Arriving on Tuesday , we collected them from nearby airport Girona (http://www.fab-po.com/acatalog/The_French_Tour_Co.html) and drove the short drive to the PO. They stayed in the beautifully restored Chai Catalan (http://www.fab-po.com/acatalog/Le_Chai_Catalan.html ) where they were welcomed by Pascale Jacquot for a delicious night cap of Domaine Treloars wine and catalan nibblies.
Wednesday morning, we headed off for Fuilla where the journalists met Penny Stratham from Fuilla in her beautifully restored gites at the foothills of the Pyrenees : http://www.fab-po.com/acatalog/Les_Hirondelles_in_Fuilla_.html.
She accompanied them for lunch in the fortified town of Villefranche sur Conflent and then they took the yellow train to Les Bains de St Thomas where they plunged into the hot pools and enjoyed a relaxing hammam.
They shared an apperitif with Erik Gunderson from Village Catalan in Vernet les Bains, after which they were wined and dined with their genial hosts , Tiffany and Dave at Bistrot le Cortal in the picturesque spa town, Vernet les Bains : http://www.fab-po.com/acatalog/Bistrot_Le_Cortal.html
With full bellies and tired but happy, they slept like babies in the gorgeous B&B in Prades, owned by Northern Irish couple, Declan and Sharon O'Kane : http://www.fab-po.com/acatalog/Maison_225.html
Thursday morning, the invited journalists woke up to yet another glorious day in the Pyrenees Orientales with temperatures hitting the mid 20s. A prefect day for a motorcycle tour in the mountains. Roland Thomas of Fenouilledes Motos ( http://www.fab-po.com/acatalog/Motorbikes.html ) with the help of Erik Gunderson chaperoned them through the stunning scenery just north of Perpignan.
They stopped off in L'Auberge de Cellier in Montner where the chef matched his courses to local English wine maker, Corin Fairchilds wine : http://www.fab-po.com/acatalog/Domaine_Vella_Frontera.html. In typical french fashion, the meal went on for three hours and great fun was had by all.
No rest for the wicked, they were whisked into Perpignan where they met with Florence Sobra of Alfmed and chaperoned to a soirée in Canet. Canet is about 10 kms from Perpignan, a sandy beach with nice bars and restaurants ; we enjoyed a very sociable night in the Mar in Bouddha and watched the sun set behind the mountains.
With still more treats in store and the sun shining down on us, we visited Domaine Treloar on Friday( http://www.fab-po.com/acatalog/Domaine_Treloar.html ) where we took part in a wine tour and indulged in some fine wines with our delicious lunch.
A short hop to Collioure for oysters and champagne and then , reluctantly, we said goodbye to Gemma Tipton ( Irish Times) and Brian campbell ( Irish news)
What a trip!
"Thanks again for hosting us on what was an amazing trip - it really was the best press trip I've been on! Everyone was so lovely and helpful and the itinerary had a bit of everything! It's a fantastic part of the world and I definitely plan to go back." Brian Campbell, Irish News