Out of all the things Languedoc has on offer, one that’ll keep visitors coming back again and again is the food. With fertile farmland in the region’s interior and a surprisingly expansive coast, ingredients from both land and sea are often as fresh and seasonal as you can get. If you’re heading to one of our luxury chateaux in Languedoc, make sure you try at least one of the unforgettable foodie experiences we’ve found and listed below – it’ll bring a whole new delicious dimension to your holiday!
1. L’Atelier de Valerie, Montpellier
Learning to cook with your friends and family is better than going it alone. That way, you can pool your resources. Plus, doing it together is more fun. You may already have mastered the art of the Sunday roast or be a pro at baking a feather light Victoria sponge, but what do you know about continental flavours? Arrange for a private cooking day here and get French cooking tips from a pro. After the hard work, reward yourself by dining on your creations.
Price Range: Courses start from €30
Location: 8 Rue Durand, 34000 Montpellier, France
Bookings: +33 4 67 58 15 22
2. Montpellier Wine Tours, Montpellier
Just a hop, skip and a jump away from Montpellier is an area that many believe to be Languedoc’s most interesting wine region: Pic St. Loup. No one likes to be the designated driver, so spare your friends from pulling the short straw and arrange to visit this region as part of a guided tour instead. Montpellier Wine Tours will take care of the logistics so you can focus your energies entirely on the wine. Go for a half-day excursion and you’ll be able to fit in two estates and at least eight wines. A full-day tour will allow for three estates, lunch in a lovely lakeside restaurant and a minimum of 12 wines.
Price Range: Tours starting from €65
Location: Gares, Montpellier, France
Bookings: +33 6 95 16 25 61
3. Restaurant la Marquiere, Carcassonne
Housed in a delightful old inn located within the walls of the medieval city, this charming restaurant is a beacon of quality. Typical southern French proteins, such as duck, pigeon, rabbit and beef, commonly feature on the regularly changing menu. If you only order one thing, make it the homemade foie gras; it’s the dish most diners rave about.
Price Range: Set menu starting from €32
Location: 13 Rue St jean 11000 Carcassonne, France
Bookings: +33 (0) 468 715 200
4. Domaine O’Vineyards, Carcassonne
Borrowing the vowel from their own surname, Joe and Liz O’Connell set up their own boutique vineyard together with their son Ryan in 2004. Since then, this winery has been producing terrific wines, whose often humorous, tongue-in-cheek names (such as O’MG and Trah Lah Lah) hint at the owners’ snob-averse attitude to vino. Joe, the winemaker, still personally conducts the tours of the property, which include a generous tasting.
Price Range: Tours starting from €25pp
Location: 885 Avenue de la Montagne Noire 11620 Villemoustaussou Northern Arrondissement of Carcassonne, France
Bookings: Online at Ovineyards.com
5. Domaine de l’Arjolle, Herault
One of Languedoc’s star producers, L’Arjolle was one of the early new-wave winemakers to focus their attentions on creating unique, quality wines. Unlike their winemaking neighbours elsewhere in France, such as Bordeaux for instance, L’Arjolle was unconstrained by AOC classification and could test out new blends and varieties. Take a tour of the estate to taste some of their modern creations.
Location: 7 Rue Fournier, 34480 Pouzolles, France
Bookings: +33 4 67 24 81 18
6. La Table Saint Crescent, Narbonne
La Table Saint Crescent may be located near a busy road, but don’t let that put you off. The restaurant itself is set in a historic oratory outfitted with a sleek and modern black-and-white interior, and – for when the weather is suitable – a lovely dining terrace. It has been given the stamp of approval from the Michelin brigade, who awarded it one star. The dishes, which focus on local flavours, are a work of art to behold and even better to eat.
Price Range: Set menus starting from €90pp
Location: 68 Avenue du Gal Leclerc – 11100 Narbonne, France
Bookings: +33 4 68 41 37 37
7. Le Bistr’AU, Nimes
Languedoc native Jérôme Nutile is a hometown boy done good. Having spent stints abroad honing his cheffing skills in foreign kitchens, he returned to Languedoc and began racking up Michelin stars. At this 300-year-old farmhouse in Nimes, Nutile runs his own operation. The restaurant has two distinctive parts: a haute cuisine gourmet dining venue in one part and the more relaxed Bistr’AU space in the other. We recommend the bistro; the casual, value-driven fare is extremely reasonable and the simple, fresh ingredients really sing.
Price Range: Set menus starting from €18pp
Location: 351 Chemin Bas du Mas de Boudan 30000 Nîmes, France
Bookings: +33 4 66 40 65 65
8. Les Caves de Trinque Fougasse, Montpellier
This buzzy wine bar-cum-restaurant has two branches in Montpellier: one in the north and one in the south. At both, it’s all about the wine and you’re invited to taste a selection of bottles at the bar before choosing which one you ultimately want to go with your food. Excellent cheese and charcuterie plates are suited to sharing with friends, and live jazz and swing musicians ensure a convivial atmosphere.
Price Range: Set menus starting from €16
Location: 1581 Route de Mende 34090 Montpellier, France
Bookings: +33 4 99 23 27 00
9. L’Ambassade, Béziers
For a fine-dining lunch that won’t render you penniless, it’s hard to beat traditional fine-dining French fare of L’Ambassade. Arrive with an empty stomach. Diners here are well looked after, and are often treated to a flurry of amuse bouches to supplement the multi-course menus. Reviewers rave about the cheese trolley; the dairy selection is so extensive it could double up as a mobile fromagerie.
Price Range: Set menus starting from €30
Location: 22 Boulevard de Verdun Béziers, France
Bookings: +33 4 67 76 06 24
10. Les Halles, Narbonne
More than 70 traders convene here 365 days a year to sell all kinds of delicious edibles. On any given morning, you’ll find breads, pastries, fish, meat, vegetables, fruit, cheese and wines. Vendors will be happy to slice you off a sliver of whatever takes your fancy. If you can’t wait to go home and cook the produce for yourself, you can purchase a piece of fish or meat and have them cook it up for you at the market instead. It’s one for early risers; arrive after lunch time and you’ll find the stalls shutting down.
Location: 1 Cours mirabeau, 11000 Narbonne, France
Bookings: No need to book just show up!
Our dedicated concierge team is on hand to help if you’re looking for the ideal villa or chateau in Languedoc – and we can find one if you’re after a foodie extravaganza or just want to relax besides the pool for a week or two. Our blog is also full of travel inspiration, so why not head over there and take a look at our best wine experiences in the South of France or, if you’re on the lookout for somewhere truly amazing to stay, our favourite quirkiest chateaux to rent in the region.