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A back street in Gaillac, Tarn

A typical back street in Gaillac, Tarn

Along with Albi, Gaillac is one of my favourite French towns, and the second largest town in the Tarn Département. Gaillac is famous for its wines, both red and white, and the countryside for miles around is entirely devoted to vines. After the grape harvest in the autumn you'll see the dried remains of wine production lying in piles outside the gates of each winery; put there for anyone who wants to take it away and use for fertiliser – recycling that was happening long before the concept was fashionable.

The deep shadows on a hot summer afternoon and the pot plant on the window sill, combined with this building being the gendarmerie – the police station – really epitomise the romantic appeal France will always have for me.

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