Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Le Moulin is Looking Ready for a Christmas in France

For those of you who have visited and stayed with us at Le Moulin for your holiday in France, you will probably recognise those snowy features in the photograph as the garden beyond your sunny patio area.

Certainly looks a little different at this time of year as we approach the festive season.

One thing you can be sure of right now is that we are certainly enjoying the huge log fire in our living area and are very glad to have it. It would definitely be a little bit on the chilly side without it.

But aside from it being a little bit chilly we can't help feeling how lovely everything looks now the snow has arrived, walking out with the dog with the crunch of the snow underfoot is proving to be a very pleasant pass time. Particularly with the many woodland walks we have available which means that we don't even have to contemplate getting into the car.

Collecting wood for the fire has become a bit of a priority all of a sudden but it is very gratifying when a few hours labour turns into a roaring fire and the source of some traditional entertainment. I have always loved to watch a real fire, more than the TV in truth, but a little bit of music going on in the background is quite nice as well, very cosy.

So for those who are reading at this time of year we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Next year we will have the log burning stove installed in the gite, so if you like the sound of a Christmas in France, we could be persuaded.

If you are looking for some ideas for Christmas dinner then you might like to have a read about what we did last year on  A Nearly White Christmas.

The stuffing was absolutely gorgeous and it has just reminded me that we need to get some goose fat from somewhere for the roasties, eating is believing. .

Nigella Lawson definitely got that one right.

Oh and Carcassonne can be pretty impressive over the festive period as well. This is a little shot of last years light show in Gambetta Square.


Sunday, 20 December 2009

Art Course in France

From little acorns, mighty oaks do grow.

Our advert for art courses in France has just gone live and I have added an extra page to the website called Art Courses. Well what else would you call it, I couldn't think of anything more appropriate.

Lots of details available including when and how much. So go and check it out if you fancy venturing into the world of art and painting, you will be following in the footsteps of Mattisse, Picasso, Dufy and Dali. All of whom chose the South of France as an idyllic venue to practice their art.
Matisse "discovered" the town of Collioure in 1905 and because of the clarity of light from the sun combined with the blue of the sky and sea, he managed to persuade the other aforementioned painters to join him there.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

The Knights Templar do Lincolnshire

The Knights Templar do Lincolnshire

On our recent visit back to the UK we visited Lincolnshire and I couldn't help but notice the similarities between this agricultural region of the UK and the Languedoc Roussillon region here in France.

I guess the fact that we stumbled across one of the legacy site of the Knights Templar and experienced the wonderful colour of the skies over Lincolnshire provided the fuel for my comparisons.

Not that I am advocating anyone should substitute a holiday in the South of France for one in rural Lincolnshire, heaven forbid. They didn't have Carcassonne Castle or Rennes le Chateau in their arsenal of tourist attractions, not to mention the Pyrenees or the Mediterranean coastline and climate.

But if you are in the UK and fancy an interesting day out, then Lincoln city is a very nice place to visit and there are a few surprises in the countryside as well.

You can find out a little more about my day out by visiting this hub I have written about Temple Bruer and the history of the Knights Templar in a quiet corner of Lincolnshire. It's amazing what you can stumble across when out looking for somewhere to walk the dog and the scenery there is not too shabby either.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

A Woodland Walk in Languedoc Roussillon

One of the benefits of staying at Le Moulin is the access to the many woodland walks that are available straight from the property.

There are a number of routes that can be used which range from a quick 40 minute stroll going up to several hours and more if that is what you prefer.

The whole area is popular with walkers and you can access some wonderful viewpoints to see the Montagne Noire, the Pyrenees or to simply meander alongside the River Argentouire and visit the Cascades coming down from Labecede.

Early Autumn is great for gathering chestnuts or hazelnuts in the woods and, for photographers, there is always a chance to catch a spectacular shot of an evening skyline or one of the lovely landscapes views of the mountains or countryside.

The area retains its beauty throughout the winter and staying at Le Moulin you can utilise the fully equipped kitchen to prepare some hot soup or hearty food to warm you following your woodland walks.

If you want to explore a little further afield you can quickly access the National Park in the Black Mountains or visit one of the many inland lakes in the region.

The Lac de St Ferreol is only 20 minutes by car and has a large arboretum and gentle paths around its periphery.

The autumn and winter periods not only provide a very cost effective and affordable holiday but also have a lot to offer those that just love the outdoors and who want to ramble through wonderful countryside, chilling out and getting back to nature.

There really is a route for all levels and plenty of beautiful scenery to admire.

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