©Malika Turin


A classic Gaillard market

Saturday mornings in Brive are always buzzing with life and flavour, everywhere from Halle Brassens to Halle Gaillarde. Over 200 stalls run from the top to the bottom of the old town and whisk us away in a whirlwind of aroma and flavour with a Corrèze vibe. It’s great to mingle with people from in and around town in a rustic atmosphere.

Do not dare to miss it!

We’d been warned: staying or visiting Brive without stopping at the market is blasphemous! “It’s an institution in the land of the good life”, we’re told…

We wanted to see for ourselves so we visit the iconic market on Saturday morning… and we’re not disappointed. It certainly lives up to expectations and we decide to take our hosts’ advice and gain a little ground.

We arrive early to soak up the weekly event without having to rush. On the corner of the square, above the parasols that have popped up under the summer sun… is that a lighthouse? It’s actually a former water tower with Tourist Information on the ground floor. 98 steps later and the map of the market is burned into our skulls… along with Georges Brassens’ song (Hécatombe) about it too!

The headline act: the local area

We have an espresso at one of the café terraces to people watch and listen to debates about growing girolles and ceps or the latest rugby match. Then it’s time to meet the producers who unearth local treasure for our dining pleasure.

The stars are ducks and other fantastic dishes including duck breast stuffed with foie gras and figs with foie gras. Plus (subject to season): raspberries (Corrèze is the biggest producer in France), fresh walnuts in autumn, Cabécou cheese and goat’s cheese etc. More unusual but still 100% local: Voutezac peaches, Monalisa potatoes grown in Saint-Bonnet-la-Rivière and Tomme des Ardoisiers cheese made in Allassac.

As we make our way through the market, we meet the “gueules de marché“, characters like granddad with his fresh eggs and grandma with her dried flower bouquets. Hang on… the birds over there are alive and ready to move into new farmyards.

Due South 

Our baskets are heaving and we’ve got lots of tips about how to get the best out of our shopping. But let’s push forward… We go through the town centre around Saint-Martin Collegiate Church and gaze at old houses and shops on the way.

We cross the boulevard to visit the other market with more stalls around Halle Gaillarde, christened the “capital of gastronomy” for its architecture. Another place, endless stalls, another atmosphere: it’s like a little village with a food court, regional produce and new things to experience…

We can’t get enough!

We love... 

  •  The official “Brive market producers” enamelled plaques adorning local producers’ stands, setting them apart from the other traders.
  •  The underground car park on Place du XIV Juillet costing 1 Euro on Saturdays. You can drop off your bags and carry on shopping without getting worn out.
  •  Live music in summer on the square and by the café and restaurant terraces on Avenue du XIV Juillet between 11am and 1pm.
  •  Tables on the terrace, almost on Square Auboiroux next to Halle Gaillarde, so you can sample your purchases in peace.
  •  Approved and/or designated seasonal markets: duck markets when you can choose your foie gras then pick it up once it’s cooked, boxed and sealed during the Foire des Rois on the first weekend in January; truffle markets (winter) at Halle Brassens.
  •  Calf’s head in sauce gribiche (or ravigote) made first thing in the morning at La Promenade restaurant opposite Allée des Tilleuls.

Useful information

Where can you park at Brive market?

There’s an underground car park with direct access to the market square costing 1 Euro on Saturdays!
Above-ground parking: 2 hrs free every day!

When is the market on?

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning is the big one. From 7.30am on Place du 14 juillet, Halle Brassens and outside Halle Gaillarde until 1pm.

Halle Gaillarde opening times
The Halle is open Tuesday to Sunday.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 7.30am-2pm
Friday and Saturday 7.30am-7pm
Sunday 9am-4pm (from May 8th)

Check “special” opening times during the holiday season or other events.

Where can you park for Halle Gaillarde?
Head to the Thiers underground car park, it’s in a prime location for you to do your shopping.

Above ground, the Winston Churchill car park has 100 spaces and the first 2 hours are free!