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...

The gastronomy of

The gastronomy of Gascony Food is a big part of what makes a visit to the Gers so special with specialities including foie gras, duck dishes, that seriously delicious apple pie that’s specific to the region which I mentioned earlier, Armagnac and wines. Weekly village markets are a wonderful introduction to the gastronomy of the area. Try the Thursday morning market at Éauze or the lovely covered market in Mirande on Monday mornings, which is equally lively. But the big one is at Samatan. I’m not sure you’ll ever find another market where one minute a nun is telling you how delicious her honey is and making clicking noises with her tongue to emphasise it’s special qualities and the next minute you’re caught up in a massive crowd waiting for a whistle to blow which is the signal to run through the doors of an enormous building to buy from local producers selling duck and geese at the carcasses market. It’s not for the fainthearted but it’s authentic and it’s the way things have been done here for years. The market opened in 1373. The town also has a quirky foie gras museum, only for those who are true fans as there are stuffed animals on show. Samatan tourism: There are bistros, cafés and restaurants in every town and farmhouse restaurants dotted throughout the countryside. When you go to the Gers, prepare to be surprised, to be irresistibly tempted by the gastronomy, fed and watered like royals and to fall head over heels for this secret and totally enchanting part of France which the locals call God’s country…

Practical info How to get there: From Toulouse where there is an airport and TGV station for fast trains to Paris (from 5.5 hours), it’s just an hour-and-a-half drive to Auch, the region’s main city. Auch has a well-staffed tourism office (3, place de la République; that sells “TopoGuides” to the Gers. Where to stay: Chateau Bellevue in Cazubon, close to Eauze, will have you feeling rather regal. Beautifully decorated rooms which shuttered windows overlooking a stunning park and countryside. www. In Auch, the Hôtel de France ( offers a range of reasonably priced rooms. It’s undergoing a renovation programme and my room was lovely but some do need updating still. Its informal restaurant has a small terrace overlooking Auch’s main square and serves many of the region’s greatest hits cooked by the owner’s chef father. The hotel also has a grande salle, where fancier (and much pricier) dishes are served. Chef Vincent Cassasus is renowned for being one of the best in the region The stylish L’Echappee Belle Hotel in L’Isle Jourdain has a sleeker, more updated feel, and a superb restaurant serving a lighter version of Gascon and traditional French dishes. Take a detour with French Country Adventures: Tours from half day, full day or several days offering a huge range of topics that will really allow you to experience the best of Gers. From Armagnac tours to watercolour workshops, pastry classes, antiquing and more: Tourist Office website: