Last July the temperatures hit an unprecedented 45˚C by day and 25˚C by night - it was absolutely boiling! Needless to say in such temperatures all you want to do is sit, move very little, and drink something cool and refreshing (generally a beer!). Luckily for our guests we have already sounded out some of the best places for doing this. Here’s the Tours Du Tarn guide to a hot afternoon’s drink:
The Corniche – This restaurant, named after its location, sits a-top of the Corniche – a high point on the gorge overlooking the river and valley below. Located in the prettiest, tiniest village, this restaurant is run single-handedly by one man who cooks, serves and washes the dishes! It is a highly sought after place to eat and booking is strongly advised. At the back of the restaurant the terrace overlooks the stunning scenery from which a selection of beers, including bottled leffe, draught x can be enjoyed. Perfect.
The Manjo Carn – before the road to the Corniche gets steep, on the left of the road overlooking the river is the Manjo Carn café. This is a laid-back bar, with shade, where you can sit and watch the canoeists as they meander along the winding river and watch as children, teenagers and adults climb the giant boulder and take a leap of faith jump off the top into the deepest part of the river. Apart from its setting the Manjo Carn has other selling points - it serves Leffe on tap! This makes us very happy on a hot sticky day.
Le Gaspacho – We love this bar on the main strip into Saint Antonin Noble Val. It always has customers, even in the darkest depths of winter, it serves good, simple food and has a street BBQ on a Friday night during the summer season. Serving aperitifs and digestifs a plenty (we particularly love a plum Eau de Vie to finish the night off), they also do some great blonde beers, as well as Grimbergen and Paulaner – Sparkling wines from the Gaillac and Quercy regions are definitely worth partaking in – for a fizzy, cool and fruity pep-you-up on a baking hot day, whilst people watching from the comfort of the parasols.
Moulin de Varen – As the name would suggest, this ‘Moulin’ or water mill sits on the river at Varen – a great spot for shallow bathing and swimming. As with most drinks establishments in France, this place also serves food – although to date we’ve never timed our visits with the restaurant being open! There is a large outside terrace just a stroll from the river edge and it’s a lovely quiet, place to cool down and sip on anything from a small to a large beer – they have Leffe on draught too which Marcus and Jim are always pleased about!