By • Jan 24th, 2012 • Category: Life in Gascony

Chez Fanny, Angoustrine-Villeneuve-des-Escaldes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Midi-Pyrénées (France)France is now the most researched holiday home destination and in a recent survey the Midi Pyrenees came in the top three places to buy in France.  With its sparsely populated countryside, lively towns and villages, excellent communications and easy lifestyle, it is easy to see why.

Gascony hosts a series of medieval villages, market towns and sleepy hamlets dotted around its rolling green countryside.  Having spent all my childhood holidays peering through rainy windows at the retreating sea in Pendine, I can say from experience that it’s like the Welsh countryside  without the rain and sheepdogs.  Instead we have four definite seasons:

  • Short crisp winters
  • Warm springs – our daffodils are starting to come through and it is still only January
  • Long late-night hot summers
  • Late Indian summer turning into autumn

The seasons are defined in the markets, where you can almost gauge the date just by looking at the fresh local produce.  At the moment the local farms and supermarkets are promoting pork.  Most families will buy a whole pig and then turn it into the various cuts of meat, sausage and pâté.  I’m lucky enough to have a lovely friend whose husband is a whizz at pâté, so I’m saved the hassle of having to deal with the rest of the animal and just stock up their pâté – in exchange for coffee cake, chutney and jam.

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