Great Places to Wine and Dine in the South of France
Perpignan & Collioure

I would love to shout about how well-located Perpignan (Rousillon) and Collioure in the South of France are located but we all know that the South of France always throws in a good “deal” in terms of climate and location. However, for me, there are other more important reasons to visit Perpigan and Collioure than location and this has got to do with “Food and Drink” as well as Art.

grapes-and-wine

Yes; these quaint destinations are in the South of France and they come fully packaged with good weather; which may sound cliché to talk about, however, it is not until you have visited artistic Perpignan and picturesque Collioure that you realize that France has some very hidden secrets.

Discover Perpignan in the Pyrénées-Orientales department of Southwest France; It is the centre of the metropolitan area of Perpignan Mediterranée Métropole. It was once the capital of the former Province and County of Roussillon and continental capital of the Kingdom of Majorca in the 13th and 14th centuries. It is also the centre of the Roussillon plain, 13 km west of the Mediterranean coast and is the southernmost of the cities of metropolitan France.

Downtown Perpignan

Perpignan’s neighbouring Collioure is the Pearl of the Catalan Coast. Collioure, the city that the renowned artist Henri Matisse loved and called home is picturesque. It is an idyllic gem on the rocky coastline in the very south of France just about 26km or 15 miles from the Spanish border.

Fine Art competes with food and drink at both destinations. There are plenty of things to do and see, however one must no fail to sample the excellent food and drink of these destinations such as the spaghetti-based paella, anchovies and fine wine.

Wines

Vine growing and the wine trading in Rousillion dates as far back as Greek times. During Roman times, the inhabitants of the hills overlooking the lower valley of Tet, Ruscino, consumed wine before the wine trade turned towards the Mediterranean.

Today, Perpignan is upholding its history and culture and is the driving force behind the commercial growth or Roussillon wines. Thanks to the construction of the railway in 1856, which opened the region in the 19th century, Perpignan has maintained it vineyards and is today recognised as the European City of Wine.

Domaine LAFAGE

Executive Traveller visited domaine LAFAGE, which is situated in the heart of Rousillon. Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage have followed on from six generations of grape growers and trained as wine-makers to manage this domaine which stretches from the village of Canet by the Mediterranean up to the foot-hills of the Pyrenees. We explored its cellars and tasted 15 varieties of their wine.

Wines-from-Rousillon

Our tastings started with the Coté Est 2018 which is recommended as an aperitif through to the gorgeously scented Coté Sud 2017 which is nice and light and very refreshing. The Miraflors 2017 vintage collection which include the JEB Dunnuck, Decanter and Weinwelt are very light and serves nicely with either meat or fish as well as fuse well with Asian food.

We took a liking to the Coté Sud primarily because of its aroma, and also because it is nice, light and refreshing.

For all these productions, the average age of the vines ranges from 40-60 years. Lafage wines are sold all over the world and you can also buy them directly here from their website.
Domaine Lafage – Mas Miraflors, Route de Canet, 66000 Perpignan France
Tel: +33 )(0)4 68 80 35 82 Email: contact@domaine-lafage.com

Choice Restaurants in Perpignan

Executive Traveller dined at Le 17 Restaurant, Le 17 is calls itself a “Restaurant Bistronomique”. Le 17 has a very warm and friendly atmosphere. The Lunch time menu of the day changes daily.

The chef offers a choice of 4 starters, 4 courses and 4 homemade desserts for dinner and changes the menu every two weeks. During the summer months and good weather, dining is set at the summer terrace for you to eat with family or friends, while enjoying the beautiful Mediterranean weather at the heart of old Perpignan. You can also appreciate the views of the Dominican church and the charm of its architecture from the terrace. The food is very delicious and beautifully served.

1 rue Cité Bartisol
66000 Perpignan
Tel: +33 (0)662215506

Other places to dine in Perpignan :
La Sous-Prefete

Picturesque Collioure

cottages-in-Collioure-France

Collioure, the place that attracted artists like Matisse tells a different story. Travel down to Collioure from Perpignan and discover this Mediterranean jewel situated on the rocky coastline of the Cote Vermeille in the southernmost part of France, just about 26km (approx 15 miles) from the Spanish border. Collioure is a gem and everything about it is quaint with its rustic countryside and idyllic landscapes coupled with a small Catalan harbour and a quiet bay where the rocky foothills of the Pyrenees meet the Mediterranean Sea. Collioure is blessed with sunny climate with Northern Tramontane wind which makes it a unique destination with the real sense of wellbeing for the Catalan “art de vivre”. The pebble beaches of Collioure with its crystal-clear water was awarded the European quality seal for its purity.

Food and Drink in Collioure
Collioure has it all and being a coastal destination, it is not surprising that fish plays an important part of the game. For centuries, Collioure has had a very special tradition with fish especially Anchovies.

Anchovy preparation in Collioure

Anchovies are the main ingredient in many Catalan dishes, They are still prepared in the same original traditional way. When we visited the Anchois Roque store, we met the women who fillet these tiny blue fishes in the traditional way and doing so without any machines. Every process is carefully done manually in the old-fashioned way. From salting to removing head, gutting, filleting, packaging and conserving. Visitors can always ask for a tour of the store before buying some of the plain or salted anchovies in or oil or Vinegar. You can even get recipes if you want ideas on how to use your delicious anchovies in your starters.

Wines and Cellars in Collioure
It is not just about Anchovies, good food, beaches and “choo-choo” trains in Collioure, there is good wine and cellars too!

Executive Traveller was fortunate to visit Cellier Dominicain. A magnificent cellar located in the former church of the Dominican monastery; which was a monument of the thirteenth century and dedicated by King Jacques II of Majorca in 1457. 1,800 hectares of wine growing lie in the foot-hills of the Pyrenees blessing the districts of Collioure, Port-Vendres, Banyuls, and Cerbière with A.O.C wines (wines of controlled origin).

Wine-cellars-in-Collioure

During our visit, we enjoyed tour round the beautiful cellar and tasted a good selection of wines including the Banyuls A.O.C: a naturally sweet and velvety wine with a surprisingly aromatic bouquet made of different varieties such Grenache Noir, Gris, Blanc and Carignan; Collioure A.O.C: Made from several varieties of grapes they come in red and white and rosé and are generally of fruity with strong aromas.

Choice Restaurants in Collioure:
Derriere Le Clocher:
This beach front restaurant serves the best of Collioure with a menu full of local specialities. Dinner was at La Teranga, an exclusive but humble place to dine. Nestled in Route de Port-Venre, it is located in an ideal place if you are looking to impress someone. The service comes with all the attention that you seek in a restaurant. The cuisine is a fusion of Fresh fish and Tapas.


Things to do in Perpignan

Musée D’Art Hyacinthe Rigaud

Things to do in Collioure

Travelling to Perpignan & Collioure:

You can travel to Perpignan by air, train or bus and then continue to Collioure from Perpignan by bus or car.

By air via Ryanair

ByTrain

Other means.

Site design and internet marketing by   LNA Associates Ltd