This is the finest guidebook available for Languedoc. It is comprehensive and gets under the skin of the region. It also highlights things that are off the beaten track. The only thing to beware of is that some of the restaurant suggestions are curiously off beam. The most stunning example would be the Hotel des Templiers in Collioure: this was the scene of the worst meal my wife and I have ever had in a French restaurant - anywhere! The ambience was also pretty terrible. Collioure itself lacks charm so if you are going there only go to see the Matisse works and blow dodge thereafter!
This all amounts to a relatively small carp and now that we are in the rhythm of the book we know when to take the restaurant recommendations with a grain of salt!
If you are going to Languedoc for the first time or if you have lived there for a decade, buy this book!
Wherever we travel, whenever we are away, the first challenge is always to understand the area; the geography, the culture and, of course, the good the bad and the ugly of restaurants, beaches, and places to visit. That all takes a great deal of effort and eats into the limited time most of us have available. Worse still is coming home and realising we may have missed the best bits! This book is invaluable. Everything you could possibly be asking is here, at a high level or great detail as you see fit. Marseillan is a special place and we visit as often as possible - I should thank the author of this book as it is a great read, but also for bringing clarity to so many questions we do not have time to research ourselves!
I have to say, I can only echo the previous reviews! My wife and I decided to move to Launguedoc when we retire this November. As we love Marseillan we are renting for a couple of years in Rue Papin, and then intend to buy.
This book has been a massive aid in our plan and we intend to organise our lives around it. So no responsibility there Laurence!
Having stayed in Marseillan (or surrounds) for several years, I noticed this book whilst buying my newspaper, took it home,made coffee, buttered my baguette and began to read. It was like having a chat with your best friend and discovering all their many secrets about their local area - no dry and dusty guide book this one. Full of helpful information regarding markets/restaurants/sightseeing etc as you would expect, but also amazing anecdotes, some of which made me laugh out loud. A brilliant, relaxed talented writing style and so a joy to read. The most enjoyable travel guide I've ever read (and there have been many). Suffice to say that about 5 hours later when my husband returned from his game of golf, I was still sitting at the breakfast table....dishes unwashed and there I stayed until hunger forced us to go and try one of the recommended restaurants. Having returned to UK, I still read a little every day before going to the office....this puts me in a Languedoc frame of mind and the day seems to pass far more pleasantly than previously. I have now added Laurence Phillips' other books to my shopping list. Long may he continue to weave his magic.
This is a great refernce book on all you need to know about the Languedoc and especially about amazing Marseillan. We have been to the area many times but there is still loads of ideas and details in the book that we did not know existed in the area. great wit and prose from Laurence as always too to make you smile. recommend highly. its like a posh version of 'rough guide 'travel series with great detail to help you plan your day trips and travel too.
I have been visiting Marseillan for a number of years now and thought I had seen all there was to see but no... This guidebook is a gem - a funny and informative look at Marseillan and the surrounding area, I didn't leave our apartment without it in my bag to guide us. Whether to check the market days, find something new and quirky to go and see or just to learn some of the local history, the book is a must-have. A wonderul and funny insight into the area from a resident who truly knows his stuff! I can't wait to return and explore a little more.
Good up to date write ups on bars, cafes and restaurants. Great ideas for places to go and things to do. Public transport details accurate, so you can get get about easily after getting off the Ryanair aluminium tube at Beziers.
This book is a total pleasure to read from start to finish, full of vital information for anyone planning a trip to Marseillan or the surrounding area. We had an all too brief 6 day stay in Marseillan this summer and this book proved to be an invaluable companion, helping us to make the most of our holiday. The book is written in such a warm and personal style, gently humorous and so informative, it was like taking a good friend out with us every day, full of advice on the best restaurants and sights worth seeing, really brought Marseillan to life for us. The best thing is that the author, who knows Marseillan inside out, publishes regular free updates to the book, so you will always have the most up to date guide to lovely Marseillan. Highly recommended purchase!
We dipped in and out of this book continually during our stay both in marseillan and the surrounding area. As well as being so useful, it often amused us and we felt that the author was spot on with his observations and guidance . A must to read if visiting this lovely part of France
Strangely for somewhere that is only a large village, Marseillan has had a number of books written about it - including several in English. As a resident this would be the one I would recommend to anybody staying specifically in the area and venturing into other parts of Languedoc. Phillips writes with the authority of somebody who was spent many hours sitting in the cafés, wandering the souk-like streets of the old town, picking at shellfish from the Étang de Thau, seeking out local vineyards, enjoying the weather and reading up on the long history. In fact you could throw out your other guides to the region and keep this which is all the better for being discursive, passionate and a little quirky.