The last Sunday in every October is the annual Montreuil-sur-Mer Soups and Bread Festival. It’s the perfect day for it – the clock’s go back so you wake up nice and refreshed, it’s autumn and a nice hot bowl of coup and a hunk of bread are just perfect! This authentic annual fete celebrating soup and bread is never a let down. Full of warmth, character and a lot of fun to say nothing of a huge selection of soups to warm the cockles of your heart!
When the year ends with an odd number (2013, 2015 etc) the fete is held in the Citadel of the lovely town of Montreuil-sur-Mer and on years in between, the event is hosted by neighbouring villages. This year’s soup festival was held in Campigneulles-les-Petites and they really pushed the boat out to make this a festive day!
There were lots of market stalls showcasing and selling regional produce and crafts, two bands playing great music, a demonstration of apple and pumpkin carving by world famous, culinary Olympics gold medal winner Olivier Herbomel. There was a scarecrow contest, painting exhibitions, ancient wooden toys to play with and – the star of the day – sixty six different soups to try!
At this event you pay a very few Euros and you can come and try as many soups as you like – you’re encouraged to vote for your favourite on a form with the winner receiving a lot of kudos! The soups are produced by local restaurants, chefs, enthusiasts and there are long queues so I advise you to get a few samples when you reach the serving table.
The whole thing has an atmosphere of jollity and festivity – no one minds a bit of a queue and everyone discusses what they think about the soups and recommends what to try to each other.
It’s a great festival and one I highly recommend – here are a few photos to give you a flavour of the day!
The lovely ladies of the France-Pologne Cote d’Opale association promoting Polish cuisine…
The hurdy gurdy lady plays a tune on a beautiful machine from the Roger Rodiere Museum in Montreuil-sur-Mer, these kids were singing along with her and the little girl on the right is playing a flute made from a carrot – country craft in action!
Local beer – Biere des Miserables, named after the Victor Hugo classic – the great writer stayed in the local town of Montreuil-sur-Mer and based much of his famed story on the people he met and scenes he saw there.
World famous fruit and vegetable sculptor Olivier Herbomel, just back from winning a gold medal at the World Culinary Olympics in Germany, demonstrating his skill with the pumpkins…
What good is soup without bread? The bread came with the soup but for those who wanted more – this lovely bread stall had a great choice…
Finally – scarecrows! There were so many of these fabulous creations but these were my favourites – they looked like they were settled in for a cosy afternoon people watching!
The soup festival Montreuil-sur-Mer is definitely one of my favourite events and I’m already looking forward to the next one!A bientôt Janine