Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Languedoc Regiment: Musketman and Pikeman

I started these just over a month ago but, due to being in Canada for two weeks and my daughter monopolising my desk for the last fortnight for her revision, I have only just finished them. They came out OK although it makes me realise that pale grey is a tricky colour to shade correctly. I based the uniform on a plate from Wargamnes Illustrated (I think -it was kindly sent to me by Dave from the Guildford Club).

I chose the Languedoc regiment purely because we used to holiday in the region when I was small. Our house was very old and I remember being very excited by the fact that the stairs to the top floor were on the outside, like the biblical houses we had studied at school.

One thing I also remember was how dreadful the wine was. Yes, I am afraid that even at the age of seven or eight I used to drink wine, at least when we were at our holiday home there. I remember that my father bought a plastic litre bottle of wine (I think it cost 50 centimes) and it was horrible. The wine from the Corbieres was particularly nasty and so was the Cotes du Roussillion. The only decent wine was the fortified stuff from Banyuls which was just up the coast from our house. I am afraid that I used to drink it with lemonade! The wines have improved hugely since then (the late 1960s) and wines like Minervois have gone from being cheap party wine in the seventies to £8.00 a bottle stuff now.  Languedoc is now the biggest wine region in the world.

Castelnaudray with the Canal du Midi, which was started during our period in 1681. The world's first Public Private Partnership Project! (one for Giles!)

The food was always good, however, and the region is famous for Cassoulet, of which we used to eat enormous quantities when we were down there as my father strove to discover the best Cassoulet in the region. We found it, eventually, in a little restaurant in Castelnaudary. The town is now famous for the dish to the extent that TV chef Rick Stein did a programme from there. We would spend the summer there and we never saw any other British people and it's still less popular with British tourists than the Dordogne or the Cote D'Azur.  I must go back sometime.

I was thinking about finishing these two figures a couple of weeks ago whilst wandering through Vielle Montreal one evening when, lo and behold, I came across a restaurant called Les Pyrenees. It turned out to be a Catalan restaurant and I had one of the best Cassoulets I have had for years. Well worth going to if you are ever in Montreal.

So I imagine my troops fortified with sausage and confit d'oie and swigging nasty, thin wine as they march to whatever battle I have in store for them. I think they need a few more troops for their happy band!

1 comment:

  1. Recently made my start into this period, too. It's nice to know that other people are crazed by the same. ;-)
    Lovely and insightful stuff on your blog. Not a fan of the average reenactors' event, I still enjoyed some of the photos here very much. Thanks for that.
    Looking forward to seeing more of your efforts!