Only an hours drive from Girona on the motorway you can reach Leucate on the coast, just north of Perpignan. Here you can drive along a spit of land between the Mediterranean and the lagoon where some of the best oysters and mussels are reared in clean unpolluted waters and in harmony with the surrounding protected salt marshes famous for migrating flamingoes and other birds.
In a cut between the lagoon and the sea a cluster of fisherman's shacks line each side of the water and you can buy direct from the fishermen or consume on the premises. This is not a pretentious place and people pour in to sit at plastic tables outside next to the street for two simple reasons-the freshness of the product and the price. The oysters we had were so fresh that they actually squirmed when we squeezed lemon on them. If you happen to be lucky enough for a sunny, windless day then this has to be one of the best ways of spending 24th december, and when you see the bill you can take a few kilos home for friends. Vive la France!
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