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The Dordogne: our rental and other highlights

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We are back from our trip to Paris and the Dordogne, and I wanted to return the favors of those who were so generous with their expertise and advice when we were in the planning phase. The following are some of our highlights from the Dordogne:

Our house, Chantepierre, located on several acres just off the road to vieux St-Crépin (www.chantepierre-sarlat.com/en/accen.htm). A converted barn, it is now a home of great taste, comfort, and charm, even lovelier than the pictures on the web suggest. The living/dining area, kitchen, and one bath are downstairs; the master bedroom with spacious ensuite bath, two secondary bedrooms, a compact room with a shower and sink and a separate WC are upstairs. The baths are modern. The house is furnished with care and kept to a high standard. Sitting out in back of the house you look out over the countryside. There are two other smaller rentals on the property, one of which we could see at a small distance looking to the right from the rear of our house. The owners are Jean and Nicole Querre, a warm and delightful couple. The owners’ house is just adjacent; they were away for part of our stay and when they returned, we never felt our privacy intruded upon. If you follow the private, unpaved white road that winds through the property, you come to Les Granges Hautes, a B & B well-known to this board.

Around the area: A supermarket, ATM, and pharmacy are located in Salignac-Eyvigues, only 4 km away on a good straight road. There were fields of spent sunflowers along the way. A five-minute walk from the house is Lacypierre, a little jewel of a 16th century chateau, nestled in a glen. (I asked Jean about the enchanting outbuilding in front of the chateau, and he told me it was for baking bread). We enjoyed going to the morning markets in the area, particularly the Sunday morning market in picturesque St-Geniès which really brought the village to life. It was easily accessible and had a wide but not overwhelming array of products. Loved the cubist tableau created by the church and the chateau and enjoyed the 14th century frescoes at the sweet Chapelle du Cheylard. There was a market in Salignac on Tuesday and, of course, the Wednesday market in Sarlat. La Meynardie, where we had two fine meals, is an easy 10-15 minute ride away and is the best restaurant in the immediate area. The silken escalopes de foie de canard with truffle sauce were excellent.

Other memorable experiences and sights:

Overall, seeing the span of man’s history in the area from Font-de-Gaume and La Roque St-Christophe to the internet café in Sarlat

The canoe trip on the Dordogne: never would have thought to do this without Fodor’s–my sons loved it

Font-de-Gaume

The harmony of the golden stone villages with their lauze roofs

The fortified church at St-Amand-de-Coly

The grey and white mythological paintings in the meditation room at Puymartin and the view of the underside of the lauze roofs from the chateau’s attic

Olive sausage from the Sunday market at St. Geniès

Meeting up with the very large tractor coming in the opposite direction on the narrow road to the Moulin de la Tour

Being there at harvest time--lovely dark brown wood barns with corn drying from the rafters

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