K – I just want to reiterate how amazing last night’s guest house was. The village it sits in is the type of place we would love to end up. We had the choice of driving into Moissac for a meal (where we’ve eaten before) or to go to the “rustic” restaurant opposite, called “Le Cadillac”! We opted not to drive, and ended up meeting some super-friendly people and eating some stunning food. I felt slightly humble about criticising the name – it turns out that a guy from the village travelled in the 18th Century to the US as one of the initial immigrants and founded the town which was later to become Detroit!
So, after a very delightful breakfast (we’d paid less than the night before in a vile Ibis in Carcassonne, by the way) we went off to meet our lovely Jenny, the host for 3 of the day’s second-viewing properties.
For those of you who have had to suffer the interminable “Gayraud” fascination since January, this was the first time we’d been back. This is reference 12 on our map. And it didn’t disappoint. Mum, who had been slightly sceptical when she saw the website, was bowled over, and even more so when she fell in love with the adjoining property, also for sale. If only we had another 50% in our slush fund.
We visited the next two on our short list, neither of which were contenders, then had a lovely lunch in Roquecor. The chef used to work in Quaglino’s in London and the place is owned by a French/Australian couple who were very welcoming. On our way up to the next appointment, mum, clearly unaware of the global outreach of our Swedish candle supplier, suggested it might be an idea to hire a van to be able to transport any Ikea furniture we might want to buy from London.
We then visited a contender followed by a non-contender and finished finally at 4pm (I had to have a snooze in the car at 3.15 – it is unbelievable how tiring this has all been).
We got to Toulouse at about 5.30. I dropped the team off at the hotel in the Toulouse equivalent of Oxford Street, taxis beeping me as the luggage was unloaded, then sought out the world’s worst car park. Please, at all costs, avoid the Parking Victor Hugo. It was so bad, I paid my €1.20 to leave and find somewhere else.
The Novotel in Toulouse is very special – new, inexpensive and reallllllly nice. And, for those BA people reading, we get a discount – ask me (thanks, Bertrand).
After an hour’s nap for me, and an hour’s underwear shopping for Phill, we cracked open a pink Cremant (inexpensive sparkling wine from areas other than Champagne, but made in a similar way, and usually just as good. The Cremant de Bourgogne is made just down the road, and is usually a really safe bet for about €5-€8) and started an elimination process. We all independently agreed on the same top 3 (refs 12, 23, 32) and same bottom 3. It didn’t take very long till we actually all agreed on the chosen one.
I have to say, it was definitely a momentous and exciting occasion. A bit emotional too, because I did get my way. We’ve opted for ref 32 in Fayssac, just north of Gaillac. It is really difficult at the moment to show you all in either photos or words what made us decide this. But, physically being there has made 4 of us come to the same final decision. Please, all have faith. The link to the agent’s site is here.