The Tarn Department, France

Tarn is a department of the Midi-Pyrenees region is located north-east of Toulouse in south-western France.

www.tourisme-tarn.com/en

Nearest Major City: Toulouse

Things to Discover:

ALBI:

The prefecture of the Tarn department, is located on the Tarn river, 85km north-east of Toulouse. The Episcopal City of Albi, situated in the center of the actual city, around the cathedral, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site characterised by gothic style buildings in red brick and tile.

Albi is well known for the Musée de Toulouse-Lautrec which houses over 1000 works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (who was born near Albi) and also being the birthplace of Pacific explorer Jean François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse.

Interestingly, Albi is also a sister city to Randwick City Council, one of my neighbouring councils in Sydney, Australia

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View of the Pont-Vieux from the Palais de la Berbie
Albi Cathedral
Cathedral in Albi

Visit: www.albi.fr

LAUTREC

Lautrec is a medieval village in the Tarn department of south-western France. It listed among “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France”(The Most Beautiful Villages of France) as well as a “Sites Remarquable du Gout” (Remarkable Site of Taste) thanks to its renowned pink garlic.

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Streets of Lautrec with Saint Remy church
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Main entrance to Lautrec Village

Each year, on the first Friday in August, the village comes together for the Pink Garlic Fair (Friday being the traditional market day in Lautrec). This marks the commencement of the pink garlic marketing period and includes:

  • an artistic arrangement competition (works of art made from pink garlic : bulbs, grains, leaves, skin, roots etc.)
  • a bunch competition, entered by producers only
  • free tasting of the traditional Lautrec pink garlic soup.

Check out the recipe for traditional Lautrec Pink Garlic Soup in the “Cook” section.

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17th Century windmill, Moulin de la Salette- one of the only currently working windmills in the south of France
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“Porte de la Caussade” the only remaining 12th Century fortified door (there were originally 8) built around the village

Visit: www.lautrec.fr and http://ailrosedelautrec.com/

GAILLAC WINE REGION

Gaillac is one of the oldest wine-growing regions of Gaul (an ancient region of Western Europe). It is located in the Tarn department in south-western France. A history of destruction of vines due to extreme cold and disease contributed to a dynamic wine environment with a wide diversity of grapes grown and great range of wines to be enjoyed:

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Main White Varieties:

  • Loin de l’œil
  • Mauzac
  • Muscadelle
  • Ondenc
  • Sauvignon

Main Red Varieties

  • Duras
  • Braucol (Fer Servadou)
  • Syrah (Shiraz)
  • Gamay
  • Prunelart
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Cabernet Sauvignon

Visit www.vins-gaillac.com for local winemakers and events and feel free to pick me up the Domaine du Moulin, Florentin (100% Braucol- delicious!)

CORDES-SUR-CIEL

Voted French Village of the Year in 2014, Cordes-sur-Ciel (which up until 1993 was named Cordes) is named as a reflection of the village’s site on a hill above the clouds that frequently collect in the river valley- Cordes in the sky.

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Cordes-sur-Ciel now attracts many artists who find inspiration in the Gothic buildings and charming laneways.

It is also known for it’s delicious Croquants aux Amandes, almond biscuits. Click for the recipe here.

Visit: http://cordessurciel.eu/

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