Summer Holiday in South of France: Part 2
Hopefully you’ve already checked out ‘Part 1’ of my mini adventure in the South of France which included lots of french food, lavender fields, crazy golf, waterfalls and the beautiful villa where I stayed.
After those events, mid week, we went to the local market which is on every Wednesday in Goudargues. Here they had everything you could imagine. From garlic, olives, cheese and nougat to clothes, bedding, shoes and accessories! There was one stand which was super cute – leather friendship bracelets that you could get any message carved into it that you so wished – which I inevitably did, for the bf.
Yes, your eyes do not deceive you – behold the mighty macaron nougat! (insert heart eyes emoji!)
We made a pit-stop at a local cafe by the river for some sustenance and I think it’s safe to say this was the most creamy cafe au lait and pain au chocolat I’ve ever had! The french sure do know how to bake a pastry and make a strong brew.
That afternoon we went quad biking – and it was a massive fail…
Everything started out pretty smoothly on road until my dad and I got to the mountainous track (off road). The track was so rocky which made driving pretty difficult and there was a sheer drop on to my right. But, in order for me to keep my resolution of trying to be more dare-devil, I went with it, care-free. We then got to a more flat bit of the track driving through woodland and past vines which was pretty exhilarating.
We had to cross another road to get to the rest of the mountain track and as soon as we did, we almost swerved into a ditch. We thought the wheel was just being a bit unresponsive until we came to a stop (on a hill!) and started rolling back towards a sheer drop into someone’s garden when we tried to start again. With no handbrake (yes you read that correct!) we had to jump out and with all our might hold onto the buggies. I grabbed the nearest rocks I could find to secure the wheels and we just about made it before it went over the edge.
Pretty traumatic but funny experience. So, we had to call the guy who rented them to us so he could pick us up and we took some photos while we had the opportunity haha…
When he arrived we expected him to pick us and the quadbike up and take us back to base. Wanna take a wild guess at what he did instead? Fixed it himself with some wire and screws and said ‘on y va’ (on your way!!!!!) Oh mon dieu, was he crazy!! Anyway, as there was no other way of us getting back (his car was 2 seater!) and we had to drive it back (insert hiding face monkey and trembling mouth emoji) luckily, we survived as I’m still here writing this blog post to tell the tale!
Needless to say the next day we did something a little safer to recover from the day before… and that would be wine tasting. As some of you may know, I am a little bit of a wine fanatic and so I was in my element.
The Cotes du rhone wines account for 50% of the valley’s production and most are red wines are a blend based on Grenache or Syrah and the vineyards are planted on a variety of soils, as well as made from the 21 sanctioned grape varieties.
These wines are easy drinking types, paired perfectly to complement hearty meals, or just to accompany cheese! The white blends and rosés are delicious too and apparently quite hard to find – so we were lucky we got to try and buy some! The rose is medium bodied and is a mix of Shiraz/Syrah · Grenache Noir · Mourvedre
There were 4 different reds, 1 white and 1 rose. I tried them all and my favourites were the ’romance’ and the ‘classic’. They were more smooth and silky, with a plum like finish compared to the other two which were a bit more robust and hearty, which I could imagine drinking more in the winter. The rose was very pale and delicate and the white very smooth. I couldn’t believe how cheap they were, considering they were much better than most of the supermarket wines I’ve bought for £15. I stocked up on 4 and she gave me one for free!
On our penultimate evening we went to a restaurant called ‘La Gallantine’ which was in Goudargues.
We ordered the tasting menu and it was divine. Although it didn’t have as a good a views as the other restaurant, it was by far the best food (apart from the pudding, I’ll give them that!).
To start, an amuse bouche of gazpacho, followed by foie gras with candied cacao beetroot, fried romaine lettuce and walnut. Next up was pan fried scallops with an almond cream foam (these melted in my mouth and I am pretty much drooling right now!). The main was the most delicious beef with special mushrooms (no, not those kind, cheeky!) and a celeriac mousse fondue. Next was an almighty cheese board which had goats, sheeps and cows cheese. To finish, was a dessert of homemade peach iced tea with an aniseed biscuit.
So, that sums up my week in France, and what a lovely week it was filled with food, family and fun.
We’ll definitely be coming to France again next year and we’ll definitely be scouting out our next villa on Pure France too!