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 Corinne Carroll as Ramoneta of the Month. She runs a business making fresh British style sausages and bacon. Over a cup of tea, she animatedly told me about her life in the South of France.
I worked for many years in hospitality, leading large teams and latterly, my career was in Corporate Services in Dublin. After a personal loss and health scare, I really began to evaluate my priorities and felt that the time was right to start a new adventure. My daughter had just completed her studies in law, so I decided to purchase an old village house in the South of France and started quite a large renovation project.
Settling in Languedoc
I fell in love with this area whilst visiting friends and decided then that one day I would settle in the South of France. My daughter and friends are also able to come and stay with me during the year, which is a bonus, helped by three airports being within an hour of my home. The best part of living in this region is that it has so much to offer. In under 30 minutes there are amazing restaurants and shopping (around the Béziers and Narbonne areas), stunning beaches, and the Spanish border is just over an hour away. You are surrounded by vineyards and many rural areas perfect for walking and picnicking. In short, everything is just at a much slower pace compared to the UK and Ireland.
Corinne Carroll Artisan Sausages and Bacon
My career has enabled me to build a strong understanding and knowledge of food and cooking. This, combined with my passion for the provenance of good local food, meant that when the opportunity to purchase a small business arose it was the next natural step for me. So, I proceeded to refurbish a local workshop and purchased equipment in order to make fresh British style sausages and bacon here in the South of France. Over the last few years, I have worked incredibly hard, and my business has now started to expand. I currently deliver delicious fresh produce to many locations, including Montpellier, Limoux, Perpignan, Capestang, etc. Besides deliveries, I also have customers who come to my workshop in Puisserguier to pick up their produce.
Living in the South of France
It has been really fabulous. Of course it hasn’t always been plain sailing. There have been many ups and downs with renovating my house. And, of course, starting up a new business in another country has also had its challenges. The last two years with the pandemic have affected businesses. Also, not having family and friends to stay has sometimes been very isolating. However, I am passionate about my business. And when I go and meet my customers and receive their amazing feedback and continued support, it makes it all worthwhile. I have never regretted the move!
Best Languedoc wine
There are many great Languedoc wines. However, one of my favourites can be found at the Domaine la Provenquière, located on 155 hectares over three municipalities – Capestang, Maureilhan and Puisserguier. They have a wide diversity of grape varieties which is an important foundation for the development of their range.
I also adore Domaine L’Ostal, which is in the foothills of the Montagne Noire halfway between the medieval town of Carcassonne and Narbonne.
One of the prettiest villages, which is only about 10 minutes from where I live, is Assignan – Castigno. This is a charming village which has all the houses painted in the colours of wine – purples and reds. There are two restaurants which are a must-visit. For special occasions, the one Michelin star La Table de Castigno. Their incredible taster menu makes for the perfect evening. The other one is La Petite Table, which has an amazing wood-fired oven and is in the heart of the village. It’s great for more casual meals out.
Perfect day out in Languedoc
A perfect day for me would be a lazy morning, walking my little dog Ricky in the vineyards and then off to the beach for lunch. The evening would be spent with friends having an apéro or eating dinner outside, drinking wine and watching the beautiful sunset.