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More than a decade ago, Angela Murrills and husband Peter Matthews began their love affair with the Languedoc, an area in southern France near the Mediterranean coast and the Pyrenees. One of Europe's oldest and most historic regions, it is rich with wonders including castles, wild white horses, Roman ruins, and Carcassonne, Europe's greatest fortified town. What really drew them to this area, however, was the locals' love of food and wine. As their visits to the region became longer and their dream of owning a home intensified, they began to discover another way of living—a slower one based on gastronomic pleasure and the really important things in life: hunting for mushrooms, morning trips to the bakery, long lunches, and heated debates about the best way to make cassoulet. Including mouthwatering recipes and delightful duotone drawings, this wonderful memoir is for the fans of Peter Mayle and Frances Mays
How did a region, so long notorious for mere quantity, transform itself into one of the world’s most exciting vineyards?And what does it take to make a great wine – even on a shoestring?In Virgile’s Vineyard, Patrick Moon explores the world of Languedoc wine. Among the cast of characters that Patrick meets during his year of discovery is Virgile, a young local wine-maker who offers to initiate him into the mysteries of each season’s work in the fields and in the cellar. Virgile is passionately committed to perfection, even though his limited means afford him just a handful of hectares and the smallest cellar imaginable.At the other extreme is Manu, Patrick’s dipsomaniac neighbour, a diehard traditionalist producing a private wine-lake of unspeakable rouge. With Manu as his self-appointed guide, Patrick embarks on a quest for the revolution’s leading lights – a succession of lively encounters with growers as diverse as the wines themselves – interwoven with entertaining digressions into the history of the region’s wine-making. Meanwhile the author struggles to deal with his long-neglected French home – an unfamiliar and unpredictable world where the brambles have grown as tall as the olive trees, the water supply has just dried up and there is a ferocious animal under the roof tiles...First published in 2003, Virgile’s Vineyard is now back by popular demand as a new and extended edition. As rich in humour as it is full of fascinating information, this book is a great read for any Francophile or wine-lover.
Languedoc-Roussillion (not forgetting the Midi-Pyrénées and Aquitaine) are the regions of France most settled by English expatriate colonists. Caroline Conran has spent much time there since the early 1970s and her collection of recipes reflects years of travel, conversation, cooking, eating and drinking. She has shared her knowledge with English readers in a previous book, Under the Sun: Caroline Conran's French Country Cooking, but here she concentrates upon this single region of Languedoc which curls up from the Spanish border, along the Mediterranean coast as far as the Rhône valley. This is not polite France, this is 'in your face' France; it's history buried amidst the Crusades and Cathars, its towns and cities - Nimes, Toulouse, Carcassonne, Narbonne, Perpignan, Montpellier, Beziers - making up a fiercely independent region. Its people are passionate about rugby, about hunting and foraging, with a cuisine of their own, more Southern, simpler, more earthy, and less influenced by the Michelin style of cooking than the rest of France. There will be information on the particular specialities of the pays, such as chestnuts, sweet onions, Bouzigues mussels and oysters (shellfish reared in the Bassin de Thau), salt cod, poufres (baby octopus), charcuterie, salades sauvages (salads of wild plants), the rose coloured garlic of Lautrec, wild asparagus and local mushrooms. There will be descriptions of places where oysters, truffles, chestnuts or calçots - a giant spring onion, eaten roasted on a fire of vine-prunings - are the obsession of everyone in the community. Caroline Conran is a writer with a quiver of successful books in her armoury. From Poor Cook to the Conran Cookbook, to her groundbreaking translations of Michel Guérard and other French chefs.
The Rough Guide to Languedoc & Roussillon is the most comprehensive guide to this beautiful and varied corner of southwest France. Written by a renowned historian with more than 15 years' experience in the region, it's packed with insightful accounts, detailed practical information and clear maps. You'll find everything you need to know to make the most of the region's highlights - with information on accommodation, places to eat and much more - whether in the vibrant city of Toulouse, the magnificent fortress of Carcassonne, the picturesque beach town of Collioure or the sleepy hamlets of the Orb valley. The Rough Guide to Languedoc & Roussillon includes thorough coverage of outdoor activities, from boating along the Canal du Midi and hiking in the Pyrenees to rafting or canoeing down the Ariège. Plus, there's insightful historical and cultural background information and two lavishly illustrated colour inserts introducing you to the legacy of the Cathars and the food and wine of Languedoc and Roussillon. Make the most of your time on earth with The Rough Guide to Languedoc & Roussillon.
It is easy to get to the Languedoc. Follow the Rhone south through France, then once you hit the Mediterranean coast, turn right. The mystery is that for generations, people have been getting to the sea and turning left to Provence. This lack of attention means that the Languedoc is France's last undiscovered Mediterranean secret. Now Rupert Wright introduces you to the region's winemakers, oyster farmers, canal people and celebrated inhabitants, living and dead, including Montpellier's dynamic Mayor, Georges Freche, and local matador Juan Bautista. You will learn about the Languedoc's troubled and fascinating history, visit bullfights and boar hunts, and hear about the writers and artists that have lived and travelled in this intriguing land.
During the early 13th century the north of what is now France went to war with the south in a bloody crusade aimed at destroying the heretical sect known as the Cathars. The conflict was characterized by vicious guerrilla actions and the besieging of the innumerable fortified sites that dotted the landscape of the south. Illustrated with full colour artwork and stunning photographs, this book describes the castles and fortifications of the Cathar period, examining their design, construction and the role that they played during the Albigensian Crusade.

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