The Friends of Le Petit Bistrot
St Pons de Mauchiens - 34230

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le petite Bistro

With small village bars disappearing across France, Jean Jacques at Le Petit Bistro in St Pons de Mauchiens, Hérault region, is determined to buck the trend and breathe fresh life into the business.

Returning to France after living and working in the Algarve, Jean Jacques was on the lookout for something to occupy him in the years leading up to retirement. A first visit to St Pons de Mauchiens clinched the deal. Immediately falling in love with the village and its surrounding area he knew the search was over.  Nestled in Garrigue country, (wild bushland among limestone outcrops), the village calls the nearby Pezenas, with its Moliere connections and medieval architecture, its big sister. But by itself it punches above its weight. Its location helps; surrounded by vineyards with mountain views to the north and the Mediterranean only 30 mins away it is within easy reach of international airports at Montpellier and Bezier.

Opening the Bistro doors soon after his arrival, he set about establishing himself with the authorities and the local St Ponnais.  Now with things up and running, the signage, menu boards and outdoor potted trees all combine to tempt a visit. 

One might imagine that only a few retired ‘viticulteurs’ would populate the bar but you may be in for a surprise. At any time of year, but particularly in Summer two or three European languages may be spoken there. Jean Jacques himself is fluent in French and Portuguese with excellent English and Spanish. 

There is no dense ex pat English conclave in the village but, for many a year, English speakers have met for ‘apéro’ at the Bistro most Fridays 6-8pm. With all welcome to join in, a visitor will be warmly welcomed and discover from locals some of the area’s many attractions.

And if, after Friday ‘apéro’ you want to eat, why, take a few steps into Place Jean D ‘Arc and try the village crêperie. In addition to crêpes they also do a reasonable steak with homemade chips and they will always find something for the children to eat too.

Look out for special events at the Petit Bistrot - concerts, jazz evenings......

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The village
A tiny village perched on a hill, St. Pons de Mauchiens is a typical example of the "circulade" type villages dating back to the XI and XII centuries. The castle there was built for the Bishops of Agde in 1199. Just 4km from the village you may also admire a fine mill the : "Moulin de Roquemengarde" on the river Hérault. To really escape from the modern world, there is a fine footpath (17km) that has been recently restored and marked out leading from the outskirts of the village right out into the hilly "garrigue" countryside, perfumed with thyme, lavender and rosemary. Georgia Glynn Smith

There is a legend around the long name of this very small village : one of the lords of the castle owned a pack of ferocious dogs ("chien" in French) that he let loose at nightfall. One day he arrived home late and the doors to the castle were locked. The dogs did not recognise their master, savagely attacked him at the throat and tore him to pieces ! To capture the character of the village you can view a selection of photographs taken by Georgia Glynn Smith. Other examples of her work can be seen at her web site. For a comprehensive history of the village please click here. Thanks to Tim Moore for providing this document which is based on a document prepared by the late Gabriel Pargoire, a former mayor of the village.The area makes an ideal location for a holiday and further information can be found at Languedoc holiday guide and Pezenas family activities sites.

Golf at Chateau Lavagnac - read all about it - Developers site Golf -course design FT article

Read the story of an English Family who spent one year in St Pons de Mauchiens also in french.

Luxury Gites at the Chateau de Colombieres sur Orb, France. Ideal for peaceful walking, cycling or golf holidays in unspoilt rural France.  Close to restaurant facilities at Lamalou les Bains

Stay in a Luxury Gite at
the Chateau de Colombières sur Orb

For a choice of
holiday rental properties

Fancy a 2 centre holiday with 1 week inland, try the beautiful Tarn

Fancy a 2 centre holiday?
Choice of rental properties in the Tarn.

Dawn over Sete

Visit the on line gallery of local artist Henrietta Stuart Including Abstract landscape art inspired by local views


Updated on Saturday, 3 May, 2014 9:10

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