A rural guest-house in the Hérault scrublands. Mathieu and Sophie, a young couple from Nantes, have arrived to recharge their batteries. They are happy with the peaceful nature of the setting and with the reception they have been given. The owner of the cottage, a very cheerful lady in her fifties, does everything she can to please them. It is the morning after a good night’s sleep, and they come downstairs for some refreshments.
The table is set under a vine filtering the morning light, and one family has already sat down for breakfast. The conversation begins after the routine warm welcome. Everyone loves this sunny and relaxed lifestyle. Their host comes to greet them, joins in with the discussion and tells them that their local produce is always in the spotlight. “I’ve put out some different honeys for you, and in particular the Narbonne rosemary one. Have a taste of it… It is arbutus honey… It is also very fragrant. Sophie, who has a weakness for products made from honey asks where she can find this in the area. “Not far from here”, says the owner of the cottage, “there is a farm selling it. Look, this gingerbread is made there, I’m sure you’ll like it.” Meanwhile, the kids are treated to biscuits whose names amuse them: Vallespir rousquilles, Sète zézettes, crunchy Mende biscuits… “It’s a shame we’re not in winter”, said the host regrettably, “I would have treated you with Oreillettes fritters and Minerves (brioche slices recooked with meringue).”
Next to a beautiful basket of fruit and Raspaillou (organic breads), there was a jar of Cévennes chestnut cream and various jams which whetted Sophie’s appetite. “Jams are a passion of mine “ said the owner of the cottage, “these have just been made, my young kids love them. Once they arrived, the sweets, ice creams and sorbets do not hang about for long. People who choose to have their lunch at the cottage appreciate these and also love the sweet products in jars and the other small things as much as I do… So I really must get you to try some! But that’s enough chatting, I’m going to look for some other fruit juices for you which are made by my neighbour. He is a farmer: peach juice, apricot nectar and fig juice”.