Our first guest blog and a big thank you to Ricky and Tom who stayed with us here at Le Petit Cochon earlier in the year.

Chance played a big part in Ricky and Tom’s visit…Tom clicked on the Easy jet “Inspire me” button and bought two tickets for Toulouse at a bargain price. They weren’t quite sure what Toulouse had to offer or where in France it was, but it sounded interesting. Ricky then remembered reading about Le Petit Cochon, realised how close we are to Toulouse airport and booked in a visit. We really enjoyed hosting their visit and Ricky and Tom, you know you are always welcome. Here’s Ricky’s reflections on 24 hours in Valence sur Baïse…

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“Tom and I visited Le Petit Cochon for a single night via Toulouse. Hiring a car and getting into the countryside was a nice change from our regular fast-paced city breaks.

The village of Valence-sur-baïse is chocolate-box in a chic French way and Le Petit Cochon sits just as pretty on the edge of the bastide wall, overlooking the bucolic Gers countryside.

Saskia and Andrew were both there to receive us on arrival. After pleasantries, we ascended the grand wooden staircase to the spacious room that we would call home for the night. It was spacious and the afternoon sun streamed in to signal the end of a long winter. Little organza bags of lavender from the garden placed on the pillows, a bookcase stacked with holiday reads – it was these special touches that triggered immediate relaxation.

We sat in the garden writing postcards as the sun set lazily behind the house. The view of the surrounding fields and the little summer house had me dreaming about writing a book, just like Colin Firth’s character in “Love Actually”, only without the maid and spontaneous trip to Portugal.

Saskia pre-booked a table for us at La Ferme de Flaran, which was a mile down the road. We used our terrible French to order a multitude of incredible dishes, all made with local ingredients. The chef emerged from the kitchen afterwards and approached every table to ask how the meal was. With a belly full of rich food and excellent wine, we wandered back through the warm evening with the other LPC guests who had also dined at La Ferme.

I don’t know whether it was the wine, the plump pillows or the feeling of tranquility bestowed on me entering Le Petit Cochon, but I slept so soundly. I only got up on the promise of homemade sourdough as part of the elaborate breakfast we were treated to when we eventually arose.

Although a few weeks have passed, I am still dreaming of Le Petit Cochon. I take solace in the fact that we will return in the (hopefully) near future.