French House Party, Carcassonne
It says on the front of this folder beside my computer. Oops!
Oh well, it’s useful for checking up on some facts.
I went on a three-day French House Party ‘Cuisine in Brief’ cookery course in the Carcassonne.
The house, Domaine St Raymond, is owned and run by Moira Martingale.
Moira’s the author of two internationally-published books. She’s a journalist, feature-writer, and a former columnist for several national and regional newspapers in the UK. She has a novel nearing completion, a PHD in Gothic Literature, and a teaching qualification.
After staying in her house, I think she should add Interior Designer to her list of qualifications. It’s really tasteful, blending together perfectly, and she’s thought of absolutely everything that her guests need.
The house is over 300 years old. It’s probably a converted barn, judging by the arched windows.
There are eight bedrooms, all completely different, named after fruit and plants, eg Olive, Abricot, Aubergine, Chocolat, Framboise, Lavender, Pomegranate.and decorated to match their names. They all have en-suite bathrooms.
Downstairs there’s a games room, with a jukebox and a pool table, and outside there is a huge swimming-pool, a table-tennis table, tennis court, boules pitch, and bicycles in the garage.
I was offered more food than I could manage to eat, you can help yourself to hot or cold drinks any time of the day and night, and the locally-bought wine flows freely.
French House Party is what it says it is. Guests are encouraged to treat the house as though it was their own – with respect, of course!
As I wanted to explore the area, I arrived a day earlier than the other guests.
Bill the English chauffeur, gardener, pool maintenance man, etc met me at Toulouse Airport and told me a lot about the local history as we drove to the house.
We were greeted by Moira, and her amazing housekeeper, Regine, who looks like a French Rula Lenska.
She never stops working, and I’m sure she never goes to bed!
After I’d freshened up, Moira and I went out for a drive. It’s a lovely area, very