Having had such a wonderful time in the Dordogne, our foray into the Languedoc was less than auspicious. Toulouse was supposed to be our first port of call but that did not eventuate. I have come to know it vicariously through my French tutor (Marie), and I was looking forward to seeing the places we had discussed around the Place du Capitole. However, the weather stepped in to change the plan as it was raining heavily and very cold when we reached the outskirts of Toulouse. At that stage, we all decided it would not be a good experience in such awful weather, and we bypassed it.
The next stop should have been Carcassonne. While the weather had improved a little by the time we reached it, it was still unpleasant, but we found parking and entered what we thought was the old city, but alas it was not. We were obviously in the wrong place, so we warmed ourselves with soup and Croque Monsieur in a very ordinary restaurant, and made our way back to the car. We still had a long drive to Pezenas, but as we were leaving Carcassonne, we saw the dramatic walled castle we had been looking for looking for, looming above the lower town – a long way from where we had entered the city. Lesson learned – know your route before attempting to reach your intended destination….
As we continued our journey, the skies lightened and we arrived in Pezenas in the late afternoon. Hotel de Vigniamont is run by the most delightful woman, Babette Brun. She is warm, welcoming, and obliging, and her small hotel is an absolute delight. With only a few rooms, each with its own name (Languedoc for us), this old, creeper-covered building gives no real hint of the treat which lays in store behind its walls. The two rooms I have seen are quite large, with a small anteroom in the entrance, delightfully themed furnishings, and a generous ensuite bathroom. The salon where Babette serves a sumptuous breakfast, is large and elegant, with a good amount of reading material, and tourist brochures available. There is a small interior patio on the ground floor and a very nice rooftop terrace as well. Babette’s hospitality is effortless and genuine – nothing is too much trouble, including doing our washing! She knows her food and we had a brilliant meal at Le Vieux Coq last night on her recommendation. It augers well for our three day stay here.