View of the Aude river valley near Saint Abdon's Oak Tree near Aigne, near Minerve, in Languedoc, South France.
Restaurant Lo Cagarol
Near the village of Minerve, off the main road, between La Caunette and Aigues Vives is the quiet village of Aigne. A village holding its beauty hidden. Park your car in the public parking lot, and walk across the square, with central tree, and men sitting under. Hold back your temptation to go into the restaurant till after exploring.
Go across and under a low archway and enter into streets shaped like a snail, winding to a center.
There is an old dark
church with sound that raises the most secular of spirits, and a central
square, where a snail shaped garden has been loving been created.
Visit the artists there - the studios of Francoise Jatteau (close to the church) and Pascal Cossin (to the right as you come through the first archway). She, a seer and artist who creates icons of potency and he a wood and stone carver, sculptor, that makes wood live with his love of form and essence of wood.
The homes of this village are full of deep history, - almost behind the church is a house originally of a Moslem, complete with arabic designs. In the hills around were built Roman villas, now only broken rocks among the myriad vines. Breathe in the scent of thyme, and other wild herbs evocative of older times.
For an evocative taste of the Minervois, drink deep the wine of Yves Bru at Domaine Sainte Luchaire (the cave is almost next to the restaurant) - Clos de Mathieu (2005) is especially inviting and potent in its richness. (Tel 04 68 91 34 93)
Go swim and walk where the locals go, in the hidden valley of the Cessiére ....go to Aigues-Vives, take the road to Paguignan, and thence onto Cailhol.