France’s Cathar Country

The Aude , a “department” or district in the Languedoc region is Cathar Country, whose most notable towns are Narbonne and Carcassonne. Cathar was a Christian sect that flourished in western Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries. It was considered heretical and was roundly condemned by the Roman Catholic Church. Carcassonne is one of the…

Aude guide

An insider’s guide to Aude in Occitanie, including the main attractions to visit on holiday, the best towns and villages to live in, the major festivals and events, and buying property in Aude. Home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, swathes of vineyards, Mediterranean coastline, a rich history and good food, Aude in Occitanie, is…

Narbonne’s perfect wine pricing

A self-service restaurant in which diners eat as much as they want (for €25.90 a head), that seats 500 and serves 240,000 meals a year does not seem to fit squarely with a wine list of 70 of the finest wines of the region. I  would associate such a list with a Michelin-starred restaurant. But after…

Languedoc, France’s New World wine region

The Languedoc is my adoptive French home. I see it as Provence without the tourists, without too many incomers like me pushing up prices and without, regrettably, the ubiquitous smell of lavender, thyme and pines. It is, however, archetypal Mediterranean wine country, with wild landscapes, Spain just over the Pyrenees, and vines stretching in every…