Sunday, 30 October 2016

Limoux, South of France

My chap's family now live in the beautiful South of France and with that, we were lucky enough to be invited to stay for a week. 

So we packed our bags and headed to the sunshine!
If beautiful, charming,  traditional French towns are your thing - Limoux will be right up your street!
Limoux is full of 15th and 16th century houses with an array of colourful window shutters. Ornate street lamps line the pretty cobbled streets, which set the scene for this pretty, unassuming little town.
 The river Aude runs through Limoux, which is perfect to stroll along in the sunshine. However I recommend packing a picnic and blanket, and spending a lazy afternoon listening to the gentle hum of the water rushing past.
After arriving and settling in, we spent our afternoon strolling through Limoux. Taking in all the sights, and catching up with the parents over dinner and wine, which carried on into the night.
 The next day we ventured to the most incredible lake, only a hop, skip and a jump from the town.

What is usually a vast blue lagoon, with every inch covered in families and friends enjoying this perfect paradise - we arrived to a deserted, tranquil, mini lagoon, that had dried up in the heat of the sun. Just enough water for us to swim and splash around in, which we definitely made the most of!
Ladened with a picnic of baguettes, cheese and fresh fruit - a bat and ball, football, beach towels and suncream, we made our way down to the waterfront to set up for the afternoon. 
Lazing in the sunshine, taking in the stunning views of the Pyrenees mountains and enjoying great company, with a jolly nice picnic...I could have stayed in that spot the whole week!
Gently snoozing in the sunshine, we suddenly became aware we were not alone. 
Beautiful wild horses sauntered past us in search of a refreshing paddle. 
Not paying us a moments notice as they made their pilgrimage from the hills down to the waterfront. 
After a quick drink and a splash in the water, it was soon time for them to retreat back into the shade. 
With rumbling tummies, after a glorious afternoon of sunbathing and competitive bat and ball games in the cool of the lagoon, it was time to head home.
 Wanting to capture every moment of this gorgeous landscape, we stopped at a view point to take in some more incredible views on route home for the night.
 The next morning, the boys and I ventured into Limoux for the local market while their parents went to French class, wanting to fully immerse themselves in their new French life.
Breton stripes at the ready, we followed the noises and smells into the town square - La Place...Say fromage!
After a short stroll, we found ourselves surrounded by the hustle and bustle of locals buying and selling all sorts of treasures and treats. 
 This is a chance for friends and family to meet and greet over delicious local produce, and chatter away in the morning sun.
I wanted one of everything... 
We were in search of a few simple ingredients for dinner, but if you arrived with nothing in mind, I guarantee you would come home ready to create a feast! 
Inside you find herbs and spices, dates and nuts, olives and cheeses...it really was a tapas dream come true! 
In the house I tried some dried, sun dried tomatoes which had the most incredible flavour! I then spied them in the market, and I simply could not resist! So I picked up one bag for us, and one for my Mum and Dad to take home!

Add them to any dish to give it a delicious tomatoey depth of flavour!
 I even put my GCSE French to good use!
We wandered home through the crowds, carrying our treats, with coffee on the brain - ready to make a plan for the rest of the day!

I can't wait to show you more soon!

Cat Xx

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