Bauduen in the off season is sublime. Very few people are about, the lake is too cold to swim in so not many come for a dip, there are some on boats and I did see a team of rowers practicing. It’s mid October, and we are having an unusually warm Autumn. Bauduen is about a 35 minute drive from Cotignac, and at 470 metres above sea-level the temperature is slightly lower. Today it was 21 degrees celcius (24 in Cotignac) and perfect for a walk down the Lac St Croix, a kilometre to the tennis courts, and back to the village on the upper road to make it a short circuit of around 45 minutes, just enough to work up an appetite for lunch. From where the market is on Sundays, keep walking down (lake on your left side), past the first boat yard and onto the fire road. Keep going and you’ll eventually come to some tennis courts. Make a right bend back to the village.
You’ll see a lot of cats and dogs in Bauduen this time of year. The wild cats have a colony on the rocks near the water and pet dogs are out and about waiting to catch a friendly walker in the hopes of a little attention in the form of a stroke or pet.
There are not many restaurants open this time of year, even on a Saturday lunch hour, but my favourites are Hirondelle et Kaneyl (fantastic crepes and galettes, not expensive) and Le Papillon for platters of ham and cheese. Le Papillon is known for their amazing selection of wines.
Café du Midi is also another option but it was closed this time which means they probably don’t open as often during the shoulder seasons. It’s more expensive too but there’s a fantastic upper terrace over looking the lake and it feels more exclusive. Café du Midi: 04 94 70 08 94, rue du Cours, 83630 Bauduen
-Hirondelle et Kaneyl (crepes sweet and savory, great for lunch): 04 94 84 39 13, 9 rue des Jardins, 83630 Bauduen
-Le Papillon (charcuterie plates of ham and cheese): 04 94 76 82 59, 7 rue des Jardins, 83630 Bauduen