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An ideal weekend in Montpellier


Whether or not lengthy days on the seashore, hikes by means of the mountains, or days spent buying on cobblestone streets within the metropolis centre are what you’re in search of, Montpellier gives all of it – and is completely located for accessing a slew of Languedoc-based wineries, too.

Along with its central location amongst quite a few Languedoc appellations, Montpellier itself is house to a bustling wine scene. Though town doesn’t essentially boast tasting rooms like different wine-centric regional capitals, the tradition surrounding viticulture and vinification is palpable all through town’s meals and beverage scene. From bustling out of doors terraces to rowdy hole-in-the-wall wine bars to haute-cuisine eating choices, the thread that weaves Montpellier’s meals and drinks scene is instantly apparent: wine.

Maybe one in all Montpellier’s single greatest promoting factors is its extremely fascinating climate year-round. For these in search of to interrupt their wine-drenched evenings up with days spent lounging beneath the solar, the summer time months of June, July and August supply optimum climate for testing the area’s breathtaking, and reasonably priced, personal seashores. Spring and autumn months supply nice daytime highs between 15 and 25 Celsius, with winter daytime temperatures hardly ever dipping beneath 11.

Nestled between the gastronomic areas of the Sud-Ouest (South West) and Provence, the delicacies of France’s Languedoc area superbly meshes one of the best of its neighbours. House to hearty, meat-heavy cassoulet, in addition to garlicky fish stew (bourride) and briny oysters, the delicacies of this versatile area gives one thing for each palate choice on the market – and the area’s wines are equally versatile.

Whether or not coming from overseas or just taking pictures down for a weekend from Paris, Montpellier is one in all France’s most easily-accessible cities, because of its strong public transportation system. Along with its small airport, positioned nearly 10 kilometres exterior of town centre, Montpellier can be house to a high-speed TGV station, ideally positioned within the centre of city. To navigate town past exploring on foot, Montpellier’s tram system is extremely simple to know, and when unsure, Uber and taxis are very simple to return by.

The Languedoc area is house to the biggest variety of natural wines in France, in addition to the largest variety of appellation-designated rosé wines. Previously referred to as the Languedoc-Roussillon, the area now falls underneath the overarching Occitanie identify, of which the Languedoc makes up 90% (remaining 10% is Roussillon).

Friday

A visitor room at Lodge Richer de Belleval. Credit score: Lodge Richer de Belleval

Night / In a single day

Arrive in Montpellier round 3pm and examine into Lodge Richer de Belleval, the primary – and solely – five-star resort within the metropolis centre. After meticulous renovation and restoration, this luxury property lastly opened its doorways in June of 2021. Located on the luxurious Place de la Canourgue, this former Seventeenth-century property now boasts 20 expansive visitor rooms, every adorned with signature basic and romantic touches. Rooms embody massive beds, sitting areas with gorgeous views of town and splendid loos geared up with a free-standing tub and separate bathe, with Diptyque bathtub merchandise at friends’ disposal.

Settle in on the resort, get pleasure from a cappuccino at one of many many beautiful lodging – be it the out of doors backyard space, entrance terrasse, or enchanting bar-breakfast room hybrid – and stroll over to La Panacée, a recent artwork house that includes rotating reveals and an expansive out of doors backyard bar.

Submit artwork tour, head for a glass (or bottle) at Les Canons, a hole-in-the-wall wine bar that’s merely to not be missed. Based by Camille Lapierre of the famed Beaujolais-based Lapierre household, this cozy wine bar is greatest recognized for its well-curated pure wine choice and small plates, although the previous is actually the star of the present.

For dinner, return to Lodge Richer de Belleval and expertise a once-in-a-lifetime meal crafted by the hands of Jacques and Laurent Pourcel, the famed French brothers behind the resort’s restaurant, Jardin des Sens. This one-Michelin star restaurant gives each à-la-carte and coursed eating choices (we advocate springing for the 10-course tasting menu).

Menu objects give attention to contemporary, seasonal produce and regional French recipes, meticulously executed by the hands of the proficient kitchen staff. Anticipate contemporary blue lobster, candied beetroot, and a wide range of amuse-bouches, in addition to two dessert programs and an unforgettable cheese cart. The one factor that rivals the restaurant’s beautiful meals? Its Bible-like wine checklist laden with well-priced gems, in addition to the staff’s joyful hospitality. Better of all, returning house merely requires strolling (or rolling) up a flight or two of stairs.


Saturday

Soulenq gives a wide range of inventive Mediterranean dishes. Credit score: Soulenq

Morning

Take pleasure in a slow-paced morning at Lodge Richer de Belleval over a complimentary breakfast of yogurt, espresso and pastries within the backyard. Submit-meal, head to the tourism workplace at Place de la Comédie and decide up your Montpellier Metropolis Card, obtainable in 24h, 48h, or 72h choices. The cardboard gives free entry to numerous city-wide museums, in addition to complimentary use of the general public transportation system.

Afternoon

Outfitted together with your Metropolis Card, head to the Musée Fabre, a well-curated (and well-sized) artwork museum based by Montpellier-based painter François-Xavier Fabre again in 1825. Stroll the museum’s present exhibition and everlasting assortment for about 1-2 hours, then head to Tartine et sac à dos for – you guessed it – tartines, eggs, and a wide range of wholesome lunch choices.

As soon as satiated, decide whether or not your Saturday will encompass venturing out by means of the area to go to native wineries (see a listing of really helpful locations beneath) or whether or not staying central and having fun with the city’s many quaint boutiques and wine bars is what the day requires. Ought to wine bar hopping be on the itinerary, make sure you hit Panka, a pure wine-focused cocktail bar with funky tapas, in addition to Chez Pinot, an reasonably priced wine-focused spot providing small plates.

Night

For a wine-focused institution beloved by locals (significantly wine professionals), head to Augusta. Based by a Lyonnais proprietor, this quality-focused institution gives a wide range of French (and a small quantity of worldwide) wines by the bottle, all of that are extremely properly priced. Take pleasure in shareable meat and cheese boards, in addition to a wide range of tapas and pinchos – don’t sleep on the frittata. Corkage payment is simply 10 euros per bottle, and the centralised location makes it tremendous simple to seek out.

In a single day

For these nonetheless thirsty after dinner at Augusta, head to one of many metropolis’s many late-night wine bars. Gloulglou retains its doorways opens till 1am and gives a wide range of easy-drinking wines and small plates, and for these curious to find one thing simply exterior of town’s limits, Soulenque gives an unlimited collection of extra classically-focused wines and simple-yet-refined seasonally-focused plates. Choose to remain native? A nightcap on the gorgeous bar inside Lodge Richer de Belleval is all the time a good suggestion – particularly when loved with dessert.


Sunday

The Arc de Triomphe, Montpellier. Picture by Nathan Cima on Unsplash

Morning

Take pleasure in your morning at Lodge Richer de Belleval with espresso, pastries, and a complimentary copy of the New York Occasions. Stroll across the metropolis and absorb its magnificence throughout the quiet hours of a Sunday morning. Head to town’s Arc de Triomphe, or Porte du Peyrou, simply 5 minutes away from the resort, and stroll by means of to the Promenade du Peyrou for breathtaking panoramic views of the encompassing areas.

Afternoon

Submit late-morning stroll, select your seasonally-appropriate exercise based mostly on the time of yr. Headed to Montpellier in summer time and seeking to benefit from the seashore? Plunge into the Mediterranean from one of many many close by plages privées, accessible by tram/navette, Uber, or rental automobile (about 25 minutes from town centre). Professional tip: Reserve upfront on-line; lounge chairs (referred to as transats) and enormous umbrellas usually go for round 20-25 euros per particular person, per day. Make sure to seize some pastries at Des Rêves et du Ache close to the resort previous to heading out.

Ought to the seashore not be within the playing cards, wander across the metropolis and take a look at numerous bustling terrasses on Place de la Comédie or Sq. Planchon, excellent for individuals watching. For adventurous wine lovers with rental automobiles, schedule some tasting appointments across the area and uncover the close by appellations of Pic Saint-Loup, Pézenas, Picpoul de Pinet, and Montpeyroux.

Night

For a late lunch, early dinner, or apéro that turns into dinner, look no additional than Trinque Fougasse. One of many early bar à vins/caviste hybrids in Montpellier, this newly-reopened spot gives a large collection of wines, starting from basic massive names to smaller, boutique vignerons. After working the joint for over thirty years, Dominique Boudet has handed the torch onto his son, Mathieu Boudet, whose ardour for good meals and nice wine is aware of no limits – and better of all, the O’Sud location is open from 10am till midnight seven days every week (a uncommon discover in France!).

For these staying a further night time – and searching for a late-night Sunday spot to proceed to quench their thirst – head to Occasions, a no-frills wine bar with loads of out of doors seating, open till 1am seven days per week. For one thing a bit stronger, Rhum Runner and Nectar Cocktail Membership are open till 1am and midnight on Sundays, respectively.


The place to remain, eat and store

Pompette Pérols. Credit score: Pompette Pérols

Le Petit Moulu Torréfacteur Café
43 Rue de l’Université, 34000 Montpellier
Centrally-located café/espresso retailer hybrid with scrumptious brews and freshly roasted beans to go (entire or floor); pleasant out of doors seating, tea and equipment additionally on the market.

Anga
10 Rue Saint-Firmin, 34000 Montpellier
Positioned in a historic, stone-walled constructing, this gastronomic restaurant gives a give attention to seasonal meals and inventive plates, which pair completely with the spot’s in depth wine checklist.

Bouillon Maurel
3 Rue des Multipliants, 34000 Montpellier
This newly-opened restaurant within the coronary heart of town centre is capturing the hearts of native wine lovers day in and time out. Anticipate shared-plate fashion meals and tons of native diners.

Juniper – The G&T Bar
4 Rue des Trésorier de la Bourse, 34000 Montpellier
This small and comfy pub-style bar specialises in – you guessed it, gin and tonics, with a plethora of different cocktails, beers, and wines by the glass obtainable.

Microbrasserie La Barbotte
1 Rue des deux Ponts, 34000 Montpellier
For a break between wines, seize some native brews at Microbrasserie La Barbotte, positioned simply across the nook from Gare Saint-Roch. Along with artisanal beers, this informal spot additionally gives surprisingly scrumptious burgers, ought to the craving strike.

Pompette Pérols
31 Rue Gaston Bazille, 34470 Pérols
Positioned simply exterior town centre, this newly-opened wine store gives a collection of boutique wines from small producers – excellent for stopping by and grabbing a bottle after coming back from the seashore in your approach again to town.

Ermitage du Pic Saint-Loup (Pic Saint-Loup)
370 Cami de lou Castellas, 34270 Saint-Mathieu-de-Tréviers
Small-yet-serious natural/biodynamic vineyard within the coronary heart of Pic Saint-Loup, based in 1992 by brothers Xavier, Pierre, and Jean-Marc Ravaille.

Cháteau de Lascaux (Pic Saint-Loup)
Route du Brestalou, 34270 Vacquières
thirteenth technology property comprising 85 hectares of organically-farmed vines with a give attention to GrenacheSyrah blends.

Domaine d’Aupilhac (Montpeyroux)
28 Rue du Plo, 34150 Montpeyroux
One of many area’s extra outstanding names, Domaine d’Aupilhac is house to 21+ hectares of organically-farmed vines, with a give attention to Mourvèdre-dominant reds and native white blends.

Mas Gabriel (Pézenas)
9 Av. de Mougères, 34720 Caux
Small (6-hectare) vineyard based mostly in Pézenas specialising in natural and biodynamic agriculture with an emphasis on native Mediterranean varieties.


How one can get there

Fundamental airport: Montpellier Airport (MPL)

TGV Station: Montpellier Saint-Roch TGV

Driving time: Lyon to Montpellier – approx. 3 hours (304 km)

Marseille to Montpellier – approx. 2 hours (170 km)

Toulouse to Montpellier – approx. 2.5 hours (242 km)


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