It was a lovely evening one night during my French immersion stay in Montpellier and me and one of closest friends Lena were in the residence of the EasyFrench Language School wanting to get out and explore this wonderful city in southern France. Lena and I try to go somewhere new when we go out to get a feel for the variety of places available all students learning French in France. On the contrary, often we want to be sure we are going somewhere we like. In an effort to balance these two goals we decided to do half and half.
We headed out of the residence which is right in the historic centre of Montpellier, home to some of the loveliest architecture in the city. We strolled past the Arc de triomphe and past Parc peyrou where the swirling mix of the reds, pinks and dark oranges of the sunset were seeping through the trees. We stopped at the Broc Café which is probably just another 20 metres down the road.
They do happy hour here until 8pm so we decided to hop in for a drink. We know this bar well, it’s one of our favourites as it is so close to the EasyFrench School Residence but also, it’s got great beers and wines at inexpensive prices, a cosy interior and they often do great music too.
Lena and I try to speak in French to each other as much as possible and normally at the start of each session we discuss what we have been working on in our French immersion classes for that day or what the discussion topic for the DALF preparation is this week. Then we try and work it into our conversations as much as possible. It works well and makes us feel like our time hanging out is not only for pleasure but is constructive too. So, we had a quick drink at the Broc and headed out again.
Learning French in France by Exploring Our City
We walked past the botanical gardens which were still bathed in the last of the sunset light and we and turned right towards town. We hadn’t explored this part of town that much so it was new and interesting. We passed the very grand looking Montpellier Dance Academy and an opera house so it felt like a high culture neighbourhood. Then we made a discovery, an amazing little beer shop.
Le full G / The Beer Shop is on rue écoles laiques and if you have any interest in drinking some interesting beers than it will be like a candy shop for you. This really is at the forefront of local brewing, they are constantly brewing their own beer right in the back room and if you are lucky with your timing you may just get to try some. Like we were! The owner had just finished an IPA and was generous enough to offer us a little ‘degustation’.
It made us feel very lucky and we went on to grab a couple of interesting bottles French beer. Since I have been learning French in Montpellier I haven’t tried many brews from the country itself and I was happy to break the trend, I wasn’t disappointed. The owner of the place offered us some glasses and asked if we would like to enjoy our beers on the terrace. Being the south of France it was still warm even though the night had well and truly set in so we sat ourselves down and revelled in that warm feeling you get when you’ve made a discovery of a place that has really charmed you and you know you are going to come back. I’ve still got a few months left on my French immersion course at the Easy French Language School so I hope to have the chance to peruse the huge selection here more and more over the coming months.
One extra thing we realised we were about 100m from a place where we could get a slice of pizza for a euro; La Crise Pizza. We go there all the time for lunch after our French classes are finished for the day and we know it’s excellent. Another reason for us to come back.