Albi, France

Feb 28th, 2007, 01:09 PM
  #21  
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Just wanted to thank everyone who provided helpful sugggestions. Cordes and the Millau Bridge and the Gorges d'Aveyron, along with all of those tempting markets that Stu and others have mentioned would add up to a great week if this trip comes to pass in late May. Just this tiny investigation has certainly piqued my interest and now I must do some reading.

Ira, I am not sure that a sandy beach and blue water would merit a 6 hour roundtrip drive, so we will likely leave Narbonne for a future trip. Unless we decide to return home from Barcelona which is doubtful but not out of the question....
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Feb 28th, 2007, 01:31 PM
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ekscrunchy, we stayed in a hotel overlooking the sandy beach at St. Cyprien. That's about 2 1/2 hour drive on the autotoute
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Feb 28th, 2007, 01:38 PM
  #23  
 
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it takes 2 1/2 hours on the autoroute between Albi and St. Cyprian should you want a beach one day.
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Feb 28th, 2007, 02:07 PM
  #24  
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Thanks, Cigale. You are always helpful. The beach issue came up because Ira responded to my question about what to do in the Albi area by suggesting a drive to Narbonne...

Am I confused or are there two St. Cyprien's? Am I getting the name wrong on the market town in the Dordogne where I snagged great roast chickens and potatoes last fall? Tell me that this is not true, please.....do not condemn me to forced "country-arrest" for a period of one year, please!
More likely, one is St. Cyprien and the other is St. Cyprian...?


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Feb 28th, 2007, 02:25 PM
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LOL. France has so many places with the same name. Plage St Cyptien is near Perpignan. And inland is Riversalts where our house wine comes from at the Chateaude Jau. There have an art gallery, an alfresco winetasting and lovely restaurant. Riversalts is also where many Jwish children were saved(including Elie Wiesel)
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Feb 28th, 2007, 02:55 PM
  #26  
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Thanks, Cigale. And speaking of winetasting, I just remembered that, Albi is close to Gaillac, one of the oldest grape growing regions in France and home of some good white wines!

But what and where is the Chateau de Jau?
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Feb 28th, 2007, 03:26 PM
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For every night dinner wine, w buy the least expensive Jau de Jau. This is a hand written copy of the French Artist BEN on the label. It's inland from Perpignon. A lovely lady named Estelle Daure runs the Chateau.
http://www.martinsinkoffwines.com/daure.html
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Mar 2nd, 2007, 11:20 AM
  #28  
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Thank you, Cigale. I will make note of the wine. Will do some reading and ask more questions when I am a bit better informed as far as geography and general overview....
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May 21st, 2007, 05:52 AM
  #29  
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Here is a small update to this post from a few months back. I am leaving this week for Paris, La Rochelle, and Cognac. From Cognac we will be driving not to Albi as originally planned, but to Monasties. I got lots of good information here on the driving route and possible lunch stops. If anyone cares to add information on Monasties and its surroundings, I would be grateful. We will have 3 nights and two full days here (at a friend's house) before flying back to the US via Toulouse and CDG.
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May 21st, 2007, 06:15 AM
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La Rochelle, a dining suggestion,
Les Flots.
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May 21st, 2007, 06:32 AM
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As you are likely a foodie, I would recommend visiting Roquefort (full name Roquefort-sur-Soulzon) which is right in the area.

It is a bit like Cognac, in that from this sleepy little backwater, an internationally famous product has been successful.

The town is nothing fancy,but visiting the caves is definitely worth a morning. You get to sample some really unctuous and incredible local versions which are not generally available elsewhere, as well as the major brands.

It is so quaintly rural France, that the last time we were there several years ago, we could not get a coffee in any bar... a ballon of wine at 9:00am no problem, but no coffee. One place told us they were actually "thinking about getting a machine"!

You will have to book elsewhere to get a great meal, but it is a stop you won't forget and might be interesting to compare with Cognac, which is also rather sleepy and lost in time. Best, Rouss
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May 21st, 2007, 06:52 AM
  #32  
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Thanks to both of you. Cigale I will plan a dinner at Les Flots. We have two nights there and the people from Cognac also recommended Restaurant Andre. We are staying at the St. Jean in La Rochelle. Do you think I need to reserve more than a day in advance at Les Flots?

I visited Roquefort many years ago, I think it was on my second trip to France (shows where my priorities were even that many years ago..) but because I remember so little about the cave tour, I would be interested in a second visit if we venture that far west...

I am feeling frustrated because I could not find a good guidebook to the Albi area; I usually use Cadogan but I am not finding Albi in any of their books...not do I find La Rochelle in any of my guides..
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May 21st, 2007, 07:01 AM
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The Hachette Vacances, France by the French in the edition Poitou Charente & the Vendee
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May 21st, 2007, 07:26 AM
  #35  
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Thanks! I see that I made a mistake about Roquefort..the town with the cheese (Roquefort-sur-Soulzon) is near Millau; there seems to be another Roquefort near Agen.
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May 21st, 2007, 07:35 AM
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EK -trust you will post again should a future trip take you to Albi. I only saw this thread today, thought I'd mention that the Toulouse Lautrec home in Albi has for many years been owned by the family of a friend of mine. I don't know that it is every open to the public, although I believe it is a landmark so possibly has some open times. Anyway, a tour might conceivably be arranged.

I've never seen it myself, but I'm told it's quite special.
Tom
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May 21st, 2007, 09:34 AM
  #37  
 
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The Michelin Green Guide to the Languedoc has good info about Albi & the surrounding region. My Languedoc itinerary has my favorite villages, drives, etc for the area. We stayed close by for 2 weeks a few years back.

The Atlantic Coast Michelin Green Guide has info about La Rochelle.

We'll be in La Rochelle for two days in late August. We're planning on dining at les Flot, but are looking for another place the second night. Let us know what you think about Les Flots & anyplace else. It would be helpful to also read about the particular "plats" you had.

Stu Dudley
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May 21st, 2007, 09:43 AM
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I had the Grilled lobster, something they do not do well here in New England.
His father's restaurant is considered the best in town. Richard Countanceau.
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May 21st, 2007, 10:00 AM
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Lobster...

The week before our trip to La Rochelle, we'll visit our closest friends who live on the coast of Maine. We'll probaly have lobster every night - they usually catch about 50 per year. A few days after La Rochelle - we'll stay in a Gite on the northern coast in Brittany for 2 weeks - lobster again. I think I'll pass on lobster in La Rochelle.

Several years ago, we visited our friends in Maine & had lobster several ways and many times. That same year we also visited a different section of Brittany (near Dinan), and had lobster. Both my wife & I felt the Lobster in Maine was better - what do you think?

Stu Dudley
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May 21st, 2007, 10:12 AM
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Yes, We have great Fresh lobsters here but always steamed. The flamed grilled is a special treat,except these days the lobster prices are way out of budget, lobster meat going for $45 a pound.
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