Category Archives: Uncategorized

  • Village de montagne de Py

    À environ 16 km (30 minutes) des appartements se trouve le village pittoresque de Py. Il a une population de moins de 100 personnes mais est gonflé par de nombreux randonneurs pendant les mois d’été. il est situé dans la vallée de Rotja sur le chemin de Mantet. C’est un endroit idéal pour se promener et aussi se baigner (bassins rocheux à Sahorre) ou pique-niquer.

  • calçotada barbequed onions

    Calçotada Time is here!

    Calçotada – an onion barbecue!

     Spring time in this region means Onion Barbecue  time or in Catalan ‘Calçotada ! Yeah you heard right Grilled Onions and they are delicious. It is one of the most renowned Catalan traditions –  a gastronomic phenomenon in the region surrounding Barcelona and further north in French Catalonia. No calçotada is complete without the typical sweet char-grilled spring onions known as ‘calçots,’ and mountains of grilled meat and sausages. Add some red wine to help wash it all down and you have understood the basics.  It is a festival celebrated in the coldest months of the year. From January until April, many towns and villages host these winter food festival. Dinner Dancing and Red Wine How could you beat it?

    Calçots on barbecue

    Calçots on barbecue!

    The Calçotada starts with the barbecue. No fancy charcoal here – just scrap timber, old pallets and some vine cuttings. The calçots are placed in wire grills.  When the fire  is ready, it’s time to cook the calçots. They stay on the heat until they are nicely charred and just starting to turn black on the outside. They do not look too appetizing at this stage! Once they’re cooked, they are wrapped in newspaper, just like Fish & Chips, and then kept in a box and left to rest for about 40 minutes. This leaves just enough time to grill the meats, often lamb or local sausages which are typically served after the calçots as the second course of the meal.

    Blackened Calçots

    Blackened Calçots

     Calçotada – The Sauce!

    This is the star of the show. The calçots are served with a sauce similar  to romesco sauce. I googled it and discovered that it is usually made of a combination of almonds, hazelnuts, stale bread, garlic, ñora peppers, ripe tomatoes, olive oil, and sherry vinegar. It is to die for! We asked for the recipe but were emphatically told that it was a closely guarded  secret. No amount of persuasion worked to change their minds.

     a messy eating experience!

    Eating the Calçots is a messy operation so gloves and bibs are supplied! Not one for the fashion concious.  You peel the blackened skin of the onion revealing the juicy tender inners, dip in the special sauce and eat and eat. They are slightly addictive! Dont worry – they will serve until you can eat no more and of course copious amounts of red wine.



    Calçotada – The Afters!

    After you can eat no more onions, the tables are cleared. The next course is served – in our case local Catalan sausages and black pudding made and supplied by Chez Alex Charcuterie in Ollette. This was followed by a local cheese and a slice of cake.

    Then the dancing begins. Buoyed by the booze the floor is packed. and of course we must have the typical dances of the region – the Sardane.


    Calçotada – the rum punch!

    Our Calçotada was in Vernet les Bains and afterwards they served a potent rum punch. There was eight 1.5 litre bottles in it. I counted!!!! The gentleman making it was a real character. He really loved the attention and what resulted was a long and fun preparation and commentary to boot! After our very fortified digestive we made our way home.

    calcotada-making rum punch

    A few Local Calçotadas to come this year:-

    Check your local press for more details on
    Calçotadas near you

    • 19/20 March Calçotada Festival
      Tradilluna i Calçotada      66300 Tresserre
    • 3rd March 12.30 Calçotada   Vernet Les Bains 66820
  • Pizza a French staple!

    You think Pizza and you think Italian – well after a while in France you might have other ideas . Pizza Restaurants are everywhere. Our local pizza is run by a real character Jordi who can converse in many languages. He recently won  a pizza making competition in Toulouse and is now progressing to the National Final. Felicitations Jordi.

  • Valentine’s Special Offer

    Rent from two night in any of our apartments in the coming Valentine’s week and get complimentary bubbly, chocolates and flowers as well as logs for the wood burner. Everything for a romantic  getaway.

  • La Vuelta Prades!

    Prades ville-étape du Tour d’Espagne !

    C’est une information France Bleu Roussillon. La Vuelta fera étape dans les Pyrénées-Orientales ! On savait qu’après le grand départ de Nîmes les coureurs éviteraient Perpignan, mais ils s’arrêteront en Conflent, avant de rejoindre l’Andorre.

    Les stars du cyclisme Nairo Quintana, Chris Froome et Alberto Contador poseront pied dans les Pyrénées-Orientales ! Ca ne sera pas avec le Tour de France en juillet prochain, mais avec le Tour d’Espagne, fin août ! C’est d’ailleurs une grande première pour le département.

  • Put Canigou on your Bucket List!

    Canigou is a magnificent mountain. It towers over the whole area. It is considered sacred to the Catalans and a trip up it is a must. For the faint hearted this can be achieved by a combination of jeep ride and a shortish slog to the top or for the more adventurous. – the hike up is around five hour and there is an excellent hostel for an overnight stay.

  • Ski Time

    The apartments are at the foothills of the Pyrenees – there are eight ski stations within an hours drive