Monday, November 2, 2015

The Relais Serrabonne - Between Prades and Ceret

So we set off one morning for Prades for the medieval market

that it is known for.  But we'd slept too late...and lingered

too long over our breakfast tartines and coffee.  Prades had more or less rolled up its sidewalks

and the lunchtime and sieste hush had fallen over the town.

We drove around town in circles and circles at the bidding of our highly confused GPS.  (3 times! And we'd not received our invitations for the party.)

Finally we busted out of town and past medieval villages to take the route to Ceret.

Much of that route took us onto an empty winding mountain road dotted with the occasional tiny hamlet.   Midway we came to an unassuming little place.  With not A LOT of character - on the outside.

Just a few wildflowers and piney mountains.

We left a refreshment order at the little house, poked our fingers and clicked our tongues at a fat rabbit in his/her cage.  And went to wait at a picnic table.  With Mr. Paradis' brand new friend.

The little one had no interest in me at all.  But only declared his fealty to my other one.

I busied myself taking pictures of the surrounding.....nothing much of note.  Perhaps some cherry orchards in the valley below.  And then, from the inside of that unprepossessing little house:

This!!!!!  IMPECCABLE.  Exquisite.  HEAVEN on a plate.

 (a delicious espresso, cherries in syrup, honey nougatine, gingerbread with plum compote)

So simple.  So fresh.  All made locally.  Artisanally.  i.e., as in the old ways.  You couldn't have found better in a fancy fancy expensive restaurant.  In America, you will not be rewarded gastronomically by getting off the beaten track.  But in France, it is entirely another story.  I dream of this.  (Always.)  (ALWAYS!)

The air was so clean and pure and it was p-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y quiet.  A sweet sweet place.

The Relais Serrabonne (click for Facebook page).  All of the above edible goodies available for purchase and take away with you.  If you should be sooooooooo lucky.

Be gentle.  Seek it out.  Enjoy it.  Treat it as respectfully and tenderly as it does you.  It is a gift and a small handful of a world that is too too rare nowadays.


  1. Merci pour cette belle promenade... so sweet et lumineuse ;))

  2. ça fait partie des bonnes surprises quand on voyage !

  3. Mmmm, yes! tears almost come to my eyes when I remember similar experiences. One in the gorges de Tarn, another in the Lot - & another this summer in a small town coming back from Delphi. It seems the fact of getting lost, forgetting it's a holiday, or being otherwise desperate is what makes the spell go to work for you!

  4. What a gorgeous, gorgeous place. Such peaceful, happy memories. :-)