Pleasures between land and sea
When the chefs and gourmets in the Narbonne Market Hall have purchased their freshly caught fish and farm vegetables, they mingle at the tapas bar to enjoy «pa amb tomàquet» (toasted white bread, rubbed with garlic and tomato and sprinkled with olive oil) with a glass of white «La Clape» wine. Just as the Occitan spoken here has more in common with Catalan than with French, the Catalan influence is also clearly recognisable in the Narbonner cuisine. That is why Catalan escalivada rather than French ratatouille is served with «rouget» (mullet). Escalivada consists of aubergines, peppers, onions and tomatoes, which are grilled and then skinned, cut into strips and sprinkled with olive oil. Open every day, Narbonne Market Hall - a spectacular metal pavilion dating back to 1901 - is a meeting point for true connoisseurs. The atmosphere is entirely different from the weekly markets in various country towns throughout the south of France, which are increasingly geared towards attracting tourists.
Treasure trove in Languedoc: The market in Narbonne sells the finest products the earth and the sea has to offer.
The wines of Château Laquirou are in perfect harmony with the various specialities of Languedoc which come from both the sea and the earth. Our fresh, fruity, white «Albus» wine is the perfect accompaniment to the first-class oysters that are gathered from Etang de Gruissan, less than twenty kilometres from the Château, and sold fresh. For that great classic of Languedoc cuisine - the legendary «cassoulet» - we recommend our red «Champs Rouge». By the way, a skilfully prepared cassoulet is not just a stew, but a work of art. Lovers of this dish debate for hours about the quality of the necessary ingredients such as duck lard, smoked bacon and local farmer's sausage. Even the matter of how often the resulting skin should be stirred in again during cooking has not yet been completely resolved. A local court does not guarantee the authenticity of cassoulet, but an equally strict jurisdiction, namely «la grande confrérie du cassoulet» (the great brotherhood of the cassoulet) ...
Pata Negra from the «Bodega des Halles»
Shopping: Les Halles de Narbonne
Boulevard Docteur Ferroul
Tel. +33 (0)4 68 32 63 99
Open every day of the year
from 7am to 1pm
Open 365 days a year, Narbonne Market Hall is not just the geographical focal point of the town. The historic pavilion, which was built in by Victor Baltard in his unmistakable style and opened in 1901, is where the whole world meets for a glass of wine, especially at the weekend. Holiday visitors who have booked self-catering accommodation are in for a treat too. The delicacies available here (we love the Bellota ham Pata Negra, local sheep's cheese and home-made pâtés) promise many enjoyable hours on your own sun-drenched terrace.
An institution in Narbonne since 1901: The market hall in the centre.
Oyster Farming: The Pearl of Gruissan
Avenue de l'Aiguille
Tel. +33 (0)4 68 49 23 24
Opening hours: daily from 9am
Gruissan is beautiful in its own right, but for oysters continue driving on the D132 as far as Gruissan Plage. Once you reach Avenue de l'Aiguille on your left, simply follow it to the end of peninsula, past the famous Gruissan chalets - the stilt houses - until you reach the coast. One of the most renowned oyster farms in the world is between the seawater basins and breakwaters. Gruissan oysters are available in different sizes, in a basket to take home, or to eat right here in the restaurant by the sea. Those who plan ahead will pack wine glasses, a corkscrew and an oyster knife into a picnic basket, buy a portion of shellfish and maybe some fresh shrimps, and enjoy them with fresh bread and our white wine. Laden with all these treats, the best place to sit down is on the seven-kilometre-long beach of Europe's finest sand to indulge in the Mediterranean lifestyle.
Holiday Apartments: La Maison des Vendangeurs
Three houses, two in Fleury and one by the sea in Gruissan, combine traditional French style with modern design. Both towns offer ideal starting points for a visit to Château Laquirou and for shopping at Narbonne Market Hall. The kitchen equipment in all three holiday flats is impressive and recommended restaurants are not far away either.
Restaurant: La Tulipe Noire
3 Rue du Ramonétage
F-11560 Fleury d' Aude
Tel. +33 (0)4 68 45 59 80
Fleury d'Aude does its own thing and the La Tulipe Noire restaurant even more so. Its menu includes dishes featuring creative regional cuisine such as scallops, red mullet, foie gras with apricots. Don't forget to leave room for cheese and one of their delicious desserts. In warmer weather, the romantic courtyard invites you to linger a while.