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
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