The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 25

In this issue, visit France from home - Gascony, and Provence, fabulous day trips from Paris, captivating Toulouse and charming Northern France. Recipes, guides and a whole heap more to entertain and inspire...

Lavardens Built around a

Lavardens Built around a feudal castle and church, this little village on a rocky outcrop has oodles of charm. Go in July & August for the fabulously festive night markets. Fourcès With medieval arcades, beautiful walkways, quirky shops and several restaurants, it’s a fabulous place to while away a few hours admiring its beauty. Larressingle AKA the "little Carcassonne", this is the smallest fortified village in France. Step through the gate to the tiny walled town and you'll feel like you've stepped into the past. Montréal This fortified bastide town has a beautiful central square, arcaded walkways and beautiful medieval houses. La Romieu Taking its name from the Gascon "Roumiou", which means "pilgrim", the village was founded at the end of the 11th century Sarrant Enter the 14th century gate to discover a village of pretty half-timbered houses wrapped around the 13th century Saint-Vincent church

A land of officially beautiful villages There are no less than 6 Plus Beaux Villages in this 60-mile wide department. It’s not big, but it is incredibly beautiful, peppered with perfectly preserved and pristine medieval towns including lovely Larressingle. It’s the smallest fortified village in France. With a circumference of just 270m it’s nicknamed the “little Carcassonne”. And Fources, a stunning medieval town with the only round square in France. Read more about Larressingle here and Fources here. And there are castles galore. We visited the Chateau de Lavardens, in Lavardens, another Plus Beaux Village, which we spied from the bottom of a hill. It was like a magical mirage, mellow stone and terracotta-roofed, ageless beauty teetering high above us. It originally Larressingle belonged to the counts of Armagnac and was built in the 12th century and updated in the 17th century. The stunning rooms have wonderful tiled floors and stone walls, grand fireplaces and magnificent views over the surrounding countryside. There are regular temporary exhibitions including at Christmas a massive santons display – little figurines that the French just love ranging from Saints to celebrities. We popped to the Cistercian Abbaye de Flaran nearby with its gorgeous 14th century cloisters, now a cultural centre with an impressive calligraphy collection. And if you go here, you must leave time to visit the restaurant at the Ferme de Flaran next door, the most delicious food and friendly staff, they don’t just serve you food here, they really care. Our server got upset when I didn’t eat absolutely everything on the plate but honestly, it was a big lunch and I needed to leave room for the dessert!