Slow down in Aude department, South of France

France has no single South but many Souths. We often hear about the Lubéron, the seaside resorts of the Hérault or the Basque Country but much less about a more secret, less known department : The Aude. A little bit of geography : simply put, the Aude extends between the Southwest and the Mediterranean coast.

Come along with me to discover this green department, less than 2 hours from Montpellier, an ideal place to spend the weekend.

Where to go to slow down, breathe, and spend the night ?

To Camellas Lloret, a village house with 18th century charm and 5 guest rooms, tucked in the heart of Montreal, a village situated in Cathar country, a starting point for beautiful discoveries.

What I liked : first of all the warm welcome : Annie and Colin pleasantly received us, in their white lounge with two glasses of regional wine, also white. Annie is an interior designer from New York, Colin, her husband is chiropractor and hypnotherapist, native of South Africa and specializing in “change work”. They ave given a new life to their home after many years of renovations on what they sweetly call their “love project”.

photo : Camellas Lloret

My very comfortable and spacious room (the lovely room N° 3) was on the second floor. It overlooks a charming garden in a classical style decorated with pieces of contemporary furniture.

photo : @Camellas Lloret

What immediately drew my attention was the care Annie has put into the beautiful details – from the choice of soft linen sheets, the gentle lighting, the thick Moroccan carpets, the 70’s iconic “Tam Tam” pop stools, the barthroom products by Aesop, the vintage wallpaper, or the depth of the wall colours by Farrow & Ball. Everywhere you look, you sense an undefinable charm brought about by the mix of local vintage finds and decorative pieces from the 60’s and 70’s, which emphasizes the beauty of the classic architecture.

photo : @Camellas Lloret

photo @Camellas Lloret

My indulgent breakfast was accompanied by a dreamy playlist. Fresh products were served on beautiful vintage dishes. On the table which Annie prepared just for the two of us : fresh bread, pastries, yoghurt with a compote of homemade rhubarb, fresh strawberries, homemade jam, pink grapefruit juice and a delicious overnight oatmeal which Annie gave me the recipe for** (OK, I’ll give it to you at the bottom of the page).

photo @My urban sweetnesses

Over this late March weekend seeming to mark the end of the winter, sitting in front of the fireplace, Annie mentionned to me “we really feel like chilling outside in the garden now…”

photo @Camellas Lloret

Whatever is the season, Camellas Lloret is the ideal place for slowwwwwing down, with its garden and its terrace outside to enjoy from the first mild days of the year or its peaceful and pleasant rooms inside for more chilly months. The personnalities of Annie and Colin, just like their house, speak of simplicity and sophistication. Happiness !

More than a chic place to stay, Camellas Lloret is an experience !

photo @Camellas Lloret

The sweet + : besides the comfort and refinement of the place, the fireplace and the honesty bar in the white lounge, the terrace, the greenhouse and the beautiful outer spaces. 

photo @Camellas Lloret

photo @Camellas Lloret

Where to eat ?

La Cantine de Robert in Carcassonne. This cozy restaurant looks charmingly retro and proposes a bistrot cuisine with fresh products, organic and farm-to-table.

Chef Robert Rodriguez proposes a seasonal menu. As a starter I chose the asparagus served with rustic, home-made bread rolls baked with organic natural seeds.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BguAqVWHkBo/?taken-by=myurbansweet

For my main course, I chose a vegetarian dish with a pancake of quinoa and seeds of spelt, linen, sunflower, hemp, chia, sesame and poppy, perfumed by flowers of elder and hibiscuses, stinging nettles and wild garlic and gomasio topped with lovely new season vegetables. A real pleasure for the eyes and for the palate ! 

La Cantine de Robert in Caracassonne – photo @My urban sweetnesses

As a lover of chocolate, I chose the organic chocolate mousse by Manufacture Cluizel, a Premier Cru farm in Mokaya (Mexico), churned butter, bourbon vanilla and organic eggs.

The sweet + : the 100% French “vintage” play list from the 50-60’s (Brassens, Aznavour, Gainsbourg…) associated with the authentic cooking and with the refined restaurant service a very particular atmosphere to this so charmingly retro place.

La Cantine de Robert in Carcassonne – photo @My urban sweetnesses

When I went into the kitchen to congratulate the chef he humbly replied “it is easy, I have the gardens of my favorite producers close by !”

Simplicity and originality in the tradition, everything that I like !

Where to get some culture ?

In Carcassonne, a must-see of the region, take a trip back in time to the middle-ages while walking down the narrow streets of the citadel.

Carcassonne – photo @My urban sweetnesses

Driving a little westward you willl discover Montolieu, village of books and arts. Here you will find an enormous choice of old books, rare books, new books, first editions and illustrated books in one of its 17 bookshops !

Montolieu (11) – photo @My urban sweetnesses

Every year, at the end of March/beginning of April, the city organizes a vast old and second-hand book fair in which several booksellers of the region participate.

To get there, you take an attractive road lined with fields of wheat and vineyards. Maybe you will even see some beautiful old cars on the road.

  • Annie’s recipe for the overnight oatmeal
    • Ingredients 
  • 1 pot of Greek yoghurt
  • 4 tablespoons organic oat flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 banana
    • The recipe
  • 1. In a jar, add the yoghurt and the honey and mix
  • 2 Add oat flakes and chia seeds and mix, please.
  • 3. Add the chopped banana.
  • 4. Close the jar and store overnight in the refrigerator
  • 5. The oat flakes and chia seeds absorb the remaining liquid.

 

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Ninon around the globe

It’s in the nice rue des Soeurs noires, in the heart of the historical center of Montpellier that you will find the shop Les Contes à Ninon.

This ethnic chic concept store has opened its doors in January 2015 in the neighborhood of Eglise Saint Roch, and the young Ninon just loves that area ! This place will make you travel in space and time, in America, in the Middle East and in India.

Les Contes à Ninon

photo credit : Ellie Lansing

Taste of travel

Ninon has a thing for travels and photographs, she loves the stories. With her photography diploma in the pocket she decides to open a space specially dedicted to the accessories for women, men and also for the house. She proposes photographs exhibitions with her travel souvenirs.

Ethnic & Chic

Her place, a sort of a revisited Ali Baba’s cave, is full of lovely things : I got a heart crush for the wonderful Berber carpets, the Indian clutches or luggages, the buffalo skulls, the dreamcatchers, the Albanese tableware and some splendid mirrors. And for the accessories side : I love her arms and cuff bracelets and the baby sleepers. Too sweet !

As for the clothes, the young globe trotter has selected some pieces from here and there ;  Mes Demoiselles….  the trendy ethnic label just fell in love with her shop to show their folk and oh so feminine collections. More pics on her Instagram.

Contes à Ninon

photo credit : Ellie Lansing

 

Les Contes à Ninon is first of all a family story ; Ninon and her mother select the designers, they love to complete their selection by some items that they hunt all around the year or that they bring back from their travel. Their next destinations ? Turkey, Morocco and Bali.

Les Contes à Ninon

photo credit : Ellie Lansing

Ninon can help you decorate your house but also places like shops, restaurants or hotels. Do not hesitate to contact her !

No doubt you will dive in happiness when entering into the half dreamlike half ethnic universe of her concept store !

Les Contes à Ninon, concept store on facebook and on Instagram

15, rue des Soeurs noires

tel : 04 67 84 87 67

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My urban sweetnesses in the (very) big apple

[#sweetcitytrip]I’m back from New York, go and see my foodie guide on Townske !

Townske is a a social media publishing platform that lets people share and discover any city on earth. Its mission is to help you uncover cities through people like you.

https://instagram.com/p/7TytRMm25o/?taken-by=myurbansweet

Townske is a great website if you want to discover a city before you leave.

https://instagram.com/p/7OQT6ClPpD/?taken-by=batatabk

I created two guides one on Montpellier, the city where I live, and the other one on New York (mainly Manhattan and Brooklyn). These two guides are about coffee shops, food trucks and restaurants that I like in these towns. All of them are healthy spots where you can find a cuisine made with fresh and healthy (sometimes organic) ingredients.

Ventured out at Sunday smorg #smorgasburg #newfork #nyceats in #prospectpark #breezehill #prospectparkalliance ! #ldw2015 #sweetcitytrip

A photo posted by Myurban Sweetnesses – Blog (@myurbansweet) on

If you think about coming to visit Montpellier, do not hesitate to follow my city guide with all my sweet spots on Townske !

 

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Two secret adresses for your summer

The first one is Le Saint Barth (link in English) in Marseillan and the second one is Joséphine en ville a Maison d’Hôtes just a few minutes walk from Montpellier city center.

These two different spots have one thing in common ; they are both owned and very well managed by two couples with a lot of savoir faire.

So first, Le Saint Barth, a place for excellent sea shells in an exquisite place on the étang de Thau. The Ets Tarbouriech are very well known for their excellence and quality in their sea food production. There you can choose your “plateaux d’huîtres spéciales Tarbouriech” or “brasucades” served with top local wines, you can have a drink on the wooden dock or a handmade dessert in the wooden hut with a view… and what a view !

How sweet is that view ? #dinnerwithaview #lesaintbarth

A photo posted by Myurban Sweetnesses (@myurbansweet) on

#latergram #etangdethau

A photo posted by Myurban Sweetnesses (@myurbansweet) on

 

How I love this kinda Sunday evening ! #dinnerwithaview #lesaintbarth

A photo posted by Myurban Sweetnesses (@myurbansweet) on

#seafood at #sunset #lesaintbarth

A photo posted by Myurban Sweetnesses (@myurbansweet) on

 

Joséphine en ville, (that’s the second top address I share with you) a charming Maison d’Hôtes hidden in a garden very close from the city center in Montpellier. You will find there a house with a lot of vintage items and two rooms (one double room and one en suite room) decorated with such an elegance by Franca. During these warm and sunny days breakfasts are served under the old olive tree. There again Franca et John are such a nice and welcoming couple ! In their garden I have held my last Apéro Blogueurs Montpellier (a bloggers monthly rendez-vous in Montpellier), bloggers just found that moment gorgeous ! We have been treated like prince(ss) !

Dans le jardin

Joséphine en ville – Chambre d’hôtes – photo credit : Céline Navarro

9:00 à Montpellier Breakfast time #pimpmybreakfast

A photo posted by Myurban Sweetnesses (@myurbansweet) on

#aperoblogmtp #josephineenville

A photo posted by Myurban Sweetnesses (@myurbansweet) on

Discussion blogging dans le jardin avec @celinenavarro #diyer #scrapbooker #blogger #josephineenville #aperoblogmtp

A photo posted by Myurban Sweetnesses (@myurbansweet) on

 

This is my second English post, please help me to bring you good news from Montpellier and around by leaving a comment just here ! See you !

 

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Crafts + blog + travel with Céline

Crafting, blogging and travelling ! That’s the hectic everyday life of Céline Navarro, a young woman born in the South of France. Céline is a « multi-task » woman ! She’s more than a  Professional Scrapbooker and a lifestyle blogger. 

Céline’s diary is full of activities and city names from all over the world !

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Scrapbooking and Mixed Media workshop in San Diego

Every year, in January, she goes to CHA Conference & Trade show in Los Angeles. There she can meet buyers, distributors, manufacturers… . Céline selects her new suppliers and new products, she also finds during that huge event some new craft techniques. She attends conferences and workshops and gets the opportunity to connect with the international media.

Publisher, she has created a magazine : Scrapbooking et Loisirs Créatifs {entr’artistes} and propose on line workshops with Ali, Karine and Gaëlle.

If you are a big creative leisures fan, discover here their Eshop.

Scrapbooking, Mixed Media and photography training organizer, this activity which was first a hobby is now a real fantastic job for her. She travels in France and Europe and also on the five continents to meet women in their own country.

Blogger for her own blog she loves to talk about her own universe, scrapbooking, but also e-scrap, photography, decoration, knitting, cooking…..

Kingsley Cushion Cover by Céline Navarro

Hey wait a minute ! it’s not done with that young woman ! She is also a freelance designer for Studio Calico and Ali Edwards Digital Creative Team in the USA. She has a collab with  Nokia, through Nokia Connects.

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Scrapbook kit by Céline Navarro for Studio Calico

Céline is one of the reknown lifestyle Pinterest Influencer with more than 270.000 followers for Hello Society.

She is the author of the book  Scrapbooking : Inspiration et Techniques published by Le Temps Apprivoisé.

When she travels abroad she knows that her workshops are a sort of « laissez passer* » for reaching other people and she just loves that !

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When I ask her what is her favorite destination, she answers with a big smile on her lovely face : « Braaaazil ! I love Brazilian, their latino side, their singing accent, they are so cheerful !”

Céline has a very enthusiastic and authentic way to reach people through her workshops. As she says “for those who joined them these workshops are a very good way to meet people and discover new friendships !”

 Céline is also a memory keeper, how lucky she is to have such magic fingers !

For more info about Céline and her activities : www.celinenavarro.com

* travel pass

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5 fresh terraces in Montpellier

Today I’m a bit feverish because I have decided to write my first post in English ! Yes, YOU, readers from United Kingdom, USA, Australia or wherever on the planet you will now have the pleasure to read my posts about Montpellier (France).

First topic : my “terrasses-bonheur” (happiness terraces or patios) with bars or restaurants terraces in Montpellier and its close surroundings.

So let’s not wait any longer, come along with me to discover these little hidden gems where I like to give my interviews to the creative artist or designers !

Tea room & restaurant Chic et Bohème

Tea room & restaurant Chic et Bohème

Here are some Instagrams to give you an overview !

For lunch : what about the huge terrace of the old “mas”, at Le Folia, restaurant inside the  Château de Flaugergues site.

https://instagram.com/p/4gIODwJvEm/?tagged=flaugergues

For a sweet little snack in the afternoon : you have the Nook café terrace for an iced-coffea, an iced-tea or a fresh smoothie in the mythic rue de l’Ancien courrier.

https://instagram.com/p/3lgwGdG214/?tagged=nookcafe

For a sweet snack again : the sweet Chic et Bohème patio in the Beaux-Arts hipster neighborhood to drink some fresh home made lemonade. For a break or for lunch, Chic et Bohème is always a good idea !

To sip a cocktail at the end of a hot sunny day : Papa Doble terrace on the nice Place Sainte Anne in the historic Eglise Sainte Anne district.

Club Saint Germain au #papadoble #aperoblogmtp

A photo posted by Myurban Sweetnesses (@myurbansweet) on

… … or in the patio of  Le Parfum , a famous Cocktails & dimsums bar in the Beaux-Arts district.

https://instagram.com/p/250PlUEUxU/?taken-by=le_parfum_montpellier

Now I hope summer won’t be too long so that I can give you my best cosy winter addresses in Montpellier !

Do not hesitate to leave a comment just below, I will be more than happy to read it !

Au revoir, à très bientôt mes amis !

 

 

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