La Ramoneta of the month – Annette Morris

Annette Morris
© Annette Morris

Every month, we introduce you to an interesting woman living in Languedoc. Curious as we are, we like to find out why she lives in this beautiful region, what she does for a living and some of her Languedoc favourites. This month we would like you to meet Annette Morris as Ramoneta of the Month. She is a very talented artist who not only develops her own work but also teaches and inspires anyone interested in art.


Hello, I’m Annette and I am originally from Surrey in the UK. I left my position as a Marketing Manager to live a more creative life in a warmer climate! Now, I live in Quarante, which is a small winemaking village not far from the Canal du Midi and Saint Chinian.

First time visiting the region

As a family, we visited France every summer holiday which usually involved a lot of driving to visit different places. At the time, I really did not enjoy spending all that time in a car, but I can now say I’ve visited almost every city in France! My first and most memorable visit to Languedoc was around 1985 when we spent several weeks in Argelès-sur-Mer. After having the opportunity to explore the area and see ‘French life’ on a daily basis, I always wanted to spend more time here. Therefore, I returned for many more holidays in Languedoc after that. My father went on to buy a small house in Hérault and then moved here full-time.

Settling in Languedoc

Having lived in many beautiful places, I settled in the lovely Languedoc in 2008. People often talk about the ‘300 days of sunshine’, but for me it was also about the Mediterranean lifestyle, diversity of the landscape, the fresh local food and the lower cost of living. This area seems to have its own personality and I am very attracted to that. With the influences from Catalonia and Spain, plus the vast and incredible scenery it has a wildness and a beauty that I find captivating. I’m also a dog owner, so it is wonderful having somewhere so fabulous to walk every day. The skies here are just amazing.

This region is incredibly diverse, and all the sights are within an hour or so from each other. You can enjoy Mediterranean beach life (1) or farming, fishing, and hiking in the hills (2), soak up some culture in a city, or ski in the Pyrenees. It’s very accessible and well connected too (5 airports!), and the TGV stops at both Béziers and Narbonne. This means that you can get directly to Paris or Barcelona within just a few hours.


Setting up a business in France

From the perspective of a woman running her own business, the bureaucracy is a real headache at first. Also, women in business are not always taken seriously, which can be extremely frustrating. I think five years is the amount of time you need to feel established, which seems a long time when you are just getting started. There is also a surprisingly large (and growing) English-speaking community here – so there’s plenty of help and advice available. It is just not always easy knowing where to find it!

When I first moved to France, some friends gave me the nickname ‘la Franglaise’ – and it kind of stuck! For many years ‘’ has provided web development, logo design and marketing support for small businesses in the area. In 2011, I set up ‘Languedoc Jelly’ (J2 CoNetWork) networking events so that people working from home, like me, could get out of the house and meet, collaborate and support each other.

Annette Morris Art

My ‘dream’ was to make art and live in the south of France – and after a long and winding road, there is now Annette Morris Art (3 & 4)! I have a passion for colour and for watercolour in particular. My art generally combines these in paintings of places and life as I see it (and sometimes special pets). I exhibit my work and also work on commission. Most of my work is on paper or canvas. However, I sometimes work digitally, creating graphics and illustrations. I teach regularly – with live online classes on Zoom or here in Languedoc. And I am also a tutor for Etchr Studio who make materials and accessories for artists.

Sketch Languedoc

Sketch Languedoc is an annual programme of workshops and events for anyone and everyone interested in learning to sketch. Or to develop their skills and confidence when it comes to drawing and painting in watercolour. Sketching on location connects you to places and people in a very personal way – it can also be great fun!

My workshops give people the chance to really immerse themselves in a place and take the time to explore and enjoy it. During a workshop, students often create watercolour sketches they didn’t think they could. So, it’s a very positive way to spend part of a day. Also, being bilingual is a real bonus of the Sketch Languedoc programme. This way, I help people discover new and interesting places or facts about the region that they may not have been aware of!

I am also a founder of Urban Sketchers Languedoc which hosts free events every month. Something for everyone!

Annette Morris
© Annette Morris

Living in the South of France

There are highs and lows like anywhere, but you do need a very strong paperwork trail – and a scanner/photocopier because French paperwork is legendary – and mind-blowing! Finding a full-time job or a rental property is much harder than you might think. If you expect to have warm weather all year round you might be disappointed because the winters can be tough. February and March can be extremely cold – old French houses are not really designed with low temperatures in mind!

On the plus side, I appreciate the slower pace of life, that things happen when they happen, and everything is generally less commercial. Quality over quantity. The agriculture and the wine industry are a huge part of the infrastructure. With that comes generations of families living in the same area. There’s continuity, familiarity and great pride in caring for land, property, and respecting traditions.

Best Languedoc wine

There are so many choices – but local to Quarante, I love rosés from these wineries: 

Fleur de Cynanque (Mas de Cynanque in Cruzy);

Le Petit Causse (Vignerons d’Argeliers), and

Louis XXI (Domaine du Sacré Coeur in Saint Chinian).  

Favourite restaurant

Not an easy question, but I would have to say Le Terminus, Cruzy (5). Sebastien Caille is an excellent chef, and he takes great pride in working with local farmers and suppliers. Le Pourquoi Pas (6) at Pont de Malviès is a close second because the setting is one of a kind. And it is a perfect location for a memorable summer evening.

Perfect day out in Languedoc

It would involve walking somewhere with the dogs, sketching, a lovely relaxed lunch surrounded by vineyards. Some of my favourite locations include the garrigues above Saint Chinian, the boardwalks at Peyriac-de-Mer or the sand dunes near Sérignan. If I left the dogs at home, I’d choose a day out in Montpellier because it’s such an amazing city for both sightseeing and sketching.

Le Terminus/Le Pourquoi Pas

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