Proudly proclaiming itself to be one of the ‘most beautiful villages in France’, Monestiés is located North of the equally historic city of Albi in the department of Le Tarn in South-West France.
And it is extremely beautiful.
Nestled in the countryside, the medieval buildings, bridges and church all are immaculate in this toy village. The shutters are a variety of pastel hues, the bumpy boule pitch is charming, and the local restaurant boasts a boisterous evening of moules frites and karaoke every Friday night.
Also to be enjoyed are the medieval bridges, the botanical garden trail stretching around the river, as well as the local market on Thursday evenings. Indeed, the village website boasts:
‘Is greed is a naughty fault? No, we are going to prove the opposite to you… In Monesties, pleasure is not just a simple word…it is an art of life!’
Perhaps my new motto. Especially after my gluttonous week enjoying the delicious yet simple French food – gallons of Goat’s cheese, every kind of French baguette and lovely wine from the local Gaillac region. I even enjoyed some nettle wine on market day, an interesting beverage, not too dissimilar from apple juice.
Aside from the market, and long walks in the surrounding countryside, a visitor (and art history buff) should visit the chapel of St Jacques. And for those less inclined to cultural exhibits, it will take you only a couple of minutes to get through the ordeal! The small chapel, at one time a hospital, contains around 20 statutes depicting the passion of Christ. They are renowned for their realism; the sculpture beat the renaissance in his lifelike figures during the 15th century.
My proof of the picturesque village:
(and surrounding countryside)