We had two nights to make our way from Nice to Barcelona, so we looked at a map and Montpellier looked to be the most logical halfway point. None of us knew anything about it, although Pete and I googled it and found out it was a university town.
So we found a hotel (Kyriad Montpellier Centre Antigone), jumped in the car and made our way there, although to be honest we all had Barcelona on our brain, where we were headed to next.
We arrived, and went for a wander around the town. And fell in love. What a place.
Montpellier is indeed a university town, vibrant, young, arty and with great shops.
There is also lots of street art around, including quite a few bicycles embedded into walls.. not sure what that is about but it makes for an interesting walk around town.
It has a pulse at night that is friendly, fun and laid back. Everything was cheaper than in Nice, thanks to the many impoverished uni students who just wanted a beer.
The town winds around on itself like a little maze. but it’s small enough that you can quickly find your way around.
We went on the tourist train one afternoon, which winds around the streets with some very tight squeezes, it’ a really nice way to see the main sights and get your bearings.
The main square is huge, one of the largest pedestrianised squares in Europe apparently. The opera house is a majestic old building that sits at one end of the square, and is beautiful.
As you can see, it’s a beautiful town.
As always, we were on the search for some great food. We waited so long to have dinner the first night that everything was closed by the time we started looking (about midnight!) – we got into the Spanish habit of eating late a little bit too eagerly! So we shamefully ended up at McDonalds that night!
We redeemed ourselves the next night though, eating at Cafe Leon, which was great. We were sitting out the back in a little sheltered courtyard, and had a lovely waiter and waitress.
For starters the boys both had a goats cheese and fig gratin type of thing, which was really delicious, the figs offsetting the cheese really nicely.
I had a salmon tartare which was really fresh and simple.
Dan and I shared two mains, and the first we won’t talk about because it wasn’t great (a seafood risotto). But the other main was a confit duck, and it was AMAZING. The best duck I’ve ever had.
Desserts were delicious as well, Dan had a lemon meringue slice, and Pete and I had caramel tiramisu.
We had a really fun time in Montpellier, it just has a great vibe about it, and we would love to go back.
But the next stop was Barcelona!!!