LIT­TLE TOWN OF UZÈS

The mar­ket town of Uzès keeps it sweet and sim­ple with a fan­tas­tic food scene, stun­ning scenery and an in­trigu­ing an­cient past. Ca­tri­ona Burns dis­cov­ers a slower pace of life in this charm­ingly quaint pocket in Langue­doc-Rous­sil­lon

Living France - - CONTENTS -

Cover story We give the in­side track on the his­toric town of Uzès in Gard

“O h lit­tle town of Uzès!” ex­claimed No­bel prizewin­ning writer An­dré Gide. “If you were in Um­bria, how the tourists would flock from Paris to see you.” It has been al­most 100 years since Gide gushed about the medieval town that sits north of Nîmes in the depart­ment of Gard in Langue­doc-Rousil­lon and, al­though many tourists and ex­pats have since taken to the town, its quiet pop­u­lar­ity has not tainted the quaint charm that so en­am­oured Gide all those years ago.

While the south of France is of­ten as­so­ci­ated with glitz and glam­our, Uzès holds onto its au­then­ti­cally French feel, fulfilling the idyl­li­cally dreamy fan­tasy of find­ing a good qual­ity of life in France with its me­an­der­ing streets, famed food scene and love of a lais­sez–faire life­style.

SPICE OF LIFE

If you dream of mov­ing to France for no other rea­son than the food, there are few bet­ter places than Uzès, with weekly mar­kets that are of­ten hailed as the coun­try’s best. A ‘buy lo­cal’ mind­set per­me­ates through­out the town and no more so than at the Wed­nes­day farm­ers’ mar­ket where it is stip­u­lated that all pro­duce sold must come from a 50km ra­dius. Stalls sell­ing lo­cally sourced wine, flow­ers, cheese, meats, honey and beer gather un­der the leafy canopy on Place aux Herbes where lo­cals, tourists and chefs find the best fresh pro­duce that is in keep­ing with the time of year.

“They don’t try to grow, say, pep­pers when they’re not in sea­son,” ex­plains Eric Fraudeau who runs lo­cal cui­sine classes, Cook’n With Class Uzès. “They just wait for the nor­mal, nat­u­ral time.” This nat­u­ral or

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