When I moved to Le Petit Village I did so full of excitement for all the traveling the Boyfriend and I would be able to do. After all, once you're on French soil, aren't you just a hop, skip, and jump from the rest of Europe? From Le Petit Village, I am only a three hour bullet train ride to Paris (and from Paris... the world), a four hour drive to Milan and Barcelona (opposite directions of course) and a little less than three hours to Monaco. So with all these glamorous destinations beckoning, where did the Boyfriend and I choose to go to for our anniversary weekend... Montpellier. Nothing wrong with Montpellier, but not exactly in the same league now is it?
And now my excuse to write a list; Montpellier fun facts:
- The capital of Languedoc-Roussillon region
- A city since the 10th century
- Six miles from the Mediterranen Sea
- University of Montpellier is one of the oldest in the world, since 1220. Nostradamus even attended (imagine sitting next to him, always droning on about the end of the world, what a downer)
That's pretty much Montpellier in a nutshell, but off we went on Friday afternoon, excited for a weekend without the company of Le Petit Villagers. As usual, I did some Starbucks reconnaissance hoping I would find one on our route. No such luck.
A two hour drive and we arrived at the 4star that I found on the internet, all looked good, nice bar, big lobby, my kind of place. Up to the room, but wait no bathtub. How can my 4star room not have a bathtub? Not acceptable. After a little cajoling, the Boyfriend went back to reception to ask if another room was available. A few minutes later and we were on our way to the top floor. The Boyfriend informed me that getting the upgraded suite was easy, he blamed the wrong room booking on me and passed me off as an idiot who doesn't speak French. Not a problem. For a large suite, I'll be an idiot.
Saturday morning I drank my coffee happy that the breakfast bar had pancakes and maple syrup and that I could hear American voices chattering at the next table. I eavesdropped while I pretended to read the French newspaper.
Place de la Comédie
Then the Boyfriend took me for my present, a little shopping. No sighing, huffing, and puffing. Just smiling along as I went in and out of each store. Greatest present. I adore Le Petit Village but it felt good to be in a city again. The sun was shining and warm. The only thing missing was the starbucks cup in my hand.
After the Boyfriend reached his tolerance threshold we went for lunch. End of November and we sat outside. You gotta love that Mediterranean climate. Of course all that sunshine called for a glass of Rosé. I was on vacation after all. And I had the most delicious pizza putting the Le Petit pizza van to shame. And you know what I got on my pizza? Mozzarella instead of Emmental. And creme frais and smoked salmon buried under fresh spinach and asparagus. Vegetables on pizza always cancels out the calories.
carousel with my pink pony
Walking back to the car I spotted a carousel. What could possibly make the day even better than a ride on a pink plastic pony? I looked at the Boyfriend, weary and weighed down with my packages and decided to spare him, he had done good and deserved a nap.
Nap time over, city clothes and neglected heels on, face painted, and ready for dinner.
Montpellier has one Michelin starred restaurant, Les Jardin des Sens. It's chef and menu is said to be the best in the region offering such tastiness as grilled whole Breton lobster, and sliced noisette of venison but at €74 and €52, we would not be dining there, even after I begged and pleaded. So we booked the next best thing, L'Olivier. We just needed to find it. Unfortunately the GPS decided to stop working. It worked just fine on the way but I guess that annoying satellite lady decided that I wasn't worthy of L'Olivier. After forty five minutes of circling Montpellier and hearing the GPS sound off incorrect directions, with dinner at McDonalds imminent, the Boyfriend finally broke down and called the restaurant for directions.
Parked the car and walked through the Place de la Comédie that was hosting a wine festival. What luck! I stood teetering on my stilettos entranced at the booths representing all the regional vineyards. Decision time... dinner or wine tasting with hundreds of other winos? I stood weighing my options until the Boyfriend grabbed my hand pulling me through the crowd. Decision made.
Serious food at L'Olivier. Fois gras, scallops, turbot, lamb, nougat ice cream... L'Olivier was giving Les Jardin des Sens a run for it's money and at half the price. Five courses, three hours, and a bottle of Pinot Noir later we were finished and waddling back to the car.
Perfect weekend, with the exception of the empty hand where the Starbucks cup should have been, and the pink plastic pony, which should have been ridden. And on the way home, we stopped for a drink with friends. France fun fact, you always have to stop for a drink with friends on your way home. It's the law.
Next mini-break will be for my birthday in February, where do you think I should go?
Pink pony not required, but welcome.