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 Hannah Waters as Ramoneta of the Month. She is doing a great job collecting funds for Cancer Support France and LSR (Languedoc Solidarity with Refugees) through clothing sales.
Although born in London, I grew up in Essex. When my children were small, I started working for charity organisations such as Bliss (for babies born premature or sick) and Farleigh Hospice. I loved organising the Mother & Toddler group sales and then worked in the Bliss Charity Shops.
First time visiting the region
My husband and I first visited the Languedoc region in October 2000 to search for a property to buy. While staying in a lovely Bed & Breakfast in Caux, we found the perfect house in Puissalicon (1 & 2). Initially, it served as a holiday home where we spent many great holidays. And in May 2011, we moved out permanently.
Settling in Languedoc
We had friends in Quillan near the Pyrenees who introduced us to the area. However, we wanted to be nearer the Mediterranean. Here, there are good road and rail links and airports, and we are in proximity to Spain and Italy.
An English neighbour introduced me to the Cancer Support France association, CSF in short. Having worked in charity shops in the UK, I decided I could help out by fundraising. I started the clothes sales (3 & 4) at home in Puissalicon in September 2012. At first, mainly my local English friends would come, but over the years I have gathered a nicely mixed group of customers of all kinds of nationalities. To date, I have raised well over 56,000 euros for CSF! A friend who helps with the sales introduced me to Languedoc Solidarity with Refugees (LSR), so now I fundraise for both charities.
If permission is granted, I hope to do another clothes sale on October 26 and 27, from 10h00 to 16h00. The sales are held at 96 Avenue de Béziers in Puissalicon. We will sell women’s clothes only, from sizes 8 to 24 (or XS to XL, or 34 to 50), together with shoes, bags and jewellery. All revenues will be donated to CSF and LSR.
Living in the South of France
Since we live permanently in Puissalicon, we have all the time to enjoy the good weather, food and wine. Living here made me realise that the hardest thing is learning the language. Also, the French paperwork can be challenging, although there now is more help with this than when we first moved out.
Best Languedoc wine
The Rosé de Bessan is my favourite, a pale-coloured rosé wine with fruity aromas. The wine estate, created in 1938, brings together 100 winegrowers who cultivate over 670 ha of vines.
At the moment, one of my favourite restaurants is Les Relais des Oliviers (5) in Faugères, just north of Laurens. It is run by an enthusiastic young couple and serves beautiful food in a rustic setting. I also enjoy going to l’Hallegria in the covered market in Béziers.
Perfect day out in Languedoc
My perfect day out would involve going to the lovely town of Béziers (6) and perhaps doing some shopping. I especially like going into town during the sales and having a peek at Armand Thierry. Of course, my day out in Béziers would be followed by a delicious lunch at one of the many restaurants.