Markets are one of my favourite places to spend a few hours, especially if there is a chance to buy a coffee or possibly something stronger. I might even buy something! The market in Lyon in the Rhône-Alpes region of France goes one better; serving oysters and champagne to those with a taste for an expensive breakfast.
It is an indoor market named Lyon Hall, so there isn’t a need to brave the elements when in search of the freshest produce but also making it ideal for taking a break from the shopping. The coffee shop was my refuge from retail therapy while the remainder of the group purchased impressively large selections of cheeses.
Their little espresso cups were very cool, individually decorated and colourful, stamped with the name of the seller. I was tempted to buy one but unfortunately they are not for sale, which seemed a great shame. It also thwarted in my attempt to join the purchasing frenzy was and I therefore remain a bystander of the the consumer revolution.
There is plenty of high quality, fresh produce on sale and the cheese stall in particular was impressive. An amazing array of cheeses were displayed, in a multitude of colours, some with the mould visibly growing on the outside, the flavour is likely even stronger than the aroma. One of the stallholders is named Matt, he is English from Harpenden and gave up his job as an accountant to sell cheese in Lyon!
His knowledge of his product is extensive, being able to describe the taste, aroma and texture of a particular cheese may not be especially impressive. However Matt knows each farmer involved in the production and is able to tell the story behind them. It would not have been surprising if he had claimed to know the name of the individual cow or sheep that produced any particular cheese.
There were cured meats, fruit and vegetables but the other stall which found favour with my all female group of companions was the confectionary stall. I don’t think any of them departed without making at least one purchase from that particular stall!
I was fascinated by the oyster and champagne seller however it seemed especially tempting and slightly unusual in a market. Though not keen on any wine that has bubbles, oysters are my favourite shellfish. If our lunch hadn’t already been booked, this is where my money would have been spent. Numerous people obviously agreed, the market was relatively quiet and yet they were a enjoying a steady stream of customers.
Lyon Hall is my idea of retail therapy. Good, local produce before enjoying some fresh oysters and a wine, possibly followed by a coffee whilst reading a newspaper or a having a chat with friends. Truly an upmarket market, I could get to enjoy shopping.