The little, cobbled streets of Medieval Pézenas hide a great selection of original boutiques. As this charming town is also known as ‘Ville des Métiers d’Arts’, Pézenas hosts an interesting mix of craft workshops. On top of that, it is a Walhalla for vintage lovers, with many antique shops and brocantes. To help you get started on your shopping quest, and to support local shops in these difficult times, here’s a list of my ten favourite shops:
1. Une Touche de Sud – 22 Place du Marché des Trois Six
Right before entering the heart of the historic town centre, I always have to take a peek in the interior design shop Une Touche de Sud. Although it is small, it has an alluring mix of tableware, textiles, decorative objects, lights and more. The last time I visited, I absolutely fell in love with the delicate birds handmade by local ceramic artist Anne Tassin.
2. Boutique Le Bois – 8 Rue de la Foire
Even though our kids are older now and not into toys anymore, I still have this thing for wooden knick-knacks. So when I spotted the big Pinocchio in front of Boutique Le Bois, I simply had to enter. There is a wide range of well-thought-out toys that have been chosen with love. And you will find something for every budget, from spinning tops to musical boxes.
3. Métissage – 3 Rue Triperie Vieille
In a creative town like Pézenas, you will find all kinds of crafts. Métissage is a bead shop, tucked away in a charming side street of Rue de la Foire. Not just any bead shop, but the kind that displays thousands (literally) of colourful and shimmering beads. It’s like heaven on earth for the magpies among us! Métissage also has a collection of homemade jewellery as well as the right stuff to create your own treasures.
4. Atelier Poterie Marie-Jo Lizot – 10 Rue Emile Zola
I am sure you will discover many crafters in Pézenas, however here is one I would like to highlight. Marie-Jo Lizot has been a potter in Pézenas since 1987, creating sandstone pottery finished with an enamel glaze. This Atelier is where she displays her beautiful pieces of art, and, just like in the Middle Ages, she has her pottery workshop in the back of her shop.
5. Terre et Senteurs – 1 Rue du Château
Walking into the Rue du Château, the lovely scents and original interior of Terre et Senteurs will automatically lure you inside. In 2009, Stéphane Vanier opened this artisanal boutique and workshop in the heart of Pézenas. Here, he creates pebbles shaped out of clay. These handmade pebbles serve as a perfume diffuser with natural scents that you can also buy at Terre et Senteurs. And, if you take the time, you will discover even more beautiful products. Be warned, as it is a great place to buy original gifts!
6. B&T Chineur de Saveurs – 7 Rue Alfred Sabatier
Chineur de Saveur literally means ‘Bargain Hunter for Taste’. And the owners of this shop are definitely passionate about taste and different tastes. As soon as you enter the shop, you will understand what I mean. Hundreds of glass pots hold an exotic mix of all kinds of spices of the world. And not only spices, they also sell a huge variety of teas. What about a tea mix called ‘Début des Vendanges’ to mark the start of the harvest season, including green tea, blackberries, raspberries and peony petals. Just to name one of their beautiful mixes.
7. Les Chapeaux de Galinette – 13 Place Gambetta
The lovely Galinette sells all sorts of hats in the middle of the historical town centre. Hats for all occasions, all times and all heads, as she puts it herself. Galinette also makes the most exquisite creations herself, and you will find her workshop inside the shop. If you are looking for something special, you can contact her directly for a tailor-made hat.
8. La Maison des Métiers d’Art – 6 Place Gambetta
When you arrive at the Place Gambetta, you will probably immediately spot the impressive Maison Consulaire building. This classified historical monument from the 17th century used to be a consular building and now functions as a 300 m2 arts and crafts centre where 200 artists and craftworkers exhibit and sell their work. Expositions change regularly, so it is worth dropping by now and then.
9. Maison Lallemand – 19 Rue Chevaliers Saint-Jean
I always make sure to end my shopping quest in Pézenas at Maison Lallemand. For four generations, the family Lallemand makes the locally famous ‘Petit Paté de Pézenas’. This artisanal made shortcrust pastry hides a secret mix of candied lamb, brown sugar and a hint of lemon zest. If you can wait until home, it is worth slightly warming them before you eat them with a nice glass of chilled white wine.
10. Brocantes and Antiques Shops – Avenue Aristide Briand/ Avenue Verdun
If you’re into vintage, the Avenue Aristide Briand and Avenue Verdun are a must-visit. Although these avenues are outside the historical centre of Pézenas, this is the place where you will find many of the second-hand and antique shops. If you want to see them all, I think you will need an extra half a day. And if you really want to live out your vintage love, you have to go to the Foire à la Brocante. This giant antiques fair takes over Pézenas twice a year: the first Sunday in May and the second Sunday in October.