Each week we run a section in the Guardian newspaper's travel section, asking for readers to send in tips on a particular subject. The best tip wins a digital camera courtesy of Jessops. Find out more here
________________________________________________________________Les Caprices d'Antan, Gascony
Posted by Mondebat
This restaurant is tucked discreetly in the corner of the square in Lannepax a sleepy village off the Vic Fezanzac - Eauze road. It's an old and traditional restaurant which has been there for many years. There are new owners. The food is little short of magnificent and not the more usual confits and steak. Here I had lamb's brains in chervil cream sauce, shredded chicken in a pot with hints of North African spices, and the usual desserts.
The wine is local and is included. Not the usual slightly ordinaire but good local red and rose.
Service is fun, attentive but never over the top. On complimenting our waitess I asked the secret of their successful melange of food and spice. "The secret is that the kitchen is led by women," she smiled and when I checked that service was included she told me it was but that the smile was not.
The meal on the terrace was delightful and for four, including coffee the price was 58 Euroes. Head for Lannepax and a simple and delightful gastronomic discovery.
Place de la Mairie, 0033 +5 62 65 76 92
Lanneoax, the Gers, between Eauze and Vic Fezenzac
________________________________________________________________House in St Quentin la Poterie, Avignon
Posted by mirrorman
A great value house to rent in the middle of a medieval village between Avignon and Nimes.
The village has 30 potters, vineyards and olive groves. Beautiful.
Cheaper in June than the campsite. Budget airlines 30 minutes away.
Next door to Uzes, the first duchy of France.www.freewebs.com/houseinthegard
________________________________________________________________Hotel Des Arts, Aix-en-Provence
Posted by goshorty82
Clean, cheap and basic accommodation within the town centre just next to the Cours St-Louis. Perfect for those on a budget just wanting a base and roof over their head in the evening. Double room was €40 a night with a breakfast of coffee, croisants, bread and jams, included.
0442 381177 Centre Historique
69 boulevard Carnot, 13100 AIX en Provence, France
+33 4 42 38 11 77
________________________________________________________________The Caravelle bar, Hotel Belle Vue, Marseille
Posted by francescafrance
Great bar with a small balcony with views of the Old Port and Notre Dame. Go between 6 and 9. Amazing nibbles are served with every drink: olives, sardines, chicken wings, squid...hotelbellevuemarseille.com
________________________________________________________________Wine tasting on a budget, Bordeaux
Posted by dwaynebradley
Wine tasting holidays aren’t just for wine buffs with a lot of money to burn! Last year, my girlfriend and I drove around Bordeaux with a tent and a stove and managed to eat great food and taste a lot of excellent wine on a very little budget.
The vineyard owners welcome you in with open arms and at no point did we feel pressured to buy the wines we tasted. If you let on your ignorance, rather than sneering, most owners proudly launch into a long presentation about their wines, their grapes and their history.
If you are on a budget, going around Bordeaux and France’s other wine regions is probably the best way to taste wines that usually you wouldn’t be able to afford.
The tourist centre is amazingly helpful and will provide you with all the maps, routes, or any other information you might need.www.bordeaux.com/
________________________________________________________________Journees du Patrimoine, Vaison-la-Romaine
Posted by Welshlyn
The third weekend in September is the Journees du Patrimoine when France flings its cultural doors open wide and squashes many entrance fees! If you're in Vaison la Romaine head for the Roman ruins or the mediavel citadel for guided tours.www.journeesdupatrimoine.culture.fr
________________________________________________________________Musée du quai Branly gardens, Paris
Posted by taddylad71
The gardens which surround the Musée du quai Branly in Paris are free to enter. They are beautifully designed with lots of nooks and terraces. They even host parts of museum exhibitions such as the current TARZAN! exhibition which has sound effects hidden in the garden - great for kids. You can also view the Eiffel Tower whilst sat eating a lovely chocolate cake in the museum cafe also in the gardens.guaibranly.fr
________________________________________________________________Bargain bikes in Paris, Paris
Posted by Lucerm
The Velib 'free' bicycle system in Paris is really a great idea. I went for a five day extended weekend with my partner and checked my credit card statement the next month to discover to my delight that I had been all over the city; to the Eiffel Tower, along the Champs Elysees, a scary whirl around Place de la Concorde at rush hour (not recommended for the faint-hearted!) and all over the Grand Boulevards and along the Seine and had spent a massive total of six euros.
The system is user friendly and self-explanatory, you can do it in a range of languages. You tap in your credit card details for a small flat hire rate (no more than five euros, as far as I recall), then hoik the rather clumsy, heavy bikes out of their stand. The bikes are a little uncomfortable and it's important to examine which number bike you'll take before you select at the controls, because some have flat tyres, wonky seats that won't budge, or rattling chains. The bikes have - ostensibly - three gears. These are 'slow', 'slower' and 'snail's cycle-rate' and it can get hairy attempting to belt across a junction will a line of irate Parisian drivers attempting to turn right and cut you up.
If you dock the bike back into another station before 30 mins are up, the ride is free. Interestingly, my partner's credit card statement showed one euro more expenditure so perhaps he had docked in a second or two after me.
However, it's an excellent way to see Paris and a lot of fun.www.velib.paris.fr