusual for her to sell out of fish early.  We found her easily and Graham was in luck … Kate still had fish left.  I ordered while Graham grabbed us a couple of stools (at a neighbouring stall’s eating area, we discovered).  Minutes later, a steaming cone of cod and chips was placed into one hand, while a box containing a succulent pulled-pork sandwich went into the other (confession: I don’t like fish and chips).  I swiftly doused Sarson’s malt vinegar over Graham’s meal and delivered it to the table, whereon we devoured in appreciative silence.  The cod was cooked to perfection, and the chips were totally home-made.  Even the dog was quiet!

fish n' chips
fish & chips from Kate’s kitchen. Graham’s idea of heaven on a plate

As soon as we’d finished eating, Graham and Brin moved over to sit on the wall on the riverside so that others might take our places and  I could take some photos.

The Chartrons market is pretty much all about food, mostly for eating “sur place”.  There is a wide variety of stalls serving everything from crepes, to flame-grilled prawns, pizza, oysters, paella and so forth (but only one as cute as Kate’s), and there was a memorable wet-fish stall, a mouthwateringly beautifully presented cheese stall, a huge herbs and spices stall, lots of patisserie/macaroons/cannelles stalls, and a few selling fruit and veg.  Here’s a selection of pictures:

prawn boat
A speed boat creatively re-purposed as a flame-grilled shrimp stand


Longest line per-square-foot of stall space.  Scrumptious fish n' chips
Longest line per-square-foot of stall space. Scrumptious fish n’ chips


cheese stall
The most beautifully presented artisnal cheeses


Oh, so tempting…..


goats cheese
I was mesmerised by the variety and beauty of the presentation of these cheeses


squid kebabs
These looked yummy, but there was no room in the tummy.  Squid kebabs on the left, fish on the right


herbs & spices
Fabulous range of herbs, spices and condiments


fish stall
Even though it was the end of the market, fish was still beautifully displayed

It is, without doubt, the furthest I have ever driven for fish n’ chips (140km round-trip from Sainte-Foy-La-Grande).  But Graham was in heaven.  The best he’s had in ages, he says.  It was worth it.  Thanks, Kate.