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Advice on southern France trip


Gabe Q
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Hello everyone

Right now I am here working in Spain in Roses near the south French border and in about a month we will get 5 days off work. So I am planning to do a little trip to France since I've never been there. Now my idea is just to take a train somewhere from Barcelona a stay a couple of days there and have one good meal at a michellin starred restaurant.

So I was seeking advice as to what area is really worth visiting in southern France that has a very good restaurant to go to? I'm basically staging (working for free) here in Spain so I don't have a lot of money to blow away, so something not too pricey would be what I look for. Thanks.

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Hello everyone

Right now I am here working in Spain in Roses near the south French border and in about a month we will get 5 days off work. So I am planning to do a little trip to France since I've never been there. Now my idea is just to take a train somewhere from Barcelona a stay a couple of days there and have one good meal at a michellin starred restaurant.

So I was seeking advice as to what area is really worth visiting in southern France that has a very good restaurant to go to? I'm basically staging (working for free) here in Spain so I don't have a lot of money to blow away, so something not too pricey would be what I look for. Thanks.

Hey Gabe, this isn't exactly what you asked for, but I just visited France for the first time myself this month, saw quite a bit of the country, and the highlight was Brittany: great scenery and amazing oysters. So, it's not southern France, but if you like oysters you owe it to yourself to head up there for a day or two. I've got a bit of a trip report on my site (in my signature).

mark

Edited by markemorse (log)
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If you want fresh, incredible oysters:

Go to Meze or Marseillan, near Sete, just south of Montpellier.

Carcasonne, Beziers, and Narbonne all had okay food.

This was this past Christmas week, so not a lot was open...

Philly Francophiles

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Given your limited time I suggest that you try Toulouse. Its easy to get to, has inexpensive places to stay (due to the large University population) and there are many many excellent restaurants both starred & not. Restaurant prices are reasonable compared to other areas.

The market is a joy to wander as is the city with it's beautiful rose coloured brick buildings. Sit in a cafe on the Capital & watch France pass your table.

Have a great time!

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Here is a post that you might find of interest. I will look for more. Southwest France is prime goose and duck country so the dining should be good if you enjoy the products of those birds. A little further to the north, Bordeaux should be an interesting destination as well.

An easy day trip from where you are is the Languedoc Roussillon. Banyuls is an area for some interesting wines and there are some Michelin rated and starred restaurants in the area.

The area around Carcasonne is known for its Cassoulets.

Michel Bras is not to far away and someplace I considered for a trip extension from Rosas in the past, though I never got there. That might be the closest three star in France to where you are, though I am not certain of that.

L'Atelier de Jean-Luc Rabanel in Arles looks as if it could be interesting. It has One Michelin star.

I'll see if I can dig up some more specific recommendations for you, but here is a compendium of existing threads on the South of France put together by John Talbott, Around the French Riviera, Lyon and The Languedoc.

Unfortunately, though I have spent a little time in the Languedoc, I have no specific great recommendations from personal experience. :sad:

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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So I was seeking advice as to what area is really worth visiting in southern France that has a very good restaurant to go to? I'm basically staging (working for free) here in Spain so I don't have a lot of money to blow away, so something not too pricey would be what I look for. Thanks.

I can't plot a good route by train from Roses to western Languedoc (I think you would need to get a car in Montpellier and head west), but we recently had a superlative meal at Le Mimosa in St. Guiraud, Herault department. This place does not have a Michelin star, but is far superior to many one stars we have visited, and it is within your budgetary constraints. In addition to very, very good plates by Bridget Pugh, her husband, David, knows Languedoc wines inside out. We opted for the wine pairing, and were served absolutely elegant and nuanced local wines. If you want a wine tutorial for the Languedoc, you couldn't do better than head here.

(Yes, we liked it a lot! :smile:)

eGullet member #80.

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