By Laurence Phillips
A new travel book by Laurence Phillips is always a treat. A visit to cities like Paris and Lille without his appropriate guide is almost unthinkable. And he has done it again, with his usual delicious humour and gentle pace, but this time with Marseillan.
‘It is morning in Marseillan Port and the castanet clink-clank of the rigging on the boats tied up in the safe haven of the little harbour acknowledges the vent du jour, today’s unique breath of refreshing wind …The day starts with warm bread and piping hot coffee. Whichever wind blows today, it promises a balm for the sunshine that graces the village some 300 days each year, and speeds early morning cyclists and pedestrians on their way to buy fresh baked croissants and baguettes from the boulangerie ..’ and so the book continues.
Laurence admits that he has been flirting with France since boyhood but reading the book you realise that Languedoc Roussillon is much more of a passion than a flirtation for him.
Throughout the book is the occasional personal reminiscence tucked neatly away into the sights, sounds and history of the region. Laurence is a dedicated foody and there is superb, long section on the local wines and arguably an even longer one on restaurants! But it’s not just about food, wine, the towns and history. There are also tips on Getting There, Getting Around, Buying Property and Where to Stay – in fact everything you need from a good travel book.
Imprint Illyria Books; ISBN 978-0-9558247-1-5; £14.99