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La Maison des Tournesols

Tarn region  -  Tarn cottage  -  Tarn village   
Tarn sightseeing  -  Tarn house-plans Tarn local region

The local region around Ambres 
Scroll down for more photos and information about the local area


The delightful and ancient town of Lavaur - 4 kms down the hill from our cottage
There is a weekly market held there under a km or so of shady plane trees.
This is one of the largest and best markets
close to any of our cottages -

- with a wonderful selection of fresh produce - plus books, music and pre-loved clothes to pannier baskets 
as well as Gaillac wines and special sausages from the Pays-Basque. 

The lively main shopping street at Lavaur - take the historic walk through the
ancient heart and enjoy excellent shopping at many up-market shops. 

Explore the charming small streets of Lavaur
- a little town full of the history of the Cathars - the Albigensian Crusade and Simon-de-Montfort
and most particularly see the magnificent Cathedral St Alain - set in extensive gardens.
This most important cathedral was originally destroyed during the Albigensian Crusade.
In 1255 reconstruction began and it became a cathedral in 1317. It has beautiful painted vaulting - however
its great treasure is the famous organ dating from 1523 which is used
for many recordings.

Enjoy a casual meal out for lunch or in the evening at one of the several bistros and bars
in Lavaur as it is just 4 kms down the hill.

For something more upmarket go to L'Echauguette in the attractive village of Giroussens
only 5 minutes away - with a charming dining room which has sweeping views out over the river.
This is a really excellent and popular restaurant so you need to book here for Sunday lunch.
There is also Restaurant Les Maronniers a little further away in the village of Viterbe
- a very popular place to eat out with people who stay at this cottage.
You will get an excellent welcome here - and you also need to make a booking.
15 kms in the other direction is the town of Gaillac with a tranquil setting on the River Tarn.
It also holds an excellent Friday market - explore the fascinating, winding ochre-colored little streets
- the Cathedral seen here is the ancient Abbey of Saint Michel - the monks of the wines of Gaillac.

Right in the middle of Gaillac is another popular place with our guests - Restaurant La Table-u-Sommelier
 - which is a Cave as well as a restaurant where you can taste and buy wine by the bottle
 - or maybe choose their special option of a recommended glass to go with each course of your meal.


All around our village are hills of vines for the wines of Gaillac - this is serious wine country because
the Gaillac wine region dates back to the first century BC - surviving the barbarian invasions and continuing
to expand thanks to the monks of the Abbey
of Saint Michel in Gaillac.

The small town of Gaillac - 18 kms north of Ambres - is the Centrex for this wine region which extends
along the Tarn River - up around Cords and east to Albi. There are many wine Châteaux and Caves
to taste and buy - called Dégustation - you will see the signs up every picturesque little road.

Take a short trip on the Gaillac wine tasting route -
Left - bottles from Chateau-des-Trois-Cantous
Right - the caves at Chateau-les-Salettes
Gaillac wines were served at the tables of King François 1st of France of the Ancien Régime. 

All along the River Tarn near to our cottage are charming small wine towns - all reddish
in colour because of the ancient handmade bricks of the region - shown here is Lisle-sur-Tarn
which boasts one of the largest and most beautiful arcaded squares in southern France.
There is a excellent market held in this square every Sunday morning.

and all four sides of the square at Lisle-sur-Tarn have beautiful covered arcades
with some of the most authentic mediaeval houses in the region.

And this is Rabastens - another fascinating small wine town on the river Tarn
with a wealth of ancient buildings to explore en route back to our village.

The Tarn seems to have more than the usual amount of fascinating second hand
shops called Brocante or Antiquités - great to find a treasure.
This basketware bicycle is quite bizarre - but we left it in the shop.


Tarn region  -  Tarn cottage  -  Tarn village   
Tarn sightseeing  -  Tarn house-plans Tarn local region


1. Lot - 2. Dordogne - 3 Tarn - 4 Gascony - 5 Provence - 6 Haute Provence - 7 Pyrenees
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