In 2014 the French people voted Cordes-Sur-Ciel, a small hilltop town in the south of France, their favourite village in France. We spent a pleasant few hours there on my recent holiday and I can see why it is “le village préféré des Français”, it could not have been more picture perfect, even in some of the more cloudy moments.
Since the prettiness speaks for itself, I’ll just tell you a little bit about it and then let the photos do the rest of the talking. It is a fortified bastide town clinging to a huge rocky hill with picturesque cottages and terraces hanging from its cliffs like architectural fruit. The name literally means ‘rock in the sky’! Once we’d figured out how to pay at the parking machine (took two french speakers, a lot of purse-searching for the right coins and the help of two locals) we wandered up the hill into the centre of the village, where the local market was in full swing. Fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, textiles, herbs and spices, plants, honeys and other local produce, you name it, it was all on sale. We bought some enormous fresh tomatoes for our lunch, and some delicious fresh fruit, but managed to resist everything else because we had a fridge full of food at home already. Just wandering round and tasting and smelling everything was amazing though, I was in heaven.
Shopping done, we retired to a Patisserie for some cakes and a coffee. So overwhelmed was I by the gorgeous pastries that I forgot to take any photos! Bad blogger. After a brief rest, we walked up the hill to the top of the village. The tiny, narrow cobbled streets winding up the hill are punctuated by colourful rose bushes clinging to the buildings or gaps in between houses that give glimpses of the rolling green hills beyond. At the top are plenty of shops catering to tourists, including a Laguiole knife shop which I barely escaped from without damaging my credit card, and a shop selling the most beautiful glassware. Every house had the typical french shutters in various pastel shades, mainly blue and lavender, and I came away determined to paint at least one room in my house in a pretty ‘french’ shade.
Enough of the chat, on with the pretty!