A couple of Septembers ago I took a mini road trip around some of the little villages dotted around the west of Toulouse. What struck me most was the peace and tranquility, coming from an urban area in the north-west of England it was bliss.
I arrived at many of the villages after lunch so all the shops were closed. The French enjoy long lunches, and although it is perhaps changing in some of the busier cities, it is a tradition theyw ould do well to keep. In my experience they take time to make the table look nice, with a tablecloth, flowers and eat each part of the meal seperately. So as an English person I might pile everything on my plate; meat, salad, cheese and bread. The French might start with the salad, followed by the meat, perhaps a pate and finally cheese. It makes sense as surely foods have time to digest.
The only place open was a tiny little bar in the village of Simorre, where a group of Frenchmen drank pastis and whiled away the afternoon playing dominoes. It was in this village I found a little square with one house owned by French, one by German and one by a family from the UK. They had all put out signs and bunting welcoming a neighbour back home.
I also love the care and attention people took with their homes, the colours of the paint, the wooden shutters, the pots of flowers.
If you do take a French roadtrip you surely won’t miss les arbres or the trees, do you know the name of them?