Rozelle Markets and Le Grande Bouffe

There are often things in your mind that you remember differently to what is actually reality. I’m not sure if that is what happened when on a return trip to Rozelle markets or I have just been spoilt.Every Saturday and Sunday the markets are held on the ground of Rozelle Primary School. It has been about 15 years since I was last there so I guess my mind played tricks on me although their website does claim they are Sydney’s favourite second hand market. Really!? Surely not. 

There are alot of second hand clothes, brick-a-brac and plants. If you have a really good look you may find a few odd things but I doubt it will appease the yearning for a good market find. There was one little stand at the back of the school grounds enclosed in it’s own white marque which stood out form the surrounding brick-a-brac. The stallholder had gone to alot of trouble to present her goods in a more appealing way. It did work and I was drawn into her marque away for the impending rain. 

Although, if you want quality vintage pieces I suggest you save your pennies and head further up the road to quintessential duckeggBLUE.

I had already planned to head to for lunch after reading about it on Katie’s blog but unfortunately it was closed. Saturday lunch in Rozelle closed?? Apparently only open 5-930pm daily. Anyway I headed to the nearby Le Grande Bouffe which was busy busy busy. I arrived about 130pm to be told there would be a 45min wait for a table. I was hungry but after pounding the pavement all day I was not prepared to walk back into Balmain to find lunch. The “old man’s pub” on the corner provided a quick drink while I waited.

The lightest entree on the menu was a salad of smoked trout, radish, lettuce, and trout roe in a horseradish cream. It was a pleasant first course, crispy crunchy lettuce, very light horseradish and popping trout roe.

Fish of the day was bonito served with carrot puree, potatoes and a red wine jus. I love crispy fish skin, although the fish itself was over cooked. Combined with the sweet carrot and flavoursome jus it managed bring moisture to the dish. The raw tomato cubes lifted the freshness of the dish. If only the fish wasn’t over cooked I would have loved it.

Dessert, sour cherry clafoutis with vanilla ice cream was the highlight. Even the outer edges of what some may say are over cooked, were a flavour filled texture crunch. The vanilla ice cream was very sweet but balanced with the sour cherries a great match. Thin but fluffy, I wanted another.

It was a good way to end a meal and I was well looked after by the staff who continued to smile during the lunchtime rush. When I’m back in Rozelle I will ring ahead for a table at Le Grande Bouffe. The area was obviously in need of a neighbourhood restaurant of this caliber and has welcomed a bit of french flair amongst the overload of Asian and Italian restaurants which line Darling St.

Lucca Antique Market

Lucca antique market is one of those places you should go out of your way to go to. Many of us have been to Pisa to do the tourist trail, the leaning tower etc etc, and then as a stop off point to fly into/out of Italy on your way to a great holiday. I hope you all realised that Lucca was not far away.

So very very close you should stay with in it’s walled city to escape the tourist buses rolling into Pisa. Not to say that Lucca has not escaped the tourists but it is certainly less crowded than Pisa. Every third weekend in the month Lucca holds an antique market. If you love a good antique market this is the place for you.

It wasn’t hard to find after we had parked within the walls we just followed the general flow of people and stumbled upon the markets in no time at all.

It can be difficult to find a bargain at big antique markets in Italy and France now if you don’t do your research and know your stuff. There are still some good finds here depending what you are looking for and what is in demand. You still need to take a big wallet and a big bus to take it all home in though. If you were looking for pieces to renovate or restyle your home, you may find some beautiful feature items here.

I didn’t find much in the way of good antique or vintage jewellery but there is alot of furniture, crockery, gilded picture frames and finishing items. There are a couple of stalls selling African made goods, masks and tribal figure but most of the stalls are vintage or antique European goods. Of course you can still haggle here too, as is the market rule.

The market winds it way around the streets and piazzas of the walled city. Luckily there are cafes and restaurants along the way to stop for a gelato, or two. Shopping is hot and hungry work and as we found our way to the end of the market, close to the cathedral, we found a cool beer and pizza calling us.

I hope to find myself back at Lucca antique market one day but this time with a small van to bring home my haul.