0.55km from Coffee Shop LaetiIf you're a proud Stopfordian, it'll be of great interest to you to visit Béziers in the Languedoc region of France. Why? Well, its the twin town of our beloved Stockport. Who knew? Twin towns was a scheme dreamed up in a simpler age. When Europe looked for ideas on how to nurture harmony between EU members, the less said about that in Brexit Britain, the better I would venture. As for the similarities between these ‘twinned’ bergs well, surprisingly, there are some. There's a bustling covered market situated close to an ancient church. A famous viaduct crosses an iconic river, and there's a sort of town plaza that looks nothing like Mersey Square unless you squint your eyes particularly tightly. Alas, the weather’s completely different. Even in mid-January, we could wander around Béziers town centre without chattering the teeth from our skulls. And as the year progresses, Béziers will become a sun-drenched hive of tourist activity. As opposed to Stockport, where you’re more likely to get drenched. How did they work out this twinning business? For our brief weekend sojourn, we stayed at the budget Mercure Hotel on Avenue Camille Saint Saens. We chose it for it’s accommodating price and the availability of parking. On this latter point, you’ll find the parking deep below the hotel. You drive through a series of automatic doors activated by your door card. The first time its a bit disconcerting but after a few goes you’ll get the hang of it. Our room was pleasant enough. Smaller than the online picture but clean and comfortable with a decorative theme of varnished wood. It was a bit of a squeeze for two adults with luggage. Pack light if you’re a weekender or go for a superior room if you need to swing a proverbial cat. We didn’t eat in the restaurant as breakfast wasn’t included in our tariff. And at €16 per head, it was too rich for our blood. Better instead to pop across the street to the boulangerie and get a fresh pain au chocolate for a mere €1. They do provide in-room refreshments but they are served in a paper cup, and there’s not enough milk for even a single beverage. So here’s another tip. Buy a jar of coffee and some milk from the local Carrefour Cite and borrow a proper cup and spoon from the Mercure’s restaurant. Then you can enjoy a coffee whenever you please and no need to ration the dairy! Overall, the Mercure Béziers is a perfectly acceptable place to use for a short city break. The rooms are OK and the staff, without exception were helpful and friendly. You won't have any problems if ‘compact and bijou’ accommodation doesn’t concern you. Whether it lives up to its 4-star billing well, that’s another issue altogether.