Discover Roquebrun from La Souqueto B&B Holiday accommodation Languedoc

Roquebrun is officially one of the ‘Most Beautiful Villages in France’ – known as the “Mimosa”capital of France and we certainly think it deserves the accolade. A cluster of traditional stone houses rise up a hill above the River Orb, a bridge, weir and old water mill. It’s a tiny village – with two restaurants (simple, good food and low prices) and one shop. Roquebrun is also very popular with canoers – and the whole family can rent canoes from here at reasonable prices.

The Swimming

The river Orb offers clear, clean water (thanks to its stony bed) and at Roquebrun, becomes very shallow thanks to an old weir. This creates a natural paddling pool – making the site perfect for toddlers. The beach is stony, as is the river bed – so you might want to wear flip flops or old shoes.

Roquebrun is a classic French village in the heart of Languedoc – , the mild climate encourages many temperate plants to thrive which may otherwise succumb to the local winters.


In a steep valley of the river Orb, facing south are the beautiful Mediterranean gardens, a walk up through the narrow streets of the town brings you to the paths and gardens twisting through the hillside.

Kayaking on the river Orb.

Holiday accommodation Languedoc

As a family we have kayaked at Roquebrun many times. It makes the perfect day trip for families from 8 to 60+. It’s less than an hour from La Souqueto holiday accommodation languedoc to Roquebrun. We rent all the kit from a rental business that is based to the left of the villages’ bridge.We always make a picnic so that we can stop off down river on a beach or bank, relax swim and sun bathe too. You have plenty of time to complete the trip.

You can choose from a variety of distances from 5 to 37 kms. We think the best is 9km. From memory one can book trips on the hour throughout the day. It is best to ring in advance and book your trip.

Park your car in the car park next to the Kayak rental business. Once you have booked-in and been given your hard hat, life vest, oars and container to keep your valuables dry, a bus will pick you up and take you to your destination up river. All you need to do then is hit the rapids!!

Visit Assignan & St. Chinian…only 15 minutes from La Souqueto B&B Luxury bed and breakfast South of France

Visited the area surrounding Chateau Castigno at Assignan earlier today. It’s a village situated a few miles above St Chinian in the Black Mountains. Fascinating story of an extremely wealthy family from Belgium who are having a massive influence on this sleepy village by re developing the Chateau and its vineyard and key businesses in the village square. It’s a must see and only 15 mins from La Souqueto.

Saint Chinian – only a few minutes from Assignan

Saint Chinian is a bustling village, only 15 minutes from La Souqueto luxury bed and breakfast South of France; dating back to 825 when a monastery was founded by Saint Anian, possibly on the site of what today is the Mairie. The monastery prospered and with it the village. It survived the Albigensian Crusades relatively unscathed and emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries as a centre for the manufacture of high quality cloth. During the French revolution the abbey was dissolved and its buildings put to new uses. The former abbey church is now the village hall and hosts everything from exhibitions to village dances.

The revolution also put an end to the cloth trade and the village had to rely on the wine for its fortunes. After the phylloxera crisis of the 1860′s, the Languedoc region was producing huge amounts of cheap wine. It was not until towards the middle of this century that the vignerons began to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. A VDQS since 1945, St Chinian acquired AOC status in 1982. The appellation area covers twenty communes and produces primarily red and rosé. The vines grow on hillsides facing the sea, at an altitude of 100 – 200m. St Chinian wines have a very long-standing reputation, going back as far as the fourteenth century.

Visiting St. Chinians Sunday Market is a must! It’s based in the town square under mature Plane tress.

Luxury bed and breakfast South of France

St Chinian

Golf in the Languedoc…bring your clubs (or borrow ours) when you stay at La Souqueto B&B

Part of the promise to my son Jasper when we moved to the Languedoc, was that we would play Golf regularly. We found a great Course in Carcassonne…Golf de Carcassonne. You must understand that we are little more than enthusiastic amateurs but we were really impressed with the general quality of fairways and greens. An impressive restaurant overlooks the first tee with its rather unusual hill to drive up, but once on the top you are greeted by the most superb views of the surrounding area.

 

http://golf-de-carcassonne.com

Hire Classic boat trips Canal du Midi or use our boat Bella Mia as a gite!

We’ve enjoyed a really busy 2014 season at classic boat trips canal du midi. The introduction of bespoke boat cruises on the Canal du Midi for our guests really helped to provide a much appreciated added value service here at La Souqueto. By May word had got around and we were busy helping other family groups staying in the Languedoc to experience the wonders of the Canal.

We are able to offer special days out for families and friends (from 2 to 8 persons)…birthday parties and even a taxi service to some of the lovely restaurants situated on the banks of the canal du midi! Our usual trips include either a 3 or 6 hour cruise taking in some of the most beautiful scenery and views of the Pyrenees. For budgeting purposes allow €70 per hour.

 

For those looking to experience Canal life first hand, Classic boat trips canal du Midi offer Bella Mia as residence moored to the bank at La Porte Minervois, a few minutes walk from a wonderful Tapas bar at La Somail. It sleeps up to 4 person, ideal for a family of 4 (with children, minimum age 7) and perfect for a couple! Our boat is available from April through to the end of October. Depending on the season the boat rents from €80 to €120 per night.

Relax in the sunshine on deck, swim in the river Cesse or just sit at the Tapas bar with a glass of something in hand. We can also arrange bikes for you should you wish to explore the villages along the Canal du midi. For those who will have rented cars there is a FREE car park. Within 30 mins of the Canal you could be exploring Cathar villages such as Minerve, Gorges and rivers at Roquebrun or the beaches on The Med. For more information email jon@lasouqueto.com

Classic French cuisine Cookery demonstrations at La Souqueto B&B Languedoc accommodation

During 2014 at La Souqueto B&B Languedoc accommodation, we have organised a selection of bespoke cookery demonstrations for our guests at our town house in Mirepeisset. As these have been so well received we are now going to continue to offer demonstrations throughout the year.  Themes will include: Classic French sauces, favourite Languedoc dishes, ideas for Christmas, Seasonal recipes.

Some of these pictures were taken from a very recent two day Course prepared for two couples staying with us from New Zealand . The first day our cookery expert Vivienne drove her students to Narbonne to visit the covered market Les Halles where the guests were encouraged to select ingredients which took their fancy. They returned for a coffee before preparing lunch and a light evening meal. Under instruction they made Oysters, www.bouzigues.fr/‎, serrano ham and Brie, stuffed with fresh walnuts and figs. A roasted courge soup and an almond and orange cake were also prepared. They then sat down for an un-hurried lunch with a selected Minervois wine appropriate for the Oysters.

The next day they made a baby squid and chorizo salad with olives and chick peas, a roasted, stuffed pintade, prune and armagnac sauce, with bacon and chestnut cabbage, followed by a spiced pear ‘tarte tatin’.

Why not combine a short stay at La Souqueto B&B Languedoc accommodation with a days cookery class. It makes the perfect birthday or Christmas present. As we can accommodate up to 10 people, we also welcome groups.

For your bespoke cookery course, please contact us directly for prices. info@lasouqueto.com

Beautiful villages with outstanding restaurants…in easy reach from La Souqueto B&B Languedoc

 

The Languedoc is just full of sleepy villages and wonderful landscapes! As we made our way one day to the famous hill top village of Minervois just 15 minutes from La Souqueto B&B we took a small detour and drove through the village of La Caunette.

This now quiet and peaceful village has provided shelter to people for over 1000 years. In the beginning, men and women found protection in caves in the cliffs that surround the village. Later during Roman times, villas were built forming the early community, one was noted in 936 as Cauneta Villa.

During the wars against the Cathars, La Caunette played an important part as the advance defence for Minerve, guarding the river Cesse, which was used by many as a means of access to the village. La Caunette, then known as “Lacaune sous Minerve”, was fortified, and this can be seen today as “La Carambelle” with it “porch” or entry gate dating from the 13th century. With the old chateau – Château des Pardailhan to its side. The village also had a number of passages built into the rocky hillside to provide a means of escape for villagers should thevillage fall.

La Caunette, like much of France suffered under the 100 year war, and the wars of religion. The chateau was attacked by the protestants in 1587, and 1590.

Henry IV in 1583 made an order that seigneurs were to plant elms to provide shelter from the sun, rain, in villages all over France. In 1593 an elm was planted in La Caunette at the entrance to the fortified gate of the old village (La Carambelle). The elm survived for 400 years until 1985, when it was unable to be saved from the rigors of disease and old age. A local artist, who lives at the Moulin de Cantarane, just outside La Caunette in the direction of Aigues-Vives, created a sculpture commemorating the old elm – now found near the church in 1988.

La Caunette is a thriving village with local shop, bar a garage and a superb restaurant called ‘La Cave’. It’s owned by three sisters who seem dedicated to creating the very highest quality affordable food.

La Souqueto Bed & Breakfast in South of France, a perfect base from where to experience fantastic food!

We visited ‘La Cambuse du saunier’ today for lunch in Gruissan, 30 mins from La Souqueto bed & breakfast, South of France. An incredible place to eat… and our meal cost €28 per person! It’s based at the salt flats…wonderful colours, spectacular views of The Med and Pyrenees and superb locally caught fish and fruits de mer!

Bed & Breakfast in south France

Gruissan is on the Mediterranean coast near Narbonne, between the hills of the Clape (rocky hillside of pine trees and vineyards known as the garrigue), the lakes frequented by the pink flamingos. Gruissan was originally a fishing village on a small island surrounded by marshland. The narrow streets of Gruissan village encircle the ruined 13th century castle tower. 

Bed & breakfast in south france

Gruissan Plage is a marvellous wide open stretch of flat sand that guarantees you and your family plenty of space even in the height of summer. This is one of our favourite amongst all the Languedoc beaches. All the Languedoc beaches around this area of the coast are characterised by open, flat expanses of golden sand. Gruissan Plage has the extra kudos of being the setting for the French film, Betty Blue, a film about two passionate lovers living in a beach hut.

Swim in the crystal clear waters of the river Cesse just behind La Souqueto B&B Holiday rental Languedoc

We are so lucky that the wonderful river Cesse passes just behind La Souqueto B&B. It’s crystal clear waters are perfect for swimming in and the natural shingle beaches provide a place to bask in the sunshine. The name of our village, Mirepeisset means ‘a place to see fish’…and what fish we see too. Brown and rainbow Trout are in abundance as well as Carp a little further down stream.

Our guests spend many hours walking/swimming along the river…up stream takes you to Cabazac then onto beautiful Bize and its villages natural swimming area. Follow the river up to Agel and stop off at the numerous natural swimming areas. During the summer the river goes underground and re-appears alongside the beautiful village of La Caunette before reaching the gorges of Minerve.

Termes…a beautiful village with a population of 50!

Termes is a small village set in the foothills of the Corbieres Mountains. It’s 50 minutes from La Souqueto B&B and roughly half an hour south of wonderful Lagrasse. The drive up into the hills is spectacular passing through small villages and the Gorge du Termes.

The river Sou passes through Termes and its banks are covered with beautiful seasonal flowers.In 2009 this little village was recognised as ‘Flowered village’given by the ‘comite national des villes et villages fleuries’

The first village of Termes was located at the Chateau Termes, a Castle that dates from 1110. It became an important Cathar stronghold and yet it was taken by Simon de Montfort following his seige of Minerve

 

 

Caunes-Minervois…a jewel in the Aude

Caunes-Minervois is a small medieval town or “commune” in the Aude department in the Languedoc-Roussillon regionin southern France and 15 minutes from La Souqueto Chambres D’Hotes. It is known particularly for its ancient Abbey, dating from the eighth century, and the outstanding red marble that has been quarried locally from Roman times. The name may derive from the ancient local Occitan word for cave, “cauna”, of which there are a number in the immediate area.

Caunes is also in the Minervois, a designated wine growing region with AOC status but with an ancient heritage. The name derives from the ancient regional capital of Minerve, some 20 km east of Caunes, itself named for the Roman Goddess Minerva. The Romans came through here, settling and introducing vines & olives in the region. Minervois Vignerons have been dynamic in changing the perception of the world towards wine from the south of France, developing quality products and experimenting with both old and new grape varieties and techniques.[1]

A visit to the Abbey in the middle of the Town is a must and make sure you visit the wonderful Tapas bar La Cantine Du Cure for lunch!!