A charming hilltop village somewhere in the Aude

Hilltop village in the AudeThe village is definitely very charming but it is going to remain nameless in this blog. All I will say is that it overlooks the Lauragais plain and is full of beautiful medieval buildings.

We decided to have Sunday lunch there at the height of last summer. This being the Aude by the time we arrived at 1pm the streets were deserted as everyone was inside eating. We knew there were a couple of sizeable restaurants in the village and wandered about trying to find them but with no luck and there was no-one around to ask for directions. Finally walking down a narrow cobbled street we came across the very pretty garden of a café. The garden was on one side of the street and the café’s kitchen was in the house on the other side, a couple of steps away.

It was a hot day and we were pleased to sit down in the shady garden. The menu was limited to salads but we were happy with that. We could see a woman working in the kitchen across the street, so we waited for her to come and take our order. Then a man who appeared to be her husband came out of the house and walked into the garden. Picking up a small stone statue he said to it (I swear this is true), “Ah Marcel, now we have to work”. He propped open the gate with the statue and then went back into the front room of the house where he stood looking out at the garden.

Another couple came in after us and sat in the garden. The woman in the kitchen, who looked a bit of a hippy, eventually came out and took their order. Once she had made and served their salads she finally reached us. After another half an hour had gone by our salads arrived. They were very good but my husband John said his was nothing like the one he had ordered.

By the time we had finished our meals the hippy’s husband was still standing in the house looking out. I approached him to ask where “les toilettes” were. He pointed to a wooden structure at the end of the garden. When I lifted the curtain at the entrance to this structure I discovered that it was “les toilettes” and an environmentally friendly affair. Instead of running water, sawdust and a spade were provided. I could cope with that but what if someone lifted the curtain while I was in there? There were two options, I could sing loudly or pray. A family was by now sitting at a nearby table so I decided to pray, fortunately successfully.

As we left the café we could barely stand for laughing. Things that would drive us mad in our everyday life just seemed hilarious when on holiday sitting in a  garden in a charming hilltop village somewhere in the Aude.

About Stephanie

Stephanie and her husband are the proud owners of an 18th century townhouse in Castelnaudary. The need to earn a living means they spend more time at their offices in England and less time in Castelnaudary than they would like, but having a home in the Aude gives them something to dream about.
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