Colourful pottery for sale at a Marché Potier in Auvillar near Château Plombis

The village fêtes and fun night markets of the summer months might be over, but life still goes on in South West France.  Throughout autumn and winter there are events of interest to be found if you fancy an out-of-season trip to Château Plombis – also a good excuse to make the most of cosying up by one of the large open fires after a brisk walk around your very own grounds.

One such event takes place on the second weekend of October in Auvillar, a village just beyond Valence d’Agen over the Garonne river, and about 30 minutes from Château Plombis. Auvillar is officially designated one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France – “Un des plus beaux Villages de France“, and is known for its artistic and cultural links, some of which go back centuries, like the history of pottery production in the town.

Every year, this beautiful village hosts a ceramics market (Marché Potier) that fills the charming little streets surrounding its famous and rare circular grain market. Artisan ceramicists and potters from all over South West France, and some from even further afield, come for the weekend to set up their displays and sell their handmade creations. The variety of different ceramic styles, colours and objects available is quite astounding and there really is something to suit every taste and wallet.

The lovely thing about buying ceramics from a Marché Potier is that you are buying not only something very often useful, but also an original and unique piece of art for pocket-money prices direct from the artist.

Ceramic markets are actually very popular in France, so if you can’t make it to the château in October for this one in Auvillar, there is also a Marché Potier in the equally beautiful and historic village of Lauzerte – also not far from the château – that takes place every summer towards the end of July.  But there are many things to be said for an out-of-season visit to enjoy things that the château and its region offer that you just can’t experience in the summer.




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