What's planned for June 2013 in the Languedoc
Te Whau Lodge returns to France June 2013 to enjoy the start of summer in the Languedoc!
We, Gene O'Neill and Liz Eglinton, are passionate foodies, keen travellers and committed hosts with a penchant for France. We are no strangers to hosting guests from around the world and, 13 years ago, created a small, intimate guest lodge on Waiheke Island, New Zealand. Te Whau Lodge is the type of place that we had longed to find in our own travels - a place to enjoy good food, good wine and more importantly good company - relaxed hospitality in a relaxed setting.
Each year since 2004, we have taken time out from the Lodge and travelled to France and many have joined us to share the experience - first in Provence and now in the Languedoc. For our last three trips we have been based in Marseillan in the Languedoc and we simply loved it! So much so that we are planning a return trip.
For our 2013 travels, we will be based back in the delightful village of Marseillan for three weeks from early June. Once an important trading port, Marseillan is now a quiet village with a picturesque port area filled with recreational boats and lined with several cafes and restaurants and a wine "cave". One of the oldest villages in France, Marseillan has loads of character - the village square hosts a weekly market as well as shops for the daily essentials - the obligatory boulangerie and a very fine boucherie.
Marseillan is a great base - within easy reach of the colourful medieval town of Pezenas, the Mediterranean coast and the vibrant university town of Montpellier. The world famous Canal Du Midi is nearby and, being the largest wine growing area in France, the Languedoc region boasts hundreds of vineyards and quaint old wine growing towns just waiting to be explored.
While good food, wine and company will flow through each week, we will make sure that there is a different mix of experiences to enjoy each week so people can join for one or more weeks. This is not a tour but rather a group of six people (including ourselves) having a holiday and sharing experiences in a special little corner of France - why not join us ...
Marseillan sits on the shores of the Etang de Thau - an immense salt water lake - and there is much to enjoy in this historic area. We'll visit neighbouring Agde - named the 'black pearl' for its impressive basalt buildings, we'll experience the vibrant market of Sete - the largest French fishing port on the Mediterranean - and we'll sample the famed oysters of Bouzigues. Marseillan itself warrants a day to explore either on foot or by bike and we'll round the day off with a visit to learn the secrets behind Marseillan's renowned export, Noilly Prat vermouth. In the evenings, we'll dine out at one of the many restaurants in town or put on our aprons and roll up our sleeves and prepare stunning dinners 'chez nous' using produce selected from the markets.
Here is the chance to enjoy a slower pace of life in a beautiful environment - we'll walk the cobbled streets of St Guilhem le Desert, a Unesco world heritage site, where time stands still and we'll take in the bustling weekly market at Clermont l'Herault before visiting the picturesque hamlet of Villeneuvette. The national 'Fete de la musique' will be held this week and on our past trips we have enjoyed wonderful live jazz by the pretty little port at Marseillan - very memorable! If this week doesn't lower your blood pressure with the help of a little time by the heated pool and a glass of chilled rose, then nothing will!
An engineering masterpiece, the canal du midi is fascinating. Once a bustling commercial route, it now draws many holidaymakers who boat, cycle or walk the length of the canal. There is much to explore from the stepped locks at Beziers to charming little villages with canalside cafes. We'll enjoy the many facets of the canal and along the way, we'll add into the mix some wonderful treats of the Languedoc - its history, its wines and its unique cuisine. A very special week.
A two-storied 'maison de maitre' just a few minutes walk from the port and town centre in Marseillan will be our base. Built in the 1890's, the house has been beautifully restored and is ideally set up for a group. Each level has an open plan kitchen, dining and living room and off the main downstairs living area is an outdoor dining area while off the upstairs kitchen is yet another dining terrace. There are four bedrooms and bathrooms, so there will be plenty of space for us all. All linen will be supplied and your room will be set up on arrival.
The house is a real haven to enjoy after a day out exploring and the enclosed garden and heated pool are totally private. This year we often dined outside - just superb! There is so much to enjoy in Marseillan that we will make sure that one of the days each week is spent largely 'at home' so there will be time to chill by the pool, go for some walks or just soak up the atmosphere of this charming portside village.
Each 'week': Euros 1525 per person.
Please note - our 'week' is based on 6 nights - arriving on Sunday afternoon and departing on Saturday morning and the rates above are based on double occupancy - there is a single supplement, please enquire.
We have aimed to make the package as much as possible an all-inclusive one so that there should be no surprises at the end of your stay - we hope this approach works for you.
Please note: there is good wifi connection at the house.