A French Summer (Languedoc-Roussillon)

I love France and have been going there since I was a child. In the days when car seats didn’t exist – I’d be bundled up in the back of the car under a mountain of duvets whilst my parents would drive through the night.

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I remember learning how to map read as we’d wind our way through different regions, stopping off at rivers & lakes to cool down. The sense of freedom and adventure was idillic – I have fond memories of de-bearding buckets of mussels under olive trees, sleeping in canopied beds in chateaux and floating down fast-flowing rivers on various inflatables.

These memories come flooding back each time I return to France and I hope to create similar ones for my own children.

This holiday we chose the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the Southwest as it was somewhere that was easy to get to (we flew to Toulouse) and one that neither my husband or I had been to in the past. Our first stop was the beautiful boutique hotel Metairie Montplaisir near the medieval city of Carcassonne.

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We arrived in the early evening and were warmly welcomed by the lovely owner Amelie and her mother Francoise. As we had been travelling for most of the day, we gladly took them up on the offer of their crepes night.

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As I can’t eat gluten, they very kindly made me some sweet & savoury galettes. We started with the savoury ones which were delicious, with fillings such as mozzarella, tomato and basil, cheese and ham, chicken tikka and sausage and potato. The freshly made jams and lemon curd for the sweet ones were a real treat!

We then retired to our 2 bed (Indigo) suite for a great night’s sleep. It was so lovely to have the fans whirring and the windows wide open (there are no mosquitos here), listening to the owls hooting and crickets chirping.

All the bedrooms here are individually designed but feature modern bathrooms and bright colours. Our suite was great for a family of 4 – it was nice to have separate bedrooms, a great rainforest shower and a lovely 4 poster bed.

Breakfast the next morning was a great spread with fresh croissants, yoghurt, fruit and eggs of your choice.

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Amelie has travelled extensively and speaks a number of languages – this hotel is her labour of love and her travels are evident throughout this lovely farmhouse.

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The pool is a lovely place to relax and work off all those French delicacies!

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This little haven only has 6 bedrooms so you need to book in advance. It’s a great place from which to explore the region (it’s best to have a car) including the medieval city of Carcassonne, the Black Mountains, the Canal du Midi and some of the biggest caves in France.

Amelie is a wonderful host and has a great knowledge of the area. Her restaurant recommendations are particularly good!

For further info & bookings go to their website http://www.metairieplaisir.com and my next post will be on the historic city of Carcassonne.

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