Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

FRANCE 10 YEARS ON: Paris Dordogne Albi Toulouse Arles S Rhone and Nice

FRANCE 10 YEARS ON: Paris Dordogne Albi Toulouse Arles S Rhone and Nice

Old Oct 11th, 2017, 09:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,118
FRANCE 10 YEARS ON: Paris Dordogne Albi Toulouse Arles S Rhone and Nice

So…what makes the perfect vacation? Each time we arrive at a destination to start another vacation, I grapple unconsciously with that question, like Jacob and the proverbial angel.

And slowly, but not at first, the answer is revealed to me. And it’s always a little different from the trips that came before.

So where do I start? In Paris CDG, where there is a huge flurry of activity whirling around the carousel next to us, where a sea of white garments, handsome faces and myriads of suitcases is in motion. It’s a flight from Istanbul, and the whole scene seems a little fantastical to a jet lagged white Canadian girl. It makes me smile to be in this cosmopolitan city of Paris.
Our taxi whisks us to our hotel in the 7th, just around the corner from the Rodin Museum. Nice neighborhood, charming French country room, boutique Hotel de Varennes.

We set out to explore the neighborhood, and get as far as Esplanade des Invalides. Ah the spirit is willing but…hubby is not feeling well, such a long flight, so he curls up on the bench while I sit and watch a nearby Frisbee/rugby ?? game. It’s not long before I realize that the layers I packed were going to be necessary immediately. Wasn’t expecting that in the early part of September!
But what a beautiful part of Paris we were making our home for the next 3 nights! We made our way back to the hotel and slept off the flight for a few hours, as our room was miraculously ready an hour early!

The Eiffel Tower was beckoning to us…it had been 10 long years since we were in Paris last! Along the way, we found the restaurant I had bookmarked from my research, l’Auberge Bressane, and it was open on a Sunday night. What a great way to start our French vacation, with traditional food eaten centimeters from other tables of French diners, excited by the flavors of the food, and the great wine pairings. I had forgotten how French people get really involved with their menu choices, and that of their table mates. Such fun!

As we got closer to the Eiffel Tower, the reality of real world time set in, as we could see that there is a fence around the whole affair, and one must undergo a security search to get inside. Groups of soldiers with machine guns strolled around the perimeter.

As it was already late, we decided instead to walk into the park area so we could take some pictures of the twinkling lights of the tower from a little distance.

A rather strange scene accosted us in the darkness, of “merchants” selling roses, bottles of 5 Euro champagne, beer, and whatever else one might need for a romantic view of the Eiffel tower from the grassy area… Had 10 years changed Paris? Decidedly so. We headed back to our hotel for much needed sleep.

Monday--I had made a reservation for lunch at Pottoka, so after a sleep-in, and a leisurely walk, we found the restaurant on a sweet little street across from a colorful market. Being the first ones there, we hoped that this place was not just hype, but soon it filled up, and we settled in for a nice lunch. The food was pretty, well presented, but I thought it lacked in flavor a tad. That may have been due to my food choices though.

I had this starter:
Tuna tartar, basil and green apple, crisp, wasabi mayo and mousse
My husband loved his starter:
Crispy soft boiled egg, fregola sarda, wild mushrooms, Ardi Gasna and chorizo
We both enjoyed the main plate:
Guinea fowl with butternut squash two ways and red cabbage. I particularly liked the squash sliced paper thin and crunchy.

This day was for exploring, getting re-acquainted with Paris, so off we went, walking along the river bank and across to the Trocadero. This is a nicer view of the Eiffel Tower, in my opinion. There was a broquante market to glance through, and an Orange store where I could get a SIM card for my iPad.

That was a rather intimidating experience. There were a few people milling about in the store, and as we entered and noticed there was an armed guard, we were told to get in the line-up at the side and no browsing was allowed.

When our turn came, the sales girl insisted the only Sim card available for visitors included 10 gb of data, 1000 texts and unlimited calls to other countries. This was for my iPad. After a conversation about that, I ended up paying Euro 40 for the card, and was assured that the 10 gb would last me through the month.

Well, I have never used that much data in a month, but after two weeks, in the small town in which we were staying in Provence, my data stopped working. No Orange store around for miles. Beware of this scam! In Avignon, I had to pay another 10Euro to get the card re-activated with another gb of data. I had only used 2.5 gb of the original plan, but their Vacation Plan now is only good for 2 weeks instead of a month, as we have previously bought.

But at the time, I was happy, since I could resume my responsibility as navigator, and Google maps and I have a very good relationship.

In the afternoon, Montmartre was our desired destination, and my good friend Google helped us to find the Metro and to arrive at Sacre Coeur, where we admired the interior and the wonderful view over Paris. The neighborhood is very atmospheric, if extremely touristy, and after some photos and a walk around, we jumped on the Metro again, and arrived shortly in the 4th arrondisement to visit the Pompidou Centre.

With its interesting inside out architecture and primary colors, the Centre is very eye-catching. First we went up to the top for photos, as it is known for the great views. I love modern art, and so we had a great time experiencing the displays, and there were few other people there at that late hour. It was lovely. By the time we finished the sun was setting. I grabbed my camera to capture the juxtaposition between the angular building, the metal sculpture outside the window, the glowing green of the growth on the concrete floor, and the orange pink sky outside. Love those unexpected moments!

Our supper was more of a snack, really, some toasts with tomatoes and a cheese plate, but after our large lunch, it was enough. We were wandering somewhere in the 4th, we liked the neighborhood, but jetlag was catching up with us again (9 hours’ difference). This was a good day.

On Tuesday, our last in Paris, I had bought tickets from home for Musee d’Orsay and the Rodin Museum.

Thirty euros for breakfast at the hotel seemed steep for our small appetites, so just down the block, we got good coffee, and a warmed baguette with delicious butter and jam slathered on it. The reasonable price included friendly smiles from the girl behind the counter, as we practiced our French and English on each other, with hilarious results.

Since the Rodin was just a block from our hotel, it was a natural first stop. It was just opening, but was busy already. I love Rodin’s sculptures, so different from my other favorite, Bernini. The emotions of his subjects are portrayed not just in their facial expressions, but in the musculature, and right down to the toes; think, The Thinker.

Unfortunately, the back garden was not accessible due to some construction or display or some other unexplained phenomena. Biron was magnificent, if crowded, and we did get to explore the side garden, where many of his most famous pieces are displayed.

On to Musee d’Orsay. Ten years ago, this was my favorite museum. I loved the dreamy scenes of life in France, the dancers, the socialites, the picnics by the water, the wonderful seascapes.

Mid-September, the museum was extremely busy this time. In 10 years, I think it has become everyone’s favorite. Oh, it is hard to appreciate Van Gogh or Renoir when there’s a selfie stick in your face at every turn. And also here, some of the most famous exhibits were closed, sadly.

The sunny day had given way to clouds, but we decided to make the best of the rest of it, and explore Le Marais, where I think we have never been before. Rain can give some interesting photography opportunities. We found a spot for coffee, and sat and relaxed, laughed, watched people go by, and felt happy that we had discovered an area that we loved.

I found a perfect scarf in a boutique with all my favorite colors, and that helped a lot to alleviate the cold. In fact I wore it almost all the time until we got to the south of France where the sun finally came out. Scarves are my travel memories; I have one from each trip to Europe.

We decided that we had enjoyed L’Auberge Bressane so much that we had to go back for our last night in Paris. Besides, we had to try some of the amazing food that we saw others enjoying on our first visit. The place was full, complet, but they suggested that if we didn’t mind sitting outside, then we could sit. Not quite so cozy, but just as delicious.

Between our two meals, we managed to try tourtes de cepes, poulet aux morilles, quenelles de brochet comme a Nantua, that is, pike quenelles with killer lobster sauce, more cepes, salad, and the best bread of the trip, little rolls with a “leaf” to help you open them, and butter from Normandy!!! “Start with a pound of butter…” oh yes, a bottle of Sancerre, and a red which I can’t remember.

My one regret of Paris is that we were just too tired, and it was too cold, to do a bateau ride after dark. Okay, I just find that romantic…

Next, to the Dordogne
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Old Oct 11th, 2017, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 48,333
Wonderful, thank you. I'm very fond of the Auberge Bresanne, especially their coq au vin.
StCirq is offline  
Old Oct 11th, 2017, 10:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,118
St Cirq, l’Auberge Bressane is a lovely homey place, not at all pretentious, thanks for the recommendation!
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2017, 05:17 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,384
Enjoying your TR. Paris is my favorite city and I look forward to the rest of your trip. So sorry to hear that the D'Orsay hasn't banned selfie sticks. We were in the south of France also in September and I noticed a distinct absence of selfie sticks and was so pleased.
yestravel is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2017, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,343
Enjoying your report. I love France. We visit several times a year because our oldest daughter lives there with our beautiful grandchildren. I love Paris and the Dordogne. Musee D'Orsay is my favorite museum in Paris! Too bad about the selfie sticks.
KarenWoo is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2017, 05:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,175
I'm glad to read about your lovely visit to Paris. Looking forward to reading about Albi, Toulouse, and the Dordogne, where I went over ten years ago now.
Nikki is online now  
Old Oct 12th, 2017, 11:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,118
yestravel, I think you were just ahead or behind us. Did you have the cold rainy weather? I wasn't prepared for that, since we've been travelling to rather warmer climes in Spain and Italy for the majority of our vacations.

Thank you Nikki. Karen, how great that you have such a good reason to visit France!

Paris was nice!

The train to Bordeaux is new, comfortable and fast, really fast. Our top speed was 309 kms /hour which thrilled my speed loving husband.

In 2 hours we’ve arrived and are picking up our rental car, a nice little Golf with good power, and leaving the city via the highway. The Dordogne is such a seductive area, and we have been wanting to return since being here 10 years ago.

Our plan is to cut off the highway and visit Bergerac. I’ve read that others suggest not to bother with Bergerac. But the lure of good, cheap wine has tempted us to stop. Our first impression is, this is a funny little town, a huge parking lot in the middle, and green plastic streamers hanging from all the wires, apparently left over from the pass through of the Tour de France.

We head off in the direction of the Wine Cooperative and find pedestrianized streets in the old center with half-timbered restored houses lining them. I love the look of them, some with stone, some with brick, some with bright colors and window boxes.
We stopped for a quick lunch under umbrellas in the square, and tasted 3 of the great local cheeses, one blue, one goat, and the other still unknown.

It’s on and off drizzling, and cold. I’ve got my scarf wrapped double around my neck. The rain makes everything look fresh, but hazy and we stood and watched the canoes and tour boats on the river, and took a few more photos. Another unexpected “live in the moment” experience.

And the wine is also good, and so we bought a couple of bottles (the most expensive was Euro 12!) to drink along the way and a bottle of Chateau Le Tap Saussignac to take home.

Our route to Sarlat took us through Les Eyzies and so I had the opportunity to break it to my husband that I had got tickets to visit Font de Gaume. The scenery is quite beautiful through this area, the rugged rock overhanging the river and the road in places, and the greens looking so green, and so we looked with anticipation to coming back here in a few days.

Our apartment in Sarlat is in a quiet little square on the south end of the pedestrianized area of town. It’s clean and cute; comfy bed, nice little kitchen with expresso maker, lots of room to spread out, a great rain shower, and a washer/dryer.

It’s a corner apartment, so on one side, we have a view overlooking the square with a few restaurants, pretty trees and colorful umbrellas. From the bedroom and bathroom we can see the back side of the Cathedral, the stained glass, bell tower, and garden. I’m very happy with my choice! We have 4 nights here. Le Porche de Sarlat. It’s on booking.com.

Despite that it’s quite busy with tourists, I like Sarlat a lot. It has good restaurants, it’s very photogenic, the market is great, especially when one is staying in the town, and it’s easy to travel from Sarlat to see what we want to see.

Ten years ago, I fell in love with the hearty bean stew, cassoulet, so we set out to have dinner. Everything was filling up fast. So La Petite Borie, close to our apartment, looked sufficient for our needs, and we sat down at the last table, and ordered cassoulet, and a vegetarian salad.

Hmmm this was not the cassoulet from my memory banks….tasty enough, but floating in grease, no sausage, and chunks of tough boiled pork. Duck confit was good but a little tough. The search was on for a good cassoulet. I have found one cannot relive food fantasies .

It’s been a long day, time for a sleep in our comfy bed in our quiet apartment.
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2017, 12:17 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,384
We arrived in Marseille on Sept 13. We had a cool, drizzly day in Toulouse, but then had really nice weather. We stayed right near you in Sarlat beginning the 20th. I remember those apts. The church bells woke me up promptly at 7 each morning.

I developed quite a fondness for Bergerac wines -- as you said good & cheap. And cassoulet -- love it!
yestravel is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2017, 01:45 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,118
Yes travel So funny... I usually wake up at the drop of a feather but must’ve been pretty tired because I never heard those bells!
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2017, 11:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 48,333
Bergerac is underrated. You must have gotten a really good bottle of wine if you paid 12 euros! We thoroughly love our excursions there. Sarlat, well it's 20 minutes from here, and what's not to love at any time of year? Isn't the weather here lovely now? I love the early morning fogs and the hot afternoons.
StCirq is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2017, 12:35 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 368
I am enjoying your report. We visited Bergerac from our base near Duras last year ( late Sept ) and enjoyed our visit. There are some beautiful old buildings. We were in the Dordogne in 2014 and discovered Pecharmant wines so it was great to be in the area again. We do not have your budget , so our wines are around 5 euros!! LOL but still lovely wine.
rhon is online now  
Old Oct 13th, 2017, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,384
OMG -- the 7 am ringing was like a concert -- it just went on and on! My husband slept thru it too. I love church bells, but definitley not at 7 am. Looking forward to the rest of your trip.

Hi StCirq!
yestravel is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2017, 10:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,118
Hubby jumped out of bed early and threw the first load of laundry in. Despite my pleas that the weather could be cold, he only packed one pair of pants, one long sleeved shirt, and the rest shorts and summer shirts. Ha, that one pair of pants got a lot of wear!

I negotiated my way around the manual espresso machine, and rustled up some breaky from the supplies we had bought outside of Bergerac. The weather looked promising so I was anxious to get going, but DH was enjoying having a leisurely morning.

I had thought our Font de Gaume tour was on this day, and had planned that we could visit nearby Chateau de Montfort before our 1 pm tour time. Oops! That would be tomorrow! So we turned the car around and drove the windy and pretty drive to La Roque Gageac, to have a gabarre tour before the rain that was forecast to start.

We bought our tickets and had enough time to take a walk to the other end of town, and stop for a quick snack of coffee and walnut cake. This is a really delicious local specialty, and I’d love to have a recipe for it, as it’s not too sweet, and has a very nice texture, with the ground nuts in it. Of course I chose the piece with a skim of chocolate glazing!

DH watched me eat it, as he lost 25 lbs over the last year, for health reasons, and was determined not to gain any back. I didn’t feel a bit guilty, well maybe a little.

This is one boat ride I can take without getting sea sick! And it’s really pretty, with the vegetation close by the river’s edge, the town built into the rock, and Chateau Castelnaud-la-Chapelle high on the hill in the distance! Can’t get much more fairytale than that!

La Roque-Gageac must be one of the most picturesque spots in France, I think, and it and other villages round about are classified as most beautiful villages of France. But we have much more of France to discover yet.

The sun is still shining, so we decide to head up to Les Jardins de Marqueyssac, as our host has recommended. It’s a bit of a climb; we saw lots of people stopping and huffing and puffing, but it was all good in the cause of keeping off the weight.

This garden has quite a spectacular outlook, built along a ridge overlooking the river and town and castles that we had just visited from below. The celebrated topiary garden is actually only a small part of the overall thing. It’s very otherworldly looking, and particularly because of its location and the way the light hits, and moves around.

There is something like 6 km of trails around the perimeter and through the center of the ridge, where it is cool and green, and very pretty. This French garden is not at all like our colorful gardens at home though. We are fortunate to have such a variety of trees and shrubs and flowers where we live.

The sights here are very close together, so we are able to get to Castelnaud-la-Chapelle for a look. This Chateau is so interesting because of the museum of war, displays of armor, crossbows and other weapons, and the giant trebuchets, (a type of siege engine which uses a swinging arm to throw a projectile at the enemy) and which were used to breach the walls of the Chateau Castelnaud. We had fun here imagining the scene but enjoying the peacefulness, as the place was almost empty.

Of course, the views here are spectacular as well.

After snacking on nothing but a piece of baguette and some cashews all day, we were ready (at least I was, ha) for a good meal at Le Petit Manoir in Sarlat. Overall impressions of the place, a bit stuffy, mostly tourists, and the food was good but not remarkable.

We both had the menu, my starter was Duo de fois gras, DH’s was a salad with green beans, dried tomatoes and slices of dried duck

My plate was simply grilled duck breast, and puree of mushrooms of which there was an almost nonexistent amount. DH’s plate was duck confit, not his usual choice, but enjoyed it very much.

Dessert; the delectable walnut cake, and DH’s perennial favorite, ice cream which was flavored with walnuts.

With a bottle of Pecharment, at Euro 31, the total was Euro 96.

French children, I would venture are much more adventurous eaters than their N American counterparts: The children’s menu but only under 10 years, Foie Gras toasts, melon balls, petit duck breast with Frites Maison, fish of the day, (not fish sticks,) and for dessert, walnut cake with ice cream. Euro 13

After dinner, we took a walk around the town. It was late, not many people about, and the medieval buildings were lit up, with long shadows in all the corners, and the restaurants finishing up for the night, canopies and tables and chairs still out, and the little pedestrian streets and alleys…well, it was very atmospheric.
We had done lots of walking and climbing on this fine Thursday and were ready to tumble into bed.
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Old Oct 16th, 2017, 05:37 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,372
I sure love reliving our Paris and our Dordogne adventure with you.
Paris is our go-to place and on most visits we drive around France before or after.

Our stay in Sarlat remains at the top of our list. We stayed in an apt. one square over from your place behind Chez Gaulois (one of our favorite restaurants.)
Your reminder of the bells took us back. Our apt. Had a private small, open courtyard that backed up to the church.

Sarlat was perfect for touring so many sites. We covered so many in a weeks time but there are so many we didn’t,t have enough time for....reason to return.

Traveling the area with you will fill up my coffee mornings quite well. I got my photos out to go along with your text.
Do you have photos to post?

Looking forward to your Font de Gaume experience.
TPAYT is offline  
Old Oct 16th, 2017, 08:18 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,118
TPAYT thanks for your very kind comment. I'm sure that we will enjoy reading this ourselves in the years to come. I'm rambling a lot, but these are the details I want to remember, and sometimes it's the things that future visitors to the area want to know about.

So, I'm glad you're enjoying it.

I have photos but they're not organized as of yet, but I will post them later.
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Old Oct 16th, 2017, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,384
Continuuing to enjoy following along with you and reliving our trip too.

Ah, I completely agree with your comments on your meal at Le Petit Manor. I was disappointment. Like you I loved the walnut cake served everywhere.
Interesting to read about Les Jardins de Marqueyssac. We skipped because I didn't think there would be much to see so late in the year.
yestravel is offline  
Old Oct 16th, 2017, 05:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2,937
Revisiting all those places as well.

My DH was quite fond of cheap but good Bergerac wine. I as well like to pick up scarves on our travels, such tangible memories of good times.

Looking forward to what comes next.
sugarmaple is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2017, 09:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,118
Friday dawns, and finally this is the day for our tour of Font de Gaume. Before that, though, we are going to visit Chateau de Commarque. Something about this place captures my imagination, perhaps it’s the location in the woods, some ways off the road.

I follow our progress on Google maps, and when we get quite close, I can see that we are approaching from the wrong side. The dirt track is getting smaller and smaller, and finally we see that it looks like someone had got stuck in the soft earth. We stopped for a minute to decide if we should turn around.

Suddenly an SUV comes hurtling up behind us, and goes flying by, right through the soft spot and on up the hill and beyond. DH says, Forget it, I’m not turning around! Puts the car in gear and goes roaring after the SUV. After we got up and around the hill, we came to another dirt track and a small sign pointing towards the Chateau. Forget google maps and follow the signs!

Well, this has put us behind time a bit, but when we pull into the parking lot, there is the SUV that passed us. Haha, I guess we weren’t the only ones following google maps.

Having about an hour and a half to explore, we head out on foot on the path toward the chateau. Through the woods we hike for about 15 minutes, through green trees with moss and ferns growing around and the light filtered by the dense bush. It’s rather spooky but beautiful, especially with the fine mist that is falling.

Finally we can see the troglodyte dwellings in sight, and coming around the corner, in a grassy field, there is the chateau in all her splendor in the morning light! The sight really takes your breath away; from the distance it looks so accidental, like one just happened upon this magical castle in a clearing.

It’s so much fun exploring this place, all the facets of it, which if I remember correctly sort of incorporates a village and a chapel inside the outer walls. Lots of climbing and clamboring, and the visit includes going into the troglodyte dwellings, which are equipped with suitable tools and utensils and gives an idea of how people lived here at one time.

The place has been under restoration since 1994, when a descendent of the Commarque family found the site hidden under years of brambles and vegetation. They do offer workshops and tours for school children up to the end of October. What a cool daytrip that would be!


By the time we tear ourselves away, we have just over half an hour to drive to Font de Gaume. But first we had to speed walk back to the car the 15 minutes on an incline. I think I gave the old guy in the parking lot a heart attack when I ripped my shirt off at the car because I was so hot! Oh well, I’ll never see him again, ha!

So we now had 15 minutes to drive a 20 minute drive, but we made it! And tried to act cool when we arrived, like we were relaxed, hey no stress!

We have been on several cave tours in Italy, but never to one with ‘prehistoric paintings’, and it was interesting to note that the guide told us it is impossible to date the actual paintings by carbon dating. It is done by comparison with other items and drawings from the same time period.

The tour is in French, and almost everyone in our group speaks a different language, but off we went, and our new friends from Spain, Germany and the Alsace region of France made sure we were taken care of, even though we only speak English.

So we did miss some information, but the experience was very interesting. Font de Gaume is an original cave, not a reproduction, which we liked, but the outlines are quite faint, and not as obvious as photos I’ve seen, which are perhaps reproductions. But it was very interesting to see the way the artists used the contours of the cave for a sort of 3D effect.

About 20 minutes away is the little town of Limeuil. Not sure where I had got the idea we should go to this town, but we parked and hiked up…and up…and up. I wanted to go into the Panoramic Garden to get some photos of the view over the valley. When we got to the top, the price to get in was around Euro 10 each, and I put my foot down and decided I was not going to pay that for a photo! So we walked down the other side of the hill, down, down through slippery mud as it was showering again.

It seemed that almost every cute little house had a For Sale sign, and we thought how quaint is this, but after that hike I don’t think I could live in such a steep place!

Next stop was the Cingle de Termolat. The drive was very pretty, and the view was nice, but not overwhelming by any means. What got me though, was the Hotel Restaurant across the street, obviously very nice at one time, but now for sale, and in a state of disrepair. I felt sad for the history of this place. Might it at one time have been a great place to stay and dine? Anybody want to buy a place?

Backtracking to Tremolat, we stopped to see if Le Vieux Logis had room for dinner. I was having difficulty with my data through all this area, and could not access anything on my iPad at times. So we had a look at the place, Relais et Chateaux, looked nice, but the menu looked just like everything we had been eating for several days already, only twice the price. And we were told, complet…

Another restaurant on my radar was Auberge (I love this word) l’Esperance in Buisson de Cadouin. Parked the car about a good block away and walked over. The family was there prepping, but sorry, complet! Whoops, forgot it was Friday. There was a mini grocery store across the train tracks, so we went to pick up a few snacks, a baguette, some cheese and olives, and a bag of chips. Gotta have chips on a road trip!

Walking back, a train came by, and we had to wait at the tracks. A few drops of rain plunked down, and as soon as the arm lifted, the downpour started. We ran, carrying our groceries, then the hail started and was pelting us and bouncing off the pavement. We ducked into a pharmacy, and watched as the parking lot became a lake, and the water was coming into the store because the wind was making the automatic doors open.

I laughed because my DH was so intent on getting a video of this, he climbed into the display window with the half naked mannequin in a wheel chair with bandaged arm and knee brace and eye patch. That made a cute photo!

Finally we could get to the car, and sat in there eating our baguette and cheese, and a glass of wine to celebrate our survival.

Back in Sarlat, we made a reservation at Le Presidial. Our host had given us a list of places that he deemed the best in Sarlat, and tripadvisor seemed to agree.

So, off we went with our umbrellas, and my less than elegant layers of sweaters and jackets, and DH’s one clean pair of long pants. They were happy to let us in, and soon we were warmed in spirit and in body. The food is traditional but well prepared and tasty.

DH had Le menu, hot smoked salmon and the fish of the day, cod I believe. I ordered a steak which came with potatoes Sarladaise and a small basket of green beans. With a bottle of red Chateau Coucheroy, whatever it is, it was very good at Euro 34, a steal where we live. Total 93 euros.
* * *
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2017, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,372
What fun you were having! Really off the beaten path.

We were lucky to book an English tour in advance of Font De Gaume. We liked the fact that it was so old. The guide we had was very passionate about the cave & his work so he really took us back to that time.

We didn’t go to the other spots mentioned although Chateau de Commarque and the other towns you visited look like places we would enjoy.....maybe next time.

Les Presidial was my birthday dinner that year. The garden was lovely and the food good. I really had a spectacular celebration as it was the 3rd Sat. of Sept. which was Herritage Weekend. After dinner we strolled the streets of Sarlat among the
10,000 lit candles lining the streets. You read right, 10,000! Also lots of live entertainment, but nobody sang Happy Birthday!
Your report made the evening come alive again....Merci!

Waiting for your next post......
TPAYT is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2017, 10:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,118
TPAYT I can't remember why we couldn't get an English tour. Our apartment host booked it for us. But we didn't mind, as the others mostly spoke French and English, and were able to translate the basics for us. Half the fun for us is meeting and communicating with others who live in Europe, and we found people were very helpful and kind.

As you will see, we were there for the Heritage Weekend too...but wasn't so much fun for us because it was pouring rain and really cold.
sundriedtopepo is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information