Authentic Algarve: there’s more to the costa than golf and resorts

There are still places in southern Portugal where there are more flamingos than tourists, and rural traditions are part of the fabric of life

2016 Travels – Tip 17 – French Hotels – Part 1

The hotels I have stayed in so far have been a mixed bunch.

The Hotel Boquier in Avignon is superb; it is close to the station and about 15 minutes from the Pope’s Palace. The hotel is down a side street and is very quiet. The continental breakfasts were excellent.

The Mistral in Montpellier is close to the station and about three minutes from Place de la Comedie. The breakfasts are OK, but the main problem with the hotel is that it’s situated in a very noisy neighbourhood and some of the guests are also noisy. The floors of the rooms also seem to be continuous at each level, so that you can feel people moving around in other rooms.

Will’s Hotel is a quiet hotel, close to the station with excellent breakfasts. The only problem I found was that it was closed until 5pm on a Sunday when I arrived. It’s about 10 minutes to the Archbishop’s Palace.

The Montmorency Hotel at Carcassonne is very close to the Narbonne Gate and is excellent although slightly pricey and is half-an-hour’s walk from the train station. The breakfast is extensive and the room was very quiet.

Finally, for this blog, The Ambassadors Hotel in Toulouse. This hotel is about three minute’s from the station and the breakfasts are reasonable. It takes about 12 minutes to reach the Saint Sernin church. The main problem with this hotel is that the floors creak and the walls are paper thin, so you can hear the person in the next room’s email notifications.

2016 Travel – Tips 10 – Food in Avignon

On a day when I managed to get to Carcassonne from Narbonne on the train even though my reserved seat was in a carriage that wasn’t part of the train I thought I would write about some happier experiences.

Food in Avignon. I would recommend the following:

Bar Grille – 26 Place de l’Horloge, 84000 Avignon. This place has been panned on Trip Advisor but my meal of cheese and diced Provencal vegetables followed by Boeuf Provencal was absolutely delicious.

Couscousserie de l’Horloge – 18 Place de l’Horloge, 84000 Avignon – I had Chicken Tajine with some free vegetables and the meal was tasty as was the Apple Tart afterwards.

L’offset – 16 Rue des Teinturiers, 84000 Avignon (right by the waterwheel) – my best meal in Avignon, which meant I didn’t have to eat the following day (not joking). A massive chicken salad followed by La végétarienne, a mix of vegetables plus cheese. Beautiful.

I can’t recommend the La Brasserie du Théâtre as the waitresses were awful and were making suggestions about how big their tip should be.