We came home last Saturday from a ten-day trip to the South of France. Or, as we like to call Gruissan, our little corner of paradise. After spending Christmas there, Easter was a first for us too. I have been to Gruissan with my Mum and the girls in the autumn as well and each season has its own particular charm. I thought I would put together for you the ten things we enjoyed the most during this holiday.
1. Take advantage of the numerous little cafés
Pains au chocolat and croissants for breakfast on market day. A rosé pamplemousse when it is apéritif time. A sinfully good crêpe mid-afternoon. Simply sitting there, relishing the sun on your face and watching the hustle and bustle of village life.
2. Admire the gorgeous reflections in the water
With the sea and many lagoons, there are a plethora of possibilities to come across a postcard perfect sight. I love the mirror image of the old, derelict Tour Barberousse in this picture and how the water sparkles.
3. Discover new wines
Yes, even the ones with rather unusual names! This rosé was recommended to me and it did not disappoint. You can find out more about it here (if you can understand French!). We brought some home and I will keep an empty bottle for decoration, as I love this label.
4. Explore, explore, explore
We have by now spent a fair amount of time in the Languedoc-Roussillon region and every time we discover something new. A promise of adventure emanates from half hidden paths and stairs, just irresistible…
5. Vibrant markets
The market in Gruissan takes place three times a week, located on the main square only in the winter and taking over several streets in the summer. Every time, we buy a few jars of fragrant honey and perfumed olive oils to take back home with us. One of my summer rituals is also to buy cheap sunglasses to wear on the beach! But my favourite stall is where the spices are on display. I have to refrain from buying a little bag of each, mesmerized by the colours and smells…
That one day, you will also be the owner of a flat, a house or just a shack similar to this one, with THAT view…
7. The maritime history of the region
This picture was taken in Notre Dame des Auzils, a chapel built almost at the top of a mountain where sailors and fishermen come to pray for protection. I have already written about the legend attached to Notre Dame des Auzils and its location. The walk up to the church is not too demanding and the place well worth a visit.
8. Culinary delights
If you like fish, you will be in heaven. During our stay, my Mum cooked some very fresh scallops and obviously the taste did not compare to frozen ones. Oysters, mussels, sea bream… There is so much to choose from, including “couteaux flambés au whiskey”. According to Sexy Hubby, the meat dishes are equally mouth-watering. The cheese selection is of course unbelievable; personally, I am very keen on the numerous goat versions. We came home with some “vieux Comté” and a “saucisson sec aux girolles” from the market.
9. Art exhibitions
This time, we sadly did not make it to Carcassonne and to our friend Zanda’s studio. We went back to the Saltern of Saint-Martin’s Island, but the art gallery, Les Arts Salés, was still closed. We missed the opening by a few days only. Local artists can also be found in the Vieux-Gruissan.
10. Dog walks
If you have a dog like us, the walks on the beach or by the lagoon are an absolute delight. We love looking at Cute Doggy, ears in the wind, bouncing around, obviously very happy. As always he has been a bit subdued since we came back, I swear he misses his frolicking in the sand or observing life from HIS sun chair on the balcony. Well, we miss that too…