We decided to move west along the coast to the Languedoc Roussillon. On previous searches, we discovered there were more workaway opportunities and what looked to be a more traditional French region.
We discovered a B&B, Maison des Palmiers, in Bize Minervois (Bits Min-er-v-was) as one of the Essex guests called it. This was just what we were searching for, and restored our faith in the journey.
Run by a couple of ex-pats Dennis and Hilary, Maison des Palmiers is one of the nicest Bed and Breakfasts you could ask for. The building itself is stunning, with stone floors and balconies, and a lovely outside area complete with pool and shaded BBQ.
Bize is lovely; a typical French town with just the bare essentials. A bakery, restaurant, and small shop, and loads of quaint little roads lined with different coloured window shutters. Alternating between a market and a Vide Grenier (car boot sale) the square was put to good use. We were enlisted to help over a particularly busy weekend, also Hilary was recovering from a foot operation and was told to take it easy. There was a wedding in the nearby Chateau, and all four guest bedrooms of the B&B were occupied. The guests were all fantastic, but from very different backgrounds. This made our stay perfect, as we got to know them all over the extended weekend. I also earnt a decent amount of money, providing a taxi service each day, as French weddings traditionally stretch over a few days.
David and his wife Trish, two of the guests, were local to our home town of Wimborne in Dorset being from New Milton just up the road. David, the definition of an English gent, was well up on his wine. Wearing his Ray Bans and a Panama hat he was in his element exploring the regions’ vineyards and caves (Wine Shops). He also left me a cracking bottle of bubbly when he found out it was my birthday on the Monday.
On the evening of my birthday I was spoilt rotten as Hilary and Dennis made a dinner for everyone. Dennis being a former chef, but modestly only mentioning it a few times a day, cooked an amazing feast and topped it off with a carrot cake. Such a perfect birthday treat, and completely unexpected. Maison des Palmiers and its inhabitants will receive nothing but exceptional feedback from us and we hope we can pop in for another stint sometime soon.