A Weekend Visiting  Places Near Beziers

As we had promised ourselves we visited Pezenas today. Saturdays are always market day there and the atmosphere is buzzing .It does not matter what time of the year it is there is something going on. Today there was a local band and many people stopped to listen to them. Those that did not actually stop certainly had a lighter spring in their step as they walked passed.

One of the shops that we like to visit while we are in Pezenas is the English Bookshop. The lady there is always welcoming and helpful. Books are not the only thing on sale in the shop she also gets shipped over from the U.K. some of the things that the ex-pats miss. It probably sounds pathetic when I tell you some of the things that I personally miss. Beef suet, mincemeat and Heinz tomato soup are the three things that I bought today, unfortunately the lady did not have any currants (damn). After visiting the bookshop we went to look for a teashop that we had heard about. We found it very easily about 5 minutes walk from the bookshop. What a lovely little place a proper little teashop with china tea services and china mugs filled to the brim with hot chocolate and whipped cream. They also sell some english produce and guess what?.Yes they had currants (I can make the xmas cake now)

Pezenas is not a big town but it is a mixture of old and new architecture. There are lots of snickety (a self explanatory family word) little lanes, in the season these lanes are full of local craft shops and gift places in the winter some of the places close but it is still an interesting place to visit. The local Office de Tourisme offers a route map to be followed on foot and the map gives all the pertinent details of the buildings and their history. If anyone visits Pezenas it is a fun exercise to look for all the different door knockers. I do not think the ladies among you will object if your partners go looking for knockers.

Saturday is now at an end but maybe tomorrow we can explore somewhere else.

Sunday 23rd November. A special day for me as it is my daughters birthday. No I will not say how old she is, suffice to say she is old enough to have produced 2 lovely sons. I know I am biased but they are great boys and I do miss them a lot. We miss all of the family but although we do not live near we are still close.

Anyway a birthday near or far is a good reason to celebrate a little bit. We celebrated by driving to St. Chinian. It was a bright and blustery day (there is that bear again) and the drive which is not far goes through some interesting little places. After the village of Maureilhan, a small pretty place ,we arrived at Puisserguier. It did not look very interesting until we got out of the car and had a walk around . We saw a 12th century castle and a Romanesque church. Maybe if it had not been sunday we would have browsed in the little shops. Continuing on our way we reached Cebazan. We felt impelled to take a photo of a painting on the side of a house. This lead to a debate, subject. Was it a mural? or was it trompe l’oeil. After some discussion we decided that there was one of each. Following this little debate it was necessary to make haste so that we would arrive at our destination before the market closed.

St Chinian is not a big town but it can get very busy. It is well known for the Cave des Vignerons which sells the A.O.C. (Appellation d’Origine Controlee) wines gathered from the surrounding villages. There are many varieties of wine and I am sure that some of you reading this will have a far greater knowledge than I do. Suffice to say I know what I like. When we did arrive at the market it was still in full flow and after wandering around we made a couple of purchases. Cheese, surprise surprise fancy buying cheese in France. Actually it was a surprise because one cheerful stall holder was selling cheddar cheese. Not the plastic wrapped variety but a whole truckle (why can’t I find that word in a dictionary?) he also had some Blue Stilton or as he said Stilton Bleu . He was fun to be with for a few minutes as he practised his language skills, German with the lady at the front of the queue, Spanish with the next gentleman and then English with us. To coin a phrase “Didn’t he do well”. We also bought some hot chestnuts off another cheery chap.

By this time we had worked up an appetite for lunch so we looked around for somewhere to eat. We selected a bar restaurant called de la Paix. Not special, not expensive but warm and welcoming. Starters, main course and dessert all for 20 euros. Each plate had something to recommend it but I must admit my dessert of mint-choc chip ice cream with creme de menthe could easily have pushed me over the drink drive limit. We naturally had to have wine with our meal and we chose a La Madura not one we had tried before but one we will have again if we see it.

After the meal and a stroll with Peete it was time to return home,not because it was late but sometimes a petit sieste is really called for.

What have we got planned? we don’t know. Whatever we do I will let you all know.

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