Archive for March 20th, 2021

March 20, 2021

A memorable lunch in Toulouse!

Back to you in a winter in Toulouse, the pink city we love. Of course, plenty of posts on it in my blog and this one too. However, always a stop for us while visiting the city or area! And we keep coming back and always glorious cooking as the cassoulet! Hope you enjoy the post as we!

In my continuing saga with the pink city of Toulouse I bring you to eating out. And you are in for a good one here in my belle France of course. The culinary experts here is the cassoulet dish and even if imitators and competitors this one remains the only one unique, me think. OF course, came here first with my dear late wife Martine as her father was from the area and the tradition continues even if missing a large part of our lives.  The dish even has a page in the tourist office of Toulouse! We love it and I die for it; each time here must have one and where better than in our ritual place at Place Victor Hugo right above the market of same name, the restaurant Le Loubechem! A family tradition for years…

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Of course, there are others, but this one is a family tradition of many years going back to the founders of the restaurant and my wife’s father’s family from the area.  We have been coming to Le Louchebem since 1994 when it opened and keep coming back!! The word Louchebem is the result of the deformation by jargon of the word butcher attested for the first time in 1876 in the form luchebem, was then used to indicate the jargon of louchébems or the butchers’ talk, in other words the slang of butchers from second half of the 19C. Louchébem remains known and used today in this professional universe.

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The Le Louchebem restaurant opened its doors in 1994, above the marché Victor Hugo market at Place Victor Hugo square. This traditional establishment is a family home that serves a restaurant and a butcher. It holds the title of Maître Restaurateur. The cuisine concocted here is prepared from fresh and carefully chosen products. The setting is picturesque, the atmosphere friendly, the service as professional as smiling. In other words, it is a good address for Toulouse residents as well as for passing visitors. You must absolutely taste the house specialties, as plentiful as delicious. An institution warmly recommended to all!

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The official webpage of Le Louchebem restohttps://www.lelouchebem-toulouse.fr/

The cassoulet is of occitan origins and is a specialty based on dry beans, generally white, and meat. Originally it was made from beans. The cassoulet takes its name from the enamelled terracotta casserole made in Issel. It is usually told that the place the origin is in the city of Castelnaudary, during the Hundred Years War (1337-1453).  During the siege of Castelnaudary by the English, the hungry besieged would have gathered all the food available (beans and meat), to make a gigantic stew or estofat, to reinvigorate the combatants. These could then drive out the English and liberate the city.  The question became nationalized around 1900 when the food critic Edmond Richardin launched a debate on this subject in the Parisian Gazette. Everyone then took sides for a region such as Castelnaudary, Carcassonne, and Toulouse, while by passing the existence of local versions like Villefranche-de-Lauragais, Narbonne, Montauban, Pau or Pamiers. To mediate this rivalry, Prosper Montagné ; a Languedocien gourmet who became a cook in Toulouse, uses a metaphor : “Cassoulet is the God of Occitan cuisine. A God in three people: God the Father who is the cassoulet of Castelnaudary, God the Son who is that of Carcassonne and the Holy Spirit, that of Toulouse. ” We of course, side with the version of Toulouse!!

The Toulouse cassoulet contains duck confit and a Toulouse sausage, carrot and an onion spiked with cloves. It is sometimes covered with breadcrumbs, before going to the oven. The number of times it is necessary, during baking, to break the crust that forms on the surface of the dish, is the subject of great quarrels of experts told between six and eight times depending on the versions and the chef. The tourist office of Toulouse on the cassoulet in English : https://www.toulouse-visit.com/cassoulet

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Hope you can visit Toulouse and enjoy this institution by a wonderful picturesque quant neighborhood of Victor Hugo! at the Place Victor Hugo inside the marché or market of Victor Hugo!! Enjoy the Le Loubechem!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

March 20, 2021

The streets of Toulouse!!!

So on my winter vacation to the pink city of Toulouse as elsewhere we really enjoy the walks in town. So much architecture and history can be found doing this in any city and Toulouse is no exception. Let me update this lovely post me think on the streets of Toulouse!

A wonderful city, much underrated but very special to  me.  I like to tell you about its streets and sights passing by in our glorious walks all over it.  Toulouse it’s really a walkers city as most if not all is within walking distance already as we have become European experts on walking. Some spots can be far for the un initiated ones but I say easy to do, so enjoy the walking on the streets of Toulouse.

I start right off with the Allées Jean Jaurés who goes from the Garonne river to the city center with great panoramic views of the city.

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The Place Wilson as commonly call by locals but full name is  place du Président-Thomas-Wilson (USA). This is one of the IN places in town very lively all the time.

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And one of the most shopping oriented streets in Toulouse is the Rue Lafayette right off the Capitole!

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I used it a couple of times as mostly come here by car but a very good prime train station in France, the Gare Matabiau (back) and the metro tram bus terminal of Marengo by the library or Mediathéque José Cabanis.

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And of course could not missed out on driving in Toulouse for convenience like coming into town find yourself a nice underground parking like at Place Esquirol and let your feet do the walking!! Enjoy Toulouse!

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 This is unique Toulouse, a highly recommended city to visit in my belle France, unique Occitanie or Midi-Pyrénnés of old. Department 31 Haute-Garonne!! Enjoy it as we do!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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March 20, 2021

Our ride and lodging in Toulouse!

This is an oddity I like to update in my blog. We do not like to go south in winter but this year we did and it was a nice experience. We went to very familiar territory in our beloved Toulouse of family trips to see family. The ride went well as we always come by car unless me a couple of times by train on business trips. Let me tell you a bit about our ride and lodging in Toulouse!

Well , in another era of our lives we were there alone missing my dear late wife Martine as a sort of a grand start to 2020 for us. The pink city is very special as not only visited several times over the years but family roots on wife’s father’s side.  We decided to take the tolls road this time so we can arrive early on and see as much as possible. We rented an appart hotel Adagio Jolimont with the metro stop Jolimont line A right down the stairs. We end up never using it lol, drove into the city and also walk over 2 kms!

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We drove on the N165 towards Nantes and then took the A83 and then the A10 to Bordeaux rocade A630 and finally the A62 to Toulouse, in all 49,40€ in tolls nice gov tax! but made it in 7h15 hours.  We check in easily into the Adagio Jolimont appart hotel on the top floor! nice views of the city from the pretty hill or Jolimont... Very friendly staff . Only complaint is the elevator/lift was not in service when arrive so need to climb the 6 floors for two days! Also, the free parking was off site but was never a problem to find a spot. The rest was superb and well recommended for families not willing to spent the vacation money on lodging.

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As said we walk a lot from here into the city center of  Toulouse and the sight seeings was ok but realise later on the traffic was great and easy on street parking as well as underground was found. You can see the posts on the sights with lots of picture just search Toulouse. On the way back we decided to go the free route 10 hours ! but worth it for the sights and friendly folks along the route, our preferred mode of transportation ,the car and free!

We left Jolimont Toulouse on the A62 exit 15 towards the D820 direction Montauban/Agen and kept on this road for a long time.  If you drove in France , you can remember this route as the old N20 , each departement decided to rename it after the new road rules of 2005. This road can be toll under the new A20. We have taken all of them over the years. The parts of the A20 we took are not toll ::).  You go here by the Hautes Garonne, Tarn et Garonne and Lot departements in the Occitanie region. We continue into the Corréze and Haute-Vienne in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region.  By Limoges you go into the N147 national road direction Poitiers. Here you take also the N149 to Bressuire and converges with the N249 around Cholet direction Nantes and it connects with the boulevard périphérique on the N844, and finally connects with the N165 Vannes and home!

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In all we carry our dog Rex for the longest ride and he was fantastic!!! very happy of him, good boy, not an incident and well behave: even ate at restaurants with us perfectly!!! The highlight of the trip really! I love my Rex, borador, mix border collier and labrador!  The apparhotel and restaurant we wanted to eat all took Rex in very nicely.

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Overall a very pleasant family trip! This time with mamà missing and walking its streets brought a lot of memories. Looking forward to tell you all about it,see my other posts . Hope you enjoy it and thank you for reading me over the years!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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