Many people still fondly assume that the French spend their days wandering round market stalls, carefully selecting each individual fruit and vegetable, chatting with a seller of cheeses, handpicking a live chicken from a cage, perhaps discussing which herbs to use with a particular piece of meat...
In reality the bulk of the weekly shopping is done in supermarkets but the weekly market is a special occasion and many people will take the time to visit it to treat themselves to 'real food'.
And to chat with the stall holders, pass the time of day with acquaintances and sip coffee with friends.
If you arrive at around eleven o'clock a delicious Croque Monsieur, eaten at the café by the harbour, will set you up nicely for a wander round the market stalls and streets of the town.
And from your table you can watch people playing the game of 'Hunt the Parking Space'.
But really, I prefer to wander, to take pictures, often with a view to dabbling in a little painting at a later date.
This one would make one such lovely painting I think?
And this house, facing the water and the bobbing boats caught my eye.
The French do love their shutters, window boxes and pots of flowers.
Just off one of the pedestrian streets there is an artist's workshop and gallery.
I've visited it in the past and admired the blue pottery and seascapes, but by the time that we arrived it was closed for lunch.
The French stop for lunch. It's frustrating and irritating, until you get used to it and adopt the same habit, and then it's a pleasant pause in a busy day.
Paimpol is very touristy.
Which is why we all flock there in summer.
And it's quite an expensive town in which to shop. Which is no reason not to indulge in a few pretty souvenirs and gifts.
But it's also full of little architectural gems, most of which are seen when you raise your eyes from the shop window displays.
Which is not to say that the shops themselves are not also beautiful.
This IS France, after all, and they do do everything with style and panache.
You should buy flowers, they will be beautifully arranged and delightfully gift-wrapped and you will never again buy a cheap bunch from a garage forecourt, not once you've bought from a florist like this one.
So, what did we buy at the market in Paimpol?
We bought two little sandstone plaques, one of a Celtic cross, one of a peace dove, to hang on the wall of my house in Oxfordshire. And the lady selling them was delightfully friendly and patient, even though we'd arrived as she was packing up for lunch.
We bought paints, brushes and canvasses from a stall on the edge of the market. And the man selling them treated us to his humorous 'patter' and that made us laugh, even though we knew he'd used it in various forms on every client that he'd ever had.
We bought large postcards of water colour paintings of seaside scenes to frame and hang on the walls of my bathroom in Brittany.
And then we wandered back to the café by the harbour to enjoy a chocolate crèpe and a café crème, and to sit and watch the French world go by, encore une fois.