After welcoming Stuart and Lisa back to their château we spent a few days catching up then left them to their family Christmas. We headed south to Carcassonne for a few days. What an amazing city! The medieval walled city sits on a hill overlooking the rest of the city which is pretty impressive in its own right. We had a cute little Airbnb nestled right under the ramparts and it was toasty warm despite the chilly weather outside.
For Christmas we decided to break with tradition and I had my first Christmas without turkey! We even decided to forego a lunchtime meal and opted for a Michelin starred chef’s brasserie in the evening (a bit like France’s answer to Jame Oliver or Gordon Ramsay having their own named restaurants). I went for the duck breast and Rich tried the local speciality of cassoulet (a white bean stew with duck and pork). Rich had the blueberry tart but, again in another break with tradition, I eschewed dessert for…. a cheese course! I’ve decided that Christmas really is a time to celebrate cheeses! All of it was washed down by some very nice red wine and my new prosecco alternative: Crémant de Limoux. Yes, it doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue but boy does it slip down the throat easily!
On Boxing Day we pitched up at our new pet sitting gig and met the lovely family whose pets we’re currently taking care of. There are 2 dogs, 3 cats, 2 guinea pigs and a tank full of fish. The family are really lovely and we took the dogs out together to see where they were allowed to go and what their routines were. Despite some travel setbacks with flights being cancelled and a bit of emergency baby sitting having to be done while they sorted things out, after a couple of days they were off and we were left in charge!
The village we are in is a lovely place and we wandered around a bit so we could get our bearings (and so that I could take my obligatory mairie photo)!
The first time Rich took the dogs for their walk, the kitten decided to follow them all the way round the vineyards. Luckily she made it back in one piece and we’re now wise to her antics so we try to leave her in the sitting room while we take the dogs.
We have sneaked in a couple of mornings out and explored the local towns and villages. Amongst the gorgeous vineyards and chateaux, we have also ventured to Narbonne and Gruissan on the Mediterranean coast.
I’ve been really taken with all the trees against the blue skies so here are a few shots I took:
I’ll leave you with a sunrise over the vineyards photo and all the best wishes for 2018. Happy New Year!
À bientôt, bisous.