Thursday, 9 September 2010


I'm still getting caught up with vacation pictures from earlier this summer. It's nice to reflect on it months after the fact as well now that the post-vacation care-free glow is gone.

When we were in Switzerland in June and we had some real-deal vacation time to burn, I pulled out a map and picked the Languedoc-Rousillian region of France. It's the wine-producing region along the south-west coast of France, and much more off the beaten path then Provence.

I found the most amazing B&B after some internet searching. Le Couvent was a charming country guest house on the outskirt of the tiny medieval village of Roujan.

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Le Couvent was a former catholic school and the Virgin still watches over the courtyard. A swarm of bees have taken up in the crook of her arm and are busy making use of her for their hive.

Lizzie and Ali had beautiful (and edible) gardens, lovely dogs, croissant-eating chickens that produced rather sublime eggs that we had for breakfast every day, and a serene crystal clear pool to shake the mid-day heat. The hospitality, the conversation and the food recommendations were all posh as hell.

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The local butcher shop had wonderful pates, saucisse and cheeses to combat that post-nap, pre-dinner slump.

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I learned rather quickly to love the rose wines that the locals drink. They are light and easy drinking, and not the overly-sweet cloying pinks we get in the states.

Biking through the countryside was a fun adventure. There were plenty of vineyards to stop in and get out of the brutal sun.

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Gardens flourish here- the blooms were incredible. The smells of jasmine and lavender perfumed the air everywhere you went.

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They also had a vineyard on the hillside overlooking Roujan- Chateau Malaudos.

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They had a Mazet, which was a stone hut the farmers would use to get out of the mid-day sun. I found it the perfect location for picnicking.

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Ali went off the beaten track to pick us figs for breakfast.

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Lizzie took us around and pointed out wild-growing edibles in their vineyard that we later threw on the grill- wild garlic, juniper berries, wild asparagus, bay leaves, wild thyme, and incredibly juicy sweet persimmons. The French (and the English ex-pats) are so serious about their food. I felt right at home.

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Life is good.

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