France As It Once Was

The village of Mèze in the Languedoc region of the south of France is as traditional as France gets. A working fishing port, Mèze strikes the right balance between tourism and authenticity. Famed for its mussel and oyster production, Mèze is a seafood lover’s delight, where local fishermen land their catch in time for the harbour side restaurants to create delicious local menus.

Being in the heart of wine country, nothing is finer than exploring the many vineyards and relaxing with a chilled glass of the local tipple, Picpoul de Pinet.

Mèze is a gastronomic paradise, with a twice weekly outdoor market in the town’s esplanade selling a whole range of fresh local produce, from cheese and olives to charcuterie and tapenade.

Mèze sits on L’Etang de Thau, a salt water lagoon which is perfect for swimming and fishing. The town is home to a sailing school, where visitors can take to the water.

The beautiful Mediterranean sea is a 20 minute drive away. With its miles of unspoilt beaches and chilled out beach clubs and restaurants, a visit to the Med is a must for anyone coming to Mèze.

For those wanting a more active vacation, there are excellent cycle routes through the vineyards, taking you to picture postcard villages like Bouzigues and the famous natural thermal spas at Balaruc-les-Bains.

Rob and Jason, business partners from London, fell for Mèze’s charms and in 2014 bought and fully renovated a 19th century maison vigneronne in the heart of the old town.  Luxuriously appointed, the house is now a boutique chambres d’hôtes with four interior designed en suite bedrooms. Each with its own individual character, the rooms have wonderfully comfortable beds with high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, internet clock radios and air conditioning. Visitors to Mèze Maison can enjoy locally sourced cheeses, yoghurts, fruit and delicious pastries for breakfast with complimentary apéritifs in the salon every evening.

The house had been in the same family since 1948 so it was a rare opportunity to acquire such a fine building. Working with local craftsmen and artisans, Mèze Maison was lovingly brought back to life. The house is decorated in soft contemporary colours and styled with beautiful antique mirrors and chandeliers from Pézenas, a nearby medieval town, once home to Molière.

Mèze Maison is a great base for exploring this fascinating region, with sleepy villages and vibrant cities like Montpellier to discover. Throughout the summer months, there are jazz and oyster festivals and traditional fiestas where age-old traditions are celebrated.

With the two nearby airports of Montpellier and Béziers and fast Eurostar rail links from Paris, Mèze is a perfect holiday destination for the discerning traveller who wants to experience and explore the real south of France.

Daniel - Living GreenDaniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living  well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.

To contact Daniel or learn more visit www.themodelcook.com or follow on Twitter  and Facebook

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