Nov. 26-27 – un petit retour à Toulouse

As mentioned subtly before, in my post for the pavlova cake recipe, I once lived in France during my studies as a high school senior. My six month stay, took place in a remote little town called La Couronne, Charente. It was here, where I ran along fields of cows, that I learned French and started my love affair with the culture.

Just a handful of kilometers north is the city of Angoulême, where I spent most of my time and attended school at Lycée de l’Image et du Son. The city isn’t a particularly touristic place, and yet it is known for holding Europe’s second largest comic book festival and the third biggest in the world. I’m not even kidding, the old historic buildings are adorned with murals of different comic book characters, which was mandated by the city. The people here love comic books.

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Pulled out of the archives – teenage Amelia in the middle, circa 2010

During these six months I traveled to Toulouse, Cognac, La Rochelle, Bergerac, Poitiers, Les Pyrénées and Paris. To this day, my host sister is still in Toulouse but five years later she is married and has an adorable little girl. I made my way back this past weekend and let me tell you; Toulouse has my heart.

First of all the christmas markets all over Europe is a must-see. Rows upon rows of vendors selling anything from warm hand-knit scarves to cheesy mashed potatoes known as aligot. Little tip, give the market a once over before deciding on what to drink and eat. There are so many options but you’ll be happier if you check it all out prior to diving in. By all means though, first things first, buy your vin chaud to keep yourself merry and warm while perusing.

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Toulousain Christmas markets selling saucisson, vin chaud, aligot & other French favorites

If you do go to Toulouse there’s a pâtisserie called Poussin Bleu that you must visit or you didn’t do it right. They have a really unique macaron recipe, that makes them entirely different than a typical Parisian pastry shop. They are also really reasonably price. You pay less than 10 euro for 10 macarons. It’s a steal and you’ll thank me later.

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Poussin Bleu has my favorite caramel au beurre salé macarons

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My host sister & myself at L’Autre Salon de Thé

Six years ago in Toulouse, in a very random act, I chopped off all my hair. I was very smitten with the city. I had, had so many beautiful experience like getting rained-in on while at Le Couvent des Jacobins and I was obsessed with Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music at the time. I don’t know if the musical had an influence on why I chopped off my hair, but I just remember that it was a strong memory and related to my decision. I think, I might have debated on legitimately cutting it all off but I went for more of the a-line bob. I’ve never cut my hair in an a-line bob ever again.

It was a beautiful visit and I recalled so much of what I fell in love with the first time.

À bientôt, Toulouse.

Bisous

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