France 2016     Page 2

Well, we didn't much care for Carcassonne so made up for that by going a little south-west and visiting Domaine Gayda at Brugairolles.  We'd had some of their wine in England and wanted to see where it came from and of course, buy some more.

Domaine Gayda

We were not disappointed.  They have an ab fab restaurant too.  We had the Sunday evening special meal at €32 including wine

and there were more sunflowers to add a smile too.  Next, we found a hotel that came highly recommended by Alan and Peggy.  The Chateau de Cavanac.  We had hoped to share the experience but Peggy has a bit of a medical issue right now so we shall have to make that another year.  Anyway, we had a great meal on our own.  Sorry guys, we missed you.

Here's the menu

 Peach kir
Pan fried foie gras in a fig sauce
Terrine of foie gras with Muscat jelly
Duck foie gras on a bed of mixed leaves
Foie gras marinated with Armagnac and truffles on ice
Half a lobster served with salad
House smoked salmon flavoured with dill
Grilled black tiger prawns on mixed leaves
Pan fried scallops seasoned with Gruissan rock salt
Local oysters with shallot vinegar
Seafood and Vegetable Gratin
Snails cooked in a typical Carcassonne sauce
Crayfish prepared with spicy crustacean sauce
Char grilled duck breast
Leg of lamb roasted in a wood oven
Filet of beef with mushrooms
Suckling pig coated with honey in is own jus
Cassoulet, a traditional dish of the area
Fish of the day
Roast pigeon
Kidney of veal grilled on a metal plate
Regional Goat’s cheese served with honey or dessert
Coffee or Verviene infusion
Wine from our vineyards are included

That's the €45 menu, which incudes the 3 bottles of wine btw, was all excellent. 
After a house kir, we had a scallop starter each, a fish dish of crayfish, then I had pigeon and John veal.  We did manage pud and coffee too.


We've been to the village of Duilhac Peyrepertuse before, it has a magic spring which was dry this time, never mind the place is still sweet.

Next, we finally got to meet Johnathan and Rachel Hesford who made the dramatic wine, Le Maudit that we found in a Norwich wine shop last year.  While they had sold out of that particular vintage, we were well pleased with their newer offerings.  Yes, that is Rachel with our order on the wheels.

Domaine Treloar

Those amazing barrels are not in use, what a huge shame!  Aren't they great.  Domaine Treloar is south-west of Perpignan at Trouillas.

Next, we discovered a small village a little to the north.  Tautavel.

In 1971 a huge number of bones, including a skull was found in a cave here. All the bones are estimated to be 450,000 years old.  There is a new museum here with an amazing number of specimens recovered from this small area.  The conditions in the cave were perfect for preserving everything and research is ongoing.  www.450000ans.com

More nice eating here too

Restaurant, Le FOR'HUM worth a bite if you are that way.

This whole village provided me with several photos, below, apart from the drama of where that road must go, shows that we are in Catalan country.  The village signs are in Catalan and French.  Not on the same board of course, they have one each.  These signs are at the exit of the village and the red diagonal line denotes the end of the 50k speed limit.  In France, a village or town sign in this style means an unwritten 50k speed limit.  You need to know that.


That road btw, I think it might be OK with the camper but I'll give it a miss I think.  Maybe tomorrow?  Presumably, the cave marked on the map is the cave?

Our real reason for visiting this little area is to visit Katie Jones and hubby Jean Marc at Tuchan.

Alex at Wine Angels, part of Naked Wines, which in turn is part of the Majestic Group gave us the heads up.

Katie had some bad luck in the form of vandalism, last year, her entire production of white wine was lost.  Wine Angels stepped in to save the day and Katie is now on track to make some fabulous wines.  She's a really nice person and having tasted everything !!  I can recommend it all.  Katie Jones

 Next, the very nice little town of Revel and the musée du bois et de la marqueterie


The piece on the right my favourite I think, such detail, see below ...


This is John's fav showing every perfect joint

These all modern pieces from the local school, there are some beautiful old pieces too.

Toulouse:  Aviation of course

a happy day spent here.  I'm happy with this shot of something little peering out from under no. 1 Concorde.

On our way home there was really nothing new or noteworthy, so no pics.