60th Season Anniversary Tour

Roujan in Languedoc, France

Saturday 29th May to Saturday 5th June 2010 

Important downloads, click the links below:

Roujan Tour Itinerary

Repertoire for Roujan

Our next tour is in prospect!  A number of factors have led us to opt for a longer tour this time, and hence the planning is starting early.  Firstly, our next year, the 2009/2010 season, will mark the London Forest Choir's 60th birthday.  Secondly, last year's tour questionnaire revealed that, not having had a longer tour since summer 1998, there would be interest in a longer trip. Finally, although we have had an inland tour in October 2008 to Mere, and will be going to Matlock in June (and hopefully Hastings in October), by the time the next tour comes round we won't have had a foreign tour for two years, whereas we have managed to tour abroad every year since 2001.  Putting all these factors together, we felt it was time to do something a bit special. So in 2010 we are off to a beautiful area of south west France, Languedoc, for a full week.


Those of you who came on the 2006 tour to Alet les Bains will know how lovely and interesting a trip we had to the south west of France that year.  The websites of the two places where we will be staying give an excellent flavour of the sort of place Roujan is, and areas of local interest and entertainment, so you can't do better than check those out.  La Maison Verte is at www.lamaisonverte.co.uk and Le Couvent at www.roujan.com.

La Maison Verte We will have the run of La Maison Verte, and will retain our own cook who will provide all the meals and wine.  Rehearsals will be on site, and concerts nearby, with coach transport to and from the venues.

La Maison Verte came to us by way of a piece in the Gerontius newsletter in September.  An English couple own and run the place, which is helpful in terms of simplifying communication.  Le Couvent is likewise owned and run by two English women.

The following is an extract from La Maison Verte's website:

 La Maison Verte in Languedoc, France, is the perfect place to base a choir tour/holiday. Owners Anne and Francis - whose roots are in music and the arts - are ideally placed to help you organise a choir holiday including performing opportunities and/or a recording.
La Maison Verte is an old wine mansion, sleeping up to 30 people in a
mixture of single and shared rooms - some ensuite.  It has two vast
rehearsal spaces, two pianos, an acre of beautiful gardens, a pool, table
tennis, boule pitch, and bikes for your use.
Cambridge Chorale, who we were referred to for a reference, stayed there in 2008, and their tour organiser spoke very highly of it.  They are in the process of booking a return visit.

Le Couvent There is also overflow accommodation provisionally booked with Le Couvent, which also sounds beautiful, the website says "Bed & breakfast for the soul"




More on the Accommodation here:

You can find out more about the accommodation from their websites: La Maison Verte is at www.lamaisonverte.co.uk and Le Couvent at www.roujan.com. here are some extracts: 

La Maison Verte
The perfect venue and accommodation for courses in Languedoc, the south of France

La Maison Verte is a venue for residential courses of any variety, providing facilities and residential accommodation in the Languedoc region of southern France.
•    1830's wine-maker's mansion
•    Rehearsal room of 80m2
•    Wine barn of 80m2
•    Other, smaller spaces for meetings and workshops
•    Accommodation for up to 30 people
•    Large pool and beautiful gardens
•    5 minutes' drive from Pézenas, 25 minutes from the beach, 5 airports within 90 minutes' drive

The Course Venue
La Maison Verte provides ideal facilities in Languedoc, south France, for course organisers:

  • Rehearsal room: we have a vast rehearsal room (80metres square), which is well sound-proofed with an acoustically tested ceiling.  It has a terracotta tiled floor, its own shower and toilets and a wall of windows providing beautiful views of the courtyard and pool.
  • Wine Barn: our wine barn is also about 80 metres squared and can be used either as a semi-alfresco eating area or as an additional workshop space.
  • Break-out spaces: we have a library, snug, large living room and at least two further spaces which can be used for small group work such as discussions, singing or as quiet spaces.

The Course Accommodation
Altogether La Maison Verte offers accommodation for up to 30 people - with 19 bedrooms available for residential course accommodation, varying between large double or twin ensuites through to simple single rooms arranged around shared bathroom facilities.  For large courses (over 20), the apartments are also available for courses to hire providing additional residential accommodation. There are other gites and B&Bs within walking distance should you require even more accommodation for larger parties.

In the Heart of the Real South of France
La Maison Verte is set in the hub of the working village of Roujan, in the beautiful Languedoc region of southern France. The property is only 5 minutes' drive from the very popular town of Pézenas, 25 minutes from the beaches of the Mediterranean, and within 90 minutes' drive of 5 international airports. The village boasts two superb bakeries and a traditional French café, and the Saturday market at nearby Pézenas (once the capital of Languedoc) is one of the best markets in the region. All around, vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see, providing guests with superb walks, and of course, excellent wine-tasting opportunities!
Languedoc is a hidden treasure, growing in popularity all the time.  Between the mountains and the Mediterranean, it is rich in history, breath-takingly beautiful, blessed with superb weather and rejoicing in a burgeoning international reputation for the quality of its wine.  It is also served by at least 6 airports within two hours of La Maison Verte, the closest of which (Beziers/Cap d'Agde) is just half an hour away.

About the House
La Maison Verte was built in the 1830's, and started life as a wine producer's mansion.  Nothing much has changed, except now the gardens grow oleanders, irises, mimosa, tamarisk, lilac and almonds as well as vines.  The property  remains totally secluded, with a vast courtyard and an acre or so of fragrant and colourful gardens. PoolThe swimming pool is surrounded by mulberry, fig and almond trees, and pomegranates, oranges and lemons all thrive. It belongs to English singer Francis Steele, arts administrator Anne Roberts and their five-year-old daughter Eliza. They live there all year round, and are always on hand to give help, information or advice to enable guests to make the most of their stay.

Our overflow accommodation is provisionally booked with Le Couvent, Roujan.

This is from their site:
Le Couvent, Roujan- Bed & breakfast for the soul in the Languedoc, France
We are lucky enough to live in a lovely house where lovely people come to stay in the summer. Not that fancy, just a B&B. We have miles of good books, good original art on the walls, two very sociable dogs, one unsociable cat and seven hens. The bedrooms become favourites with our guests; the bathrooms are simple with good showers. We have a silky, chemical-free swimming pool from which the wild birds sip at dusk, and you can see for miles up in the top garden. Lizzie prepares a truly luscious breakfast.

Good wine and good talk is important to us, so it may be important to you too. High speed wireless internet is essential to us, so we assume it may be for you.

We don't take anyone under eighteen, so many of our guests are parents. We have fans, not air-conditioning, and no room service. You won't find a chocolate melting on your pillow and the only TV in the house is in French. But if the roses or oleander are in bloom there will be a vase in your room along with a good bottle of wine. And when the tomatoes and plums in the garden are ripe you can help yourself.

We do have a six-foot statue of the Virgin Mary on the roof who extends her hand in welcome and our faded green shutters are beautiful. But this former convent, though lovely, is not grand. Our guests stay awhile, read, chat and sleep well, and we watch their tension drop away. That makes us happy.  We don't pretend Le Couvent is a hip boutique hotel, we like it when you feel at home.

History lover:
Go and see Cathar forts, walled citadels, mediaeval abbeys, Roman coliseums, bridges and aquaducts, the Oppidum d'Enserune and as many museums as your feet can stand.

Culture lover:
Go and see open-air jazz concerts, the opera at Montpellier, Nimes and Orange, Montpellier's Musée Fabre and the the local summer fetes.

Go and do canoeing at Roquebrun, water sports at Lake Salagou, golf, tennis, horse-riding, cycling, ballooning and rock-climbing or watch traditional water-jousting at Sete.

We live in the biggest vineyard in the world and these days there are some fabulous wines to taste.  Look on our extra information page to discover some of our favourites. 

There are local markets each week - cheese, patés, flowers, baskets, pottery and bad clothes.  For the more upmarket - the gorgeous boutiques of Montpellier, Nimes and even Barcelona (just 3 hours down the motorway.)

If you just want to be here, take it gently and see what comes along, this is what Ali and Lizzie like to do.
Buy a portion of steaming fresh paella from Pézenas Saturday market and cycle into the vineyards with a bottle of wine, a book and a picnic blanket.
Potter along the tree-lined Canal du Midi near Capestang or Béziers by foot, by bike or by day-trip canal boat.
Head off to the huge flea market at Marseillan where you'll find everything for sale from exquisite silver snuff-boxes to a pair of used socks.  Have a coffee watching the world saunter by and follow it up with a finger-licking seafood lunch on the coast and a snooze on the beach.
Take the train and a picnic to Millau and see the most beautiful new bridge in the whole wide world, the Millau Viaduc.  The town beneath is lovely too and famous for its leather goods and the beautiful views at the end of every street.

If there's a summer fete on (and there always is in some village or other in August) book a bad meal at one of the long tables, chat to 4 generations of our lovely French neighbours and hit the dance-floor when the band strikes up.  Edith Piaf, Black Sabbath, Amy Winehouse, Eminem - the local cover-bands (complete with go-go dancers and 30 changes of costume) take a crack at them all.  It's noisy and it's fun.



Roujan is well-served by airports.  Perpignan, Carcassonne, Montpellier and Nimes are less than one and half hours away (all served by Ryanair), and Beziers airport - which has just introduced thrice-weekly flights from Bristol - is just half an hour away.Transfers can be organised by public bus, train to Beziers, coaches or taxis according to the group organiser's desire.  On the "leaders" page, there is a downloadable file of guidance for transfers which will help cover all possibilities.Many thanks to Creme de Languedoc for the map.