A lovely day spent exploring the surrounding area and once again feasting on delicious food.
Maraussan lies in the Frances largest wine producing region and is best known for its cab savs (cabernet sauvignons) though many grapes are taken to be used in the Bordeaux wines
With its beautiful rolling hills and vineyards as well as its perched villages this part of the Languedoc area of southern France is often referred to as the French Tuscany – with the advantage of being on the Mediterranean and having the mountains of the Haut Languedoc National Park and the Pyrenees as a backdrop.
We visited the Castle at the end of this vineyard that owns the grapes we picked and those in many of the vineyards that surround the area. The Castle was built in the 14th and 15th century and strikes a handsome picture in the landscape typical of Southern France
The old buildings, ontop of housing the barrels and other bits and pieces used for the production of wine, are also used keep horses for other villagers
Today we also again visited Bezier to get some ingredients for lunch and dinner. Upon remarking on the decay in the cities centre it was interesting to learn that its the heart of the city that is inhabited by the socioeconomically lower portion of the population. This is the complete opposite to Brisbane were CBD accommodation is exorbitantly expensive compared to that on the outskirts.
Fun facts aside, we ventured to the Arab part of the city to find the best meats and on our way home also bought some lovely champagne for the christmas celebrations and 4 fresh baguettes ( as this is amount of bread that is demolished on a daily basis)
Back at the cottage – todays meals featured lamb chops, mouth watering baked aubergine (eggplant)
and salad that reminded me of home. To combat my growing cravings for salad i prepared two large bowls of one of my favourites which consists simply of rocket, parmesan, pear, walnuts and my special balsamic dressing. mmmmmmmm.
Despite being intimidated by the french chefs that surround me, my simple dish was received with many TRES BON’s! and all polished off – i was even asked for the recipe which i delightedly wrote down with all but one of the secret ingredients for my dressing : )
We also enjoyed fresh Collioure oysters
kindly provided by more family members arriving for christmas.
Tomorrow the total number staying here will be close to 20 making it nice and cosy. Im so grateful to have been accepted into this French family for christmas with such warmth and generosity. The traditional, hearty, christmas feast enjoyed by all tomorrow will be a world (or at least 20, 000kms) away from the typical Byron Bay seafood lunch enjoyed by my family of 4 back home in Australia – To whom i send my love, affection and christmas tidings