Vista-hardened travel writers surrender to the charms of Marseillan the minute they hit the port. "The Sunday Times" described it as "like St Tropez before Bardot", "The Guardian" went further, enchanted by "wrought-iron balconies splattered with flowers", and hailing the "undeniable frisson" and "early Riviera vibe". Even France's own Le Figaro simply declared Marseillan as "The new art of living". After centuries selling wine to the world, the principal export of Marseillan is love at first sight. The story of the oldest village in France is one of buccaneers and true independent spirits, of a fisherman risking all to save a damsel in distress, of adventurers and farmers, of men of the soil and revolutionaries, of poets and feminists and the secret of James Bond's favourite tipple. But this book uses Marseillan as the starting point of a personal tour of an enchanting region. In what is part diary, part secret address book, the award-winning author Laurence Phillips shares his favourite places with gossip, witty observations and passion for the Languedoc lifestyle. Memories of local families, first impressions of strangers and plenty of tales learnt of long lingering lunches. Find the restaurant in Montpellier where you cook your own lunch in the kitchen, and meet a market stallholder in Beziers who will take your shopping and make you a meal then and there. Spend a week exploring the Canal du Midi, relive the ages of crusaders and Cathar heretics, discover a hidden Jewish heritage trail and find the seaside inspiration of a generation of impressionists and modern artists. Besides Marseillan's sights, sites and stories, discover over 150 places to eat & drink, 40 pages on the local wines & tipples. This insider's guide for travelling to and around the Languedoc includes 200 pages on other towns and villages across the region, two dozen beaches and has great ideas for City days in Montpellier, Sete, Agde, Beziers and more. Find simple quayside restaurants. Let lunch slip into supper and kiss your bonsoirs after another memorable bottle of wine. Dance with the winemakers or watch the seafarers of Marseillan water-jousting and taking the challenge of the Capelet greasy pole. Whether mooching in markets or mulling in museums, buying cheese from the goatherd in the hills, wine from the vigneron at the corner and oysters and fish from the pecheur who lives along the lane. Here is the lowdown on when to come, where to go, where to wander, when to wallow and where to sit back and do absolutely nothing in Marseillan, where the Canal du Midi meets the Med, and the lagoon belongs to sunset pink flamingos, and time simply stands still. Packed with practical advice, there are plenty of tips for disabled guests, from travel notes to heads up on city restaurants that provide menus in Braille and which beaches have special tricycles so wheelchair users can go out to sea. This is the essential handbook for anyone visiting or staying in the area, and a great holiday read to be enjoyed at a quayside cafe with a glass of Marseillan's Picpoul de Pinet wine close to hand.