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.
REASONS TO BOOK
DISCOVER HIDDEN FRANCE
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.
WITH JOANNE HARRIS
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.
STAY IN MONTAUBAN
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