Ladies’ Lunch at St. Privat

St. Privat

In Montpellier, there are four very special women whom I am proud to call my friends. They’re all married, or have been at one point or another; between them they have 13 children of varying ages; one is a (albeit young) grandmother; and I’m pretty sure that under close scrutiny, they could be certified as clinically insane.

I see them as often as their hectic schedules allow, which usually means I have at most two of them together at any one time. But sometimes, the stars align and The Coven is reunited in one long afternoon of food, wine and laughter.

This happened recently, just before I left for Rome in fact. We loaded up Sheila’s minivan and headed out to St. Privat, where Vic lives in pastoral splendor with her husband, two boys and a third on the way.

They’re redoing this house. And when I say redoing, I mean I don’t think it had a roof when they bought it, they all lived in the one room for several months, and there are significant portions of it that may or may not withstand a strong wind. And, as I don’t need to tell you, it’s ridiculously beautiful anyway. Here’s part of the living room:

St. Privat

This is Saucisson, a neighbor’s dog who wandered in and out during the afternoon.


Vic lives next to a church, and on its back exterior wall I found this and laughed out loud.

Hoops Francaises

After a lunch of roasted chicken, potato salad, beets and Sheila’s apple crumble, we took a walk around St. Privat. I think about 150 people live in this small village perched on a hill. There are no amenities here; a bread truck comes around and honks its horn once a day. Vic calls up a little shuttle van that takes her to the next town over for shopping in real stores. It was stone silent after lunch, and there’s not a right angle to be had within the town limits.

St. Privat

St. Privat

St. Privat

St. Privat

St. Privat

Finally it was time to go. We packed up the mini-van, hugged Vic as tightly as her belly would allow, and went back to Montpellier – which now seemed like a bustling metropolis compared to the idyllic silence we had just left.

13 thoughts on “Ladies’ Lunch at St. Privat

  1. A coven, a basketball net and a hound dog– what more could you want for a ladies’ lunch?

    Photos are gorgeous.

    hugs from Rome

    • The silence would drive me insane. But I’d definitely go back for another leisurely ladies’ lunch!

  2. I spent a wonderful evening (6 Sep 2003) in Montpellier at a disco near the train station.

    Didn’t know a soul and knew even less French than I do now.

    But all the young people made room for me in their dance circles and I danced with everybody.

    Vive la France!

    P.S. And this was all at the same time as the Freedom Fries nonsense and the surrender cheese monkeys nonsense was going on back home.

    • Montpel ladies, anyone want to take a stab at which one it was? It has to be either the one between the Halles and the gare, or it was the Opera.

  3. Thi is a gorgeous post Chris, thank you !! As for the silence, believe me, the kids usually get rid of that !!
    Come back soon when it’s sunny, and all those who liked the look of this, our flat for rentals will be ready mid June !

    • Oh, I’m definitely hijacking someone with a car to take me back. I’ll take photos of the rental and make a quick blog for it, so you have a URL to send to people. We’ll get that place rented in no time!!

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