TG Tips – Languedoc-Roussillon

Things to do and see as well as places to stay and eat in Languedoc-Roussillon.

Were I to be French, a prospect I confess the more I get to know this country, holds increasingly more appeal (hard for an Englishman to admit?), I’d like to be from the Languedoc-Roussillon, or possibly Brittany – but’s that’s another page. Let’s stick to Languedob-Roussillon here.

A Slower Pace of Life - Languedoc-Roussillon

A Slower Pace of Life – Languedoc-Roussillon

Having come to this Southern corner of France several times and increasingly so found myself travelling far off the beaten path, it has certainly become my adopted Region of this great country. This is a part of France that to me at least appears to have with wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux, the cheeses of Normandy or France-Comte, the food of Lyon, the weather of Provence, the mountains of Savoie and the people as friendly and as proud (in the best of ways) as the Bretons. Yet they have all this and go about their lives seemingly just below the radar – a place they find comfortable, assured in their own traditions, customs, language even, without having to sing and dance about it.

This leaves people like myself – guides to do so… Therefore here are my tips for things to do in Languedoc-Roussillon, probably my favourite region of France.

Minerve

I almost didn’t put an image up for Minerve, but in the end decided to anyway – BUT in shadows from the sunrise as I was leaving – as I suggest you don’t even google it, and in fact if you don’t know what it looks like or have seen images, just go – I guarantee a wow moment. What a stunning setting…

Minerve - Sunrise...

Minerve – Sunrise…

Now there are just a few hotels (I virtually spend my life in hotels) for which I would dictate the itinerary of a holiday – last year in a fjord in Norway I found one, and here in Minerve in the Languedoc-Roussillon I have found another…

Chantovent, 17 Grand Rue, Minerve. This is my idea of a hotel – absolutely charming, delightful. I could throw adjectives at it. Though simple must be added. No fuss. 5 rooms and more like a little Bed and Breakfast than a hotel. I had room 2 with a view down onto the street below and it was just perfect.

The Chantovent, Truly One of My Top Hotel-Restaurants, Anywhere!

The Chantovent, Truly One of My Top Hotel-Restaurants, Anywhere!

BUT what makes this place just out of this world, is the restaurant across the street – oh my goodness! I have to say my whole experience was rather unique; I turned up in deepest darkest February with no reservation; Nicolas the owner of both hotel and restaurant open the place for me, turned the heating on and then cooked dinner – the sublime three course menu and all as the only guest – It was an experience I will never forget. In summer I suspect the village gets crowded, but mainly by day trippers and the sunsets are well worth staying for. For the restaurant – people come from Toulouse just to eat there. If you are in season; BOOK. See their website here; Chantovent.

Pézenas

Now here is a jewel of a town I didn’t even know existed until I stumbled across it one day in February.

Such Great Artists... A Rare Find These Days...

Such Great Artists… A Rare Find These Days…

And goodness am I glad I did. Mainly for three reasons; it happened to be Carnaval which turned out to just the most fabulous event (I wrote an article about it here: Pézenas Carnaval); it is a town in which the great Moliere spent much time and the Tourist Information does a remarkably unique 3D ‘show’ in their office about the life of the playwright and actor; the quality of the artistry in this town is really something – oftentimes tourist shops are tat – not a thing of it here. There are some great artists with studios scattered around the atmospheric medieval streets.

Accommodation

La Distillerie de Pézenas, 6 rue Calquières Hautes. 34120 Pézenas. This is wonderful, really wonderful hotel. From the minute you walk in, open your eyes – I recommend to all to notice the details – I won’t give it away, but just start with the lights above the reception; genius. The place could not be better located, quiet, just across the river from the centre with a private pasty and bridge which makes one feel very exclusive indeed.

La Distillerie de Pezenas, in The Shadow of Moliere...

La Distillerie de Pezenas, in The Shadow of Moliere…

There is car parking in front, every room is beautifully decorated slightly differently from each other. They will soon all be fitted with cooking facilities, it’s stylish, spacious, fantastic staff – I can’t praise it enough. Have a look at their website here, to book; La Distillerie de Pézenas


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