WHERE TO VISIT

France - - Take A Stroll -

Now fully re­stored, the Château d’es­taing was home to the Es­taing fam­ily for eight cen­turies and later housed a re­li­gious com­mu­nity. En­try €6, guided tour €10 (es­taing­douze.fr). Es­taing holds a me­dieval fes­ti­val ( pic­tured) on the se­cond week­end of Septem­ber each year, when vil­lagers dress in colour­ful cos­tumes, and mu­sic, pa­rades and feast­ing fill the streets.

The small­est wine co­op­er­a­tive in France, the Mai­son de la Vigne, du Vin et des Paysages d’es­taing, lies just out­side the vil­lage cen­tre. Learn about the area’s wine­mak­ing his­tory and to­day’s pro­duc­tion meth­ods be­fore tast­ing some of the co­op­er­a­tive’s red, white and rosé wines. Guided tour €5 (lesvi­gnerons­dolt.fr).

GET­TING THERE: The air­ports at Toulouse and Mont­pel­lier are just over a two-hour drive away; The train jour­ney from Paris to Rodez via Brive-la-gail­larde takes 7hr (tel: 0844 848 5848, voyages-sncf.com); Es­taing is a 9hr drive from the north­ern ports. TOURIST IN­FOR­MA­TION: Can­ton d’es­taing tourist of­fice, tel; (Fr) 5 65 44 03 22, es­taing­douze.fr; Avey­ron tourist board, en.tourisme-avey­ron.com.

Par­tic­i­pants learn how to cre­ate a de­li­cious three-course French meal at this 90-minute, chef-led course in cen­tral Lon­don. At the end, ev­ery­one gets a chance to taste the re­sults. ate­lierde­schefs.co.uk

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