Friends often ask me “how do you spend your day as an expat in Uzes? Since you’ve asked, here’s an example of one day this week.
I started the day with café crème and a treat, pain au chocolate, at a local cafe with friends. We were all heading for French class at l’Université Populaire. Yes, I’m going to give French another try and this time I’m going to succeed! My friends gingerly persuaded me that I needed to go with them — not just because I need to speak the language, but especially because they needed another person to sign up so they could hold the class. A little hot coffee, a tin of sweet biscuits and a fabulous teacher — Claudine — made the lesson go much faster than I expected. And more fun!
The Université Populaire is only a few steps away from my favorite brocante store, so who could resist? I stopped in and spent a few minutes looking around. Then I dropped a few euros to buy a small piece of furniture for my apartment — a carved chest. How do you like it? (photo below). It’ll be perfect to store things in my bedroom. I’ll add a couple of square pillows for seats. I’m still trying to decide if I can live without the headboards you see below. For the guest room… hmmm.
While shopping I sighted a tapestry rolled up on a chair near the front door of the store. I immediately thought of my friends Paula and Rich. They’ve been looking for something “medieval”to decorate their apartment. I called them and suggested they come down to see the tapestry.
Lunch at the Place aux Herbes
Before I continue talking about my day in Uzes, let me introduce you to Paula and Rich. They are friends from California that I met a couple of years ago. I’ve mentioned them in several previous posts and on Facebook. Now they’re my apartment neighbours and “partners in crime.” They love to “go and do” as much as I do. Rich and I are taking French lessons together. Paula’s pretty proficient at her new language. You’ll hear a lot about them in future posts, I’m sure.
Paula and Rich joined me at the brocante. They loved the tapestry! On the way back to the apartment we stopped at a restaurant in the Place aux Herbes for lunch and to people-watch. A favourite pastime during tourist season.
Nowadays, I often take a nap in the afternoon. The temperature in the south of France is warm — in the high 80’s — and it’s a bit humid. (Compared to Atlanta? NOT!) Things pretty much shut down in Uzes and so do I. This day, after my nap, I had a chore to do. I had picked up some fresh pineapple, melons and cherries from the market in front of Université Populaire and I needed to prepare a fruit bowl to take to a neighborhood party. Everyone in our apartment building was invited for “repas” — a pot luck dinner — and we were meeting on the rooftop terrace at around 7pm.
Here’s something I’ve learned about entertaining in France. If you’re invited to someone’s home for “apero” the hosts serve drinks and some type of simple food — a small bowl of nuts, chips or pretzels and perhaps a canapé — like tapenade on a toast crouton. Apero last for only an hour. Afterwards you might go together for dinner. If you’re invited for “repas” you can expect a light meal along with drinks. For a neighbourhood gathering the guests bring food to share.
A dish that some of my French friends bring for repas is chilled, creamed vegetable or fruit “soup.” For our neighbour’s gathering, there were two kinds of cold soups — avocado and beetroot. Both were presented in small bowls. The avocado soup was lightly flavoured with lemon, garlic and herbs. The beetroot soup had diced beets and walnuts on top of the slightly garlic-y, creamed base and a hint of herbs. They were both divine!
Oh.. by the way … never think about using beets from a can around here. It’s a travesty!
I love this place!
Categories: Around France, Blog, Uzès, Village Scenes in Uzes
This morning (US east coast time) I discovered a fellow South Carolinian living in Uzes, which had emerged recently as my #1 choice for an extended stay in Provence. Your post makes me want to join your neighborhood party! I’ve subscribed to follow your adventures until I can rent an apartment in Uzes. Thank you for the glimpse of daily life –
Bonnie (Columbia SC)
Love this! I love Columbia! Lived there 3 years. We’ll welcome you to Uzès happily!
We visited last summer. How do go about finding a rooftop 2/3 bedroom apartment in the city so we can walk to Wednesday and Saturday farmers market and shops/restaurants. Whom can we con tact to help us with “all our move to Uzes questions
Robin, there’s a Barefoot Uzès group on Facebook. Good place to ask about real estate. Folks are moving in, so places are getting harder to find. Don’t let it stop you!
Just read your interesting post and noticed that the link to the Université Populaire looks broken. You may want to update it to this one:
Looking forward to more posts on living in Uzès !
Thank you for letting me know. Should be ok now. I hate to think how many other links are broken! Someday I’ll find time to read all 400+ posts again… when I’m really old! I appreciate your time and response. Good to hear from you🤗
Hi , I am following your blog and love your stories about your life in Provence. Thank you for sharing. Your stories about Uzes has made me curious about this wonder ful “village” . And w
hen i found out that it is only a short drive from where i live i decided to make a trip to Uzes, this week. Can you give me some tips on what’s happening this weekend?
So glad you’re following the blog. Hope you enjoy it. I’m in the US with family now for a few weeks. Best way to learn what’s going on is to join the group Barefoot Uzes on Facebook and ask whatever you’d like to know… especially if you live nearby and want to keep up with activities. Also check the tourist info on the. Internet. Wish I was there to meet you. Enjoy!
I’m planning to rent an apartment in Uzes in Spring or Summer or Fall of 2023 and can’t wait. So glad to find your site. Are you still there? Walking far is a bit challenging for me so looking right in the middle of things, near the market. What’s the best time of year to come for market, weather? Rather not be there when it’s too hot. Thanks! Dee in Denver, Colorado
Yes! I’m still in Uzès, although visiting family in the States. Wonderful time to come for best weather is spring and fall, not late summer. Thank you for your note. Let me know when you get here!
Thank you! Will do!
So glad to hear from you!
Dear BB – Working on lodging arrangements for Uzes but can’t decide which would be the best month(s) to go. Looking for the month or period with the best overall weather (not too hot or humid or rainy), maybe just before or after busy season and not too many crowds (especially with Covid now), but when one can still enjoy a thriving market place of vegetables and such. On the ‘fringe’ of high season, I guess. What month(s) would you suggest I might enjoy the most? Thanks! Dee in Denver
When I first visited on my own to Uzès, I was there for 5 weeks starting in late May. The weather and all was divine! Obviously since I’ve lived here now for most of 8 years! Fall is another good option. Life is slower and the area is beyond gorgeous with autumn colors. Now if you want to participate in Ferias, and a multitude of festivals, and family fun. Summer is definitely best— preferably May-July. Hope this helps!
Just came across your blog. I’m thinking of buying in Uzes. It was a pleasure to read.
So glad you’re enjoying the blog. It’s a true labor of love for me to share stories with those who dream of life in France. If you’d like to connect with others who live in Uzès, join the Barefoot Uzes group on FaceBook. You can ask questions and find out what’s going on in town and nearby. Keep in touch!
The power of a cup of coffee!… well not any cup, that beautiful picture, in the gorgeous cup, made me want to rush out and get a good strong one , not the rubbish decaf I have here.
Not only that, but it lead me to you & your blog. Nice to meet you. How delightful.
It’s a pity I didn’t discover your blog before. I went to France in April,( when it’s not too hot or over run with tourists.) I went to Lyon, Avignon, & Nice where I have Irish friends living there. I would have included Uzes if I knew you then, but never mind. I love your blog posts, they sound like my kinda stuff. I particularly loved the markets, I’m a big foodie fan & love cooking & entertaining.
I loved the luberon villages, I nearly cried when I saw Gordes, it was so beautiful! What a woss!
Enjoyed you writing about Sete. I love that place….and the fab pictures.
Look forward to your future posts, & nice to meet you Deborah! 😁
Julz, what a shame we did have a chance to meet when you were in France. You’ll have to return! Yes, I’m crazy about this place — especially Uzes. When I venture away and return to this little town and it’s beautiful buildings, I ‘m certain there’s no better place on earth to live. So glad that you enjoy the blog. It’s fun to write and it helps me remember all the amazing times I’m having. If you get a chance, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about your visit and favourite places. I’d love to hear from you!
Boy, do you immerse yourself in the people and surroundings you encounter! It’s awesome – and I love you for it! Enjoy xx
Thank you my dear friend for helping to make my world so perfect here! It’s wonderful to have stories like these to share.
I’m so glad you are giving French lessons a try!!
I’m really bad at it. Everyone is trying to help so I really have to make some progress this year. I’m anxious to actually be able to talk with my French friends instead of struggling to understand. Thanks for the note!
Perfect day! Absolutely love the chest and you must have the headboards!
I’m thinking I need those too! I’ll let you know…
DEBORAH-Once again you are introducing the world to the wonderful life here in Uzes. It combines so many facets of life from the old to the new and the literary and the cultural to just chilling out with a bunch of friends and having a great meal and a wonderful bottle of wine. The wine adds to the conversations and finding out so much more about people and their lives than one does living in a community in the United States. Keep up the wonderful message and educate people to the advantage of getting off the couch and to see the world–starting in France!!!
If we brag about it too much, Rich, I’m afraid they’ll have to build a wall to keep everyone out of France! But it’s hard not to love every minute living here. Thanks for your support … and wine!
Hello, how is Uzes in winter? Is it live? Are the stores open? I am considering to retire in France and Uzes is on a map. I also consider Pau, Narbonne, Mougins, Antibes, Etc. I would be greatful to hear from you.
I love Uzès in the winter. It’s so peaceful and beautiful. Most stores are open and enough restaurants here and around. You’ll love it!
What a great description of your day! It sounds as if you have a wonderful, happy life in France. We have just found a house to buy in Castelnaudary and will be completing the purchase at the end of August 😀💕
Had to look up Castelnaudary and now I want to visit! It looks fabulous!You have many wonderful days to look forward to in France. Let me know when you get here. Thanks so much for the note.