Holiday Rental: Spacious 2 Bedroom Apartment with pool and stunning view in the heart of a medieval village. In Vézénobres in the Gard

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Les Figuiers: Sleeps 4 – 2 Bedrooms; 2 Bathrooms Les Figiuers is a large 2 bedroom apartment situated on the middle floor of Rue de l’Horloge, a 3 storey stone village house in the heart of the charming medieval village of … Continue reading

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Holiday Rental: Spacious 1 Bedroom Apartment with pool and stunning view in the heart of a medieval village. In Vézénobres in the Gard

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L’Hirondelle: Sleeps 2 – 1 Bedroom; 1 Bathroom L’Hirondelle is a spacious apartment located on the top floor of Rue de l’Horloge, a 3 storey stone village house in the heart of the charming medieval village of Vezenobres. It is an ideal … Continue reading

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For Sale: A lovely 4 Bed Villa with swimming pool and magnificent views in a tranquil setting – ideal primary or second residence and perfect for rentals.

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Price 399,000€ Set amongst vineyards and olive groves, this is the perfect property from which to enjoy the best of outdoor and indoor living throughout the seasons in this region of the South of France. This lovely 4 bed villa … Continue reading

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For Sale: An exceptional renovated stone residence in an idyllic location above the River Tarn

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Price: 495,000€ This is a quite simply beautifully renovated property in a magnificent location in the Aveyron in the Midi Pyrenees. The property has been tastefully restored with great attention to detail allowing it to retain its character . The … Continue reading

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Variety is the spice of life!

The thing that strikes you most about the Gard is the amazing mix of social activities, it could almost be described as a complex mix, such is the variety on offer. Not so long after our sublime evening of wine, food and jazz whilst watching the sun set over the vineyards, a few of us took ourselves off to a Course Camarguaise event in the Arènes in Nimes.

The Course Camarguaise is a summer pastime between a bull and a team of men dressed in white and is practised around the Nimes and Arles regions, those being close to the locations of the true Camargue people.  There are local leagues amongst many of the small towns which ultimately end up in the Finale in one of the larger arenas.

The objective is for a team, to remove ribbons (ficelles) that are attached to the bull’s horns. The team consists of the tourneurs (those who attract the bull’s attention) and the raseteurs (those who remove the ribbons). The Manadier is also an important part of the event as he is the one who breeds and rears the bulls for this purpose.

It is taken very seriously as much pride rests on the performance of the bull and the outcome of the event. It is important to add that the bulls are unhurt.  

I was sitting next to a couple of aficionados who filled me in on the finer details and also recognised some of the bulls from previous events (some bulls become so well known that the trophies are named after them). It was a slightly bizarre event but one that you wouldn’t experience in any other region and for that reason I was glad that I had gone there. The drama of the bull chasing the men out of the ring and the colours and spectacle turned the Arena into a truly amazing theatre and you felt that you could really absorb one of the ancient cultures of the region.

Sitting here on a sunny October afternoon, I can reflect on the rich experiences we’ve had here – and look forward to many more to come – in particular the “LA FIESTA DES VEDEMIAN ” this coming Sunday, where the lovely village of Valflaunès at the foot of the Pic Saint Loup transforms its streets for the day into a huge festival of wine tasting from the fabulous Pic Saint Loup domaines. Life can be very tough sometimes…

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Sublime moments…an evening on a wine domaine

A balmy evening in late August, chilled rosé and sauvignon blanc on tap direct from the domaine, the aroma of sausages sizzling on the barbecue and the soft strummings of jazz in the background …. sublime moments which echo the very nature of la belle vie in the South of France.

The invitation came by email : ‘La Domaine de l’Orviel vous invite à une soirée conviviale de jazz, dégustation et BBQ entre amis’ … our group of 10 decided it would be a pleasant way to spend an evening, on a domaine, not a stone’s throw away from chez nous and in part, in competition with the cave which blends our own grapes. We arrived early and our initial concern that we would be the only guests quickly disintegrated as car load after car load of people descended on the domaine to create a lively party crowd of over 200.

Picture the scene … an independent wine domaine; producers of, amongst others, sauvignon, viognier, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, mouvedre and grenache, hosts en evening of entertainment with winetasting. We installe ourselves around a table, surrounded by the vineyards where the grapes are ripening, the distant peaks of the Cevennes mountains create a backdrop to a deep red sunset which signals another sunny day to follow the balmy evening, the jazz band serenades the lively audience and the aromas of the barbecue begin to waft and fill the atmosphere. The aperitifs and canapés led seamlessly to the entrées, BBQ , crepes and coffee and, as a friend commented, ‘some very decent wine’.

In typical french (un)commercial style, nobody was pushing sales of the wine – if you wanted to purchase some wine, you could, but the raison d’etre of the soirée felt more like the advertised convivial evening amongst friends.

We ambled home shortly after midnight, well fed and pleasantly merry, comparing notes on how our evening could have been spent in a less sympathetic climate – our expectations of the southern french quality of life nicely fulfilled.

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For Sale: Rare opportunity to find an affordable spacious town house with parking in the heart of medieval Pezenas with recent rental income.

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Price: 139,000€ This is a traditional stone townhouse in the centre of the fabulous medieval market town of Pezenas, to the west of Montpellier in the Languedoc. This 4 storey property (not including the cellars in the basement) is well … Continue reading

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