Instead of taking one of the two busy and expensive highways along the coast we get seas of sunflowers, quiet villages with Andorra and the Pyrenees in the distance. Forget the quick route to Spain via Figueres or Biarritz. From Carcassonne the road winds through sunflower fields to Mirepoix, a typical medieval village in the Ariege region. On the Place de Cutlery one cafe terrace flows over into the other, well hidden below the ancient galleries of this car-free square. We are staying at Relais Royal, a very typical French Relais Chateaux. A stately building with inner courtyards, spacious rooms with high ceilings, cozy living rooms with huge fireplaces,â€¦ It could be perfect if it wasnâ€™t for the lack of decent and enough staff and the somewhat impersonal feeling. Relais Royal nevertheless is a good address for those who want to stay in style in Mirepoix An affordable and typical French dinner we get at Le Commerce. An old-fashioned establishment where La mamman sits at the cash register and the faded glory dining rooms were luckily never modernized. The courtyard hides huge old trees that provide cooling in summer (in our case from the rain) and there is a choice of more than ten menus from very affordable to a bit more. It’s not nouvelle cuisine but it will do on a rainy summer evening in France.
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