Archive for month: August, 2012

Potter’s Fair, Mirepoix

The Potter’s Fair takes place each August among the medieval “couverts” of Mirepoix in the south of France. Mirepoix is 14kms from Chez Maison Bleue, our holiday home in Languedoc, a few minutes drive or around 1.5hrs cycle through lush landscapes – fields of sunflowers this time of year. The Fair is a colourful day out and offers some beautiful pieces, very reasonably priced, there are past purchases dotted all around the holiday cottage and B&B. We were there in the lunch hours so the stalls were deserted, the cafes and bars packed – the French philosophy of life is conducive to wellbeing.

Potter’s Fair, Mirepoix

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Cycling in the hills south of Carcassonne

A sixty km round trip from our holiday cottage in the south of France covered some beautiful terrain. It’s a marvellous time to be in the south of France, fields stuffed with sunflowers, grapes ripening on the vine, the sun mellowing the ancient stone of ruined chateaux that stand on rocky outcrops, testament to past conflicts of Languedoc.

We had an early start from Sonnac sur l’Hers following the old railway line through Camon, a plus beaux village de France, onto Mirepoix and Fanjeaux, all key strategic towns during medieval times and the crusade against the Cathars. Quiet roads, twisty cols (if you want them in this heat) and wide valley floors that sweep through vineyards and ancient towns and villages, make cycling Languedoc joyous. I was grateful for the old French law decreeing its people should always have free access to drinking water as I replenished my water bottle (and dunked my face and arms) in the centuries old lavage (communal washing facilities in a bygone age) in a tiny village by the roadside.

Biker friendly B&B

We welcomed our first bikers to our biker friendly bed and breakfast in the south of France recently. Jean and Mark are proper adventurers from the UK and it was great fun having them to stay. Quiet roads, twisty cols and valley floors that sweep through vineyards and ancient towns and villages, make for good biking terrain in Languedoc and the Midi Pyrenees.

Biker friendly B&B in the south of France

We have friends in the Somme who also run fabulous, biker friendly accommodation. Martin offers motorcycle tours of the battlefields of WW1 while Kate’s dinners, washed down with copious amounts of red wine are very welcome after a hard day’s riding. Visit Orchard Farm on the Somme. A decent road trip from Kate’s to Chez Maison Bleue, though you will need somewhere to stay in the middle I think.