|Languedoc-Roussillon, France, 2009|
I've been sort of caught up with basic getting-my-life-in-order stuff lately, which hasn't left a lot of room for dreamy escapism. But I was looking through some old pictures today and remembered these.
A few summers ago I took a spectacular trip to Languedoc-Roussillon, a region in the south west of France that's jam-packed with medieval castles and abbeys and famed for its food and wine. Needless to say I gorged myself on both. Those cherries? Insane! I think the French do breakfast exceedingly well... the bread and butter is so good that even on its own (or with some ham and dates) it feels like a feast.
If you've been to the Cote D'Azur and found it overwhelmingly glitzy or too touristy, this is the perfect antidote...an area that's probably very much the way it was 30 years ago. You fly into Montpelier and then drive through the countryside, nibbling olives, honey, and so on along the way.
A few spots to check out if you make it to this part of the world:
Chateau Valmy: This mansion is tucked into a winery and is definitely a fairy-tale kind of spot. The owners have a really modern, chic sensibility that goes well with the historic home, and there's a stunning lap pool as well.
Le Parc, Carcassonne: This verrrry fancy but unpretentious restaurant in Carcassonne (a UNESCO world heritage site) is pretty heavenly.
L'Abbaye de Fontfroide: This has to be one of the most jaw-dropping medieval sites I've ever seen. The gardens are gorgeous in early summer and there's barely a tourist in sigh.
Chateau D'Hospitalet: I stayed here for a few nights (the view from my window is the first picture in this post.) Enough said.