My favourite village in the South West of France

Last year I visited the south west of France with some good friends to celebrate my ???th birthday – some things can be kept secret!   I have travelled  to France often since living in Paris for 3 years in the 70s but had not visited the south west region.   What a delightful area it is – I really enjoyed getting to know the area and its customs, historic towns and villages.   One of my favourite places was St Antonin Noble Val, a little over 1 hour by car from Toulouse.

Have you seen the movie “A Hundred Foot Journey”?   With Helen Mirren in a starring role so much of it was filmed in St Antonin and its surrounding areas.   It perfectly showcases the magnificent Mediaeval village nestling in the valley of the Aveyron River with its spectacular gorges.   We spent 10 days in the village itself, meandering through the narrow lanes with their cobbles and in and out of spectacular buildings and landmarks.   We spent many a morning in the main market square enjoying a cafe creme and the odd croissant!

Also there are historic villages nearby well worth a visit – Cordes sur Ciel – translated as Cordes in the Sky because it is on top of a very steep hill with the most fantastic views of the countryside below.   And when the morning mists are evident, the towers and steeples of the Cordes township poke out above the mists.  So it looks like it is up in the sky.  Another village of interest is Albi, the birthplace of Toulouse Lautrec (Henri de Toulouse Lautrec) with its outstanding Cathedral dominating the town square.  And the very interesting Toulouse Lautrec museum.  We were visiting on the 150th anniversary of  his birth and there were many celebrations throughout the town.  All in all a fascinating region of France and one that I look forward to visiting again soon.

The photos below show:

  • the bridge over the river at the entrance to the village
  • a delightful lace curtained window of a local bed and breakfast with a beautiful chandelier to enhance its beauty
  • scene from the Sunday market of a colourful jug of sunflowers beaming their blooms and hidden underneath a little cat having a rest from the busy day
  • and finally our favourite cafe – coffees, pastries enjoyed there along with pizzas and other delectables.  And also we were able to enjoy flavoursome local wines and aperitifs.

 View more pics of St Antonin Noble Val

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