The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Discover rural France’s beauty with Chocolat creator Joanne Harris

Exclusive for MoS readers: Your unique tour with the author of 15 bestseller­s


THE Lot valley, Tarn and the Haute-Garonne are three of France’s best-kept secrets. These beautiful regions, tucked away in the picturesqu­e south west, boast unspoilt countrysid­e and delightful medieval hilltop villages where locals enjoy a slower, gentler pace of life.

It was one of these that inspired Joanne Harris’s bestsellin­g novel Chocolat, which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. On this exclusive seven-day tour, you’ll visit Nerac, the village on which Joanne based the fictional Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, and be given a unique tour by the writer herself.

As Joanne says: ‘We’ll look at the historic little town and visit the church, the old quarter with its wooden houses and tanneries, and the chocolater­ie that started everything off.’ Joanne will also give a talk about the creative writing process and take part in a Q&A session.

You’ll stay in Montauban, on the banks of the river Tarn, and explore the area, including Toulouse with its two impressive cathedrals.



Visit Nerac, famous as the inspiratio­n for Chocolat, as well as three of the six ‘Les Plus Beaux Villages de

France’ – Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, voted France’s favourite village in 2012; Auvillar, which sits on the banks of the Garonne river; and Lauzerte, with its pretty cobbled main square.



Enjoy two fascinatin­g talks by Joanne Harris, one on the creative writing process and the other on her life and career. You’ll receive a free copy of her latest novel, The Strawberry Thief, and you can ask her to sign it.


You’ll be based in the heart of laidback Montauban with its pretty pink-brick houses on the river

Tarn. You’ll enjoy two dinners in the hotel’s excellent restaurant, and there will be plenty of time to explore.


Montauban – Toulouse – Moissac,

Auvillar and Lauzerte – Nerac –

Cahors and Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

 ??  ?? SECRET FRANCE: Valentre bridge in beautiful Cahors
SECRET FRANCE: Valentre bridge in beautiful Cahors
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