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House diaries
A Working Holiday
Chapter 1: We Leave for France
Chapter 10: Looking for Mr. Goodstone
Chapter 11: A mission to la Clape
Chapter 12: Dinner at Château de Lignan
Chapter 13: Antiques and plunder
Chapter 14: The vintner next door
Chapter 15: The rooftops of Nézignan-l'Évêque
Chapter 2: Comes the crusade
Chapter 3: The 13 colonies
Chapter 4: Our curtains are dreadful
Chapter 5: Naked beaches
Chapter 6: A visit to Château des Estanilles
Chapter 7: A pilgrimage to Toulouse
Chapter 8: Remembering Collioure
Chapter 9: The priest and the mayor
Languedoc Roussillon
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A Day Trip Itinerary...print this out   print the content item
A good lunch on the way to Minerve
The little hill town of Minerve entered the French history books in 1210 when its fortifications withstood a seven-week siege by Simon de Montfort. Simon was a northern baron sent to the Languedoc to crush the Cathar heresy. A lucky shot from a catapult sealed the town's well, and the fate of the Cathar leaders inside the town. At Simon's orders, over 100 were burned to death when they would not abjure their faith. Today, visitors come for a little history and a lot of scenery, good food and good wine.
Right behind the restaurant is a sign marking the start of two walks into the wine-rich and stony Minervois foothills.
One way to Beaufort: less than an hour. Giles is a performance artist and creator of a Web site that features rental properties in the Languedoc (http://www.languedocfrance.com/) and lists dozens of good restaurants.
From the house in Valros, take the N9 toward Béziers. Continue through Béziers toward Capestang and get on the D5. Follow the D5 toward Olonzac. You'll notice the Canal du Midi swinging through the countryside between double rows of trees. Right next to the canal, west of Capestang, is the first good restaurant, named Le Relais du Pigasse.But do go on. Today you're eating at Auberge de Saint-Martin, in Beaufort. As you near Olonzac, bear right, on the D52. Soon you'll take another right, on the D168, toward Oupia. The teensy village of Oupia, incidentally, makes an outstanding three-star red, according to the Hachette guide. Go through Oupia toward Beaufort. In Beaufort, turn left onto the D910. Immediately look for a small church steeple and an old school.
Auberge de Saint-Martin is in the old school. The chef grills outside on the terrace. English is spoken. Phone 04 68 91 16 18. Minerve is about 15 minutes away.
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