Tuesday, 22 October 2013


 Driving back from our recent trip to Belgium, we had intended to make a detour to revisit the Auberge de La Truffe in Sorges. However, the weather in France was very poor and going over the Massif Central was so disheartening that we decided instead to head straight for the Spanish border.

Looking for a suitable place to stay, we noticed that we would be passing very close to Pézenas and remembered that we had visited the town some 35 years ago, when we had stayed at a hotel that Elise thought had once been Molière's house. We wondered if we could find hat same hotel again and if it would be equally impressive.

Driving into the town of Pézenas we saw a small sign advertising the Hôtel Le Molière, so our hopes were high and soon we drove onto the main square, on the opposite side of which we could see the fine old hotel, which still looked suitably impressive from the outside.

Inside, the hotel still maintains an equally impressive air, as can be seen from the photos.

It seemed smaller than we remembered, especially the gallery that looks up to a glass ceiling. The stained glass of the ceiling was unfortunately hidden behind some drapes, placed there to keep the sun out during the long summer. Looking up through the gallery, you can see the various levels and their walkways which lead to the rooms of the hotel.

Downstairs in the entrance hall, which also serves as the breakfast room, the walls still carry the huge paintings that depict scenes from some of Molière's most famous plays. Other parts of the walls are filled with framed and signed photos of notable names of French stage and screen, as well as numerous sports personalities, all of whom have stayed at the hotel.

Sadly, however, the hotel now seems tired and in need of careful and thorough renovation. It is unfortunate that what could be such a fine hotel is located in Pézenas, a town which really has very little to offer and itself looks tired and in need of some renovation.

According to the hotel's own website, it was "entirely refurbished" in 2003 (it also reveals that it was never Molière's house). Well, it really doesn't show. The rooms are clean, no problem there, but the bathrooms need replacing, the passageways need redecorating, the lift is megalithic, the staircase is in a terrible state… A great shame, for the place has so much character, so much potential elegance, so much history…

I truly hope that the Hôtel Le Molière will not be allowed to fall further into disrepair. It most assuredly deserves a better fate.

And, who knows, perhaps we shall be able to visit it again in another 35 years.

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