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hotel suggestions st cirq lapopie or cabrerets

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Dec 2nd, 2009, 02:30 PM
  #1
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hotel suggestions st cirq lapopie or cabrerets

Has anyone stayed in St Cirq at Auberge du Sombral? How was that? How far to Pech Merle? What about Auberge de la Sagne in Cabrerets? Other suggestions? Do these hotels have "good" food or is there a better restaurant suggestion?Thanks
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Dec 2nd, 2009, 02:58 PM
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Cabrerets is kind of a dump. I wouldn't want to stay there. I haven't stayed at Auberge du Sombral, but I've had lunch there and the food and service were not inspiring and every single person eating there was speaking English. That said, our experience at La Pelissaria, which some Fodorites recommend, was dire. I can't think of a really good restaurant in either place, though I certainly haven't tried them all. It's about a half-hour to Peche-Merle from St-Cirq.
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Dec 2nd, 2009, 09:29 PM
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We stayed at Auberge du Sombral for one night in October, 2008. Our room was OK but not outstanding and quite small. We didn't eat there.
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Dec 2nd, 2009, 11:48 PM
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Any reason you want to stay in these two places? I don't remember anything great about Cabrerets, and like some others, really don't like St Cirq la Popie. Lovely view of the town when seen from afar, but other than that, it doesnt do anything for me.

There are lots of more interesting towns in this area.
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Dec 3rd, 2009, 04:52 AM
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The reason to stay here is to be close to Pech Merle. We drive from Albi touring along the way and this area seems to be the best for an overnight before going on to Sarlat by way of Rocamadour, etc. I want to go to the cave first thing in the morning. Thanks for your personal input jrj. Guess I will have to settle for ok unless someone has a better suggestion.
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Dec 3rd, 2009, 08:13 AM
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Not sure what you mean by "first thing in the morning." You have to take a tour, and as far as I know the tours are at set times (in off-season they were 10:45 am and 2:45 pm last time I was there). I would either just drive from Albi, take the tour, and continue on to the Dordogne, or stay in Cahors or Labastide-Murat if you must overnight.
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Dec 3rd, 2009, 10:10 AM
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Another vote for Cahors. Have a look at the Grand Hotel Terminus, which has a lovely (and good) restaurant, Le Balandre
http://www.balandre.com/hotel_en.html
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Dec 3rd, 2009, 11:32 AM
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Well, there seems to be no or little time after driving from Albi if we stop along the way which I want to (I am sort of following Stu Dudley's advice on this). The info I have says the cave is open by 9:30 but I will check this out further closer to the time of going. I do know you have to take a tour - I am following what the website says for now. How long a drive is it from Cahors to Pech Merle? If it takes about 30 minutes from St Cirq it must be close to an hour from Cahors (?). It would be nice not to have to get up too early that day.
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Dec 3rd, 2009, 11:37 AM
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I stayed at the Pelissaria and had a wonderful experience and a room with a great view. Unfortunately, the dining room was fully booked so we dined at a neaby upstairs place with not so great food.
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Dec 3rd, 2009, 11:54 AM
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I didn't mean to say it was a half-hour from St-Cirq to Cabrerets - not sure what I was thinking. It's probably 10-15 minutes. Cahors is 30 kms from Cabrerets, but it's a winding two-lane road, so not fast. I'd say allow 45 minutes, more if you're going in high season.

If you're stopping on the way from Albi (I assume at Cordes and St-Antonin, maybe Castelnau-le-Montmiral...), why not skip Peche-Merle on that day, go to Cahors and spend the night, then go to Peche-Merle early the next day and continue on to Rocamadour and whatever else you're doing on the way to Sarlat?
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Dec 3rd, 2009, 12:11 PM
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Cig - I think I read where the Pelissaria is closing or changing ownership (maybe last Oct?). Seems the owner retired. Read it on this site I think.

st cirq - your last suggestion is what I am doing and why we were trying to just be as close to Pech Merle as possible. I will keep looking but I think we may just stay in st cirq since it is just for one night.

thanks everyone
Happy [email protected]!!
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Dec 3rd, 2009, 12:37 PM
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It was owned by a couple, she was an actress he a musician
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Dec 3rd, 2009, 12:44 PM
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I happen to like St Cirq Lapopie. Certainly it is touristy. So is Domme, Beynac, and Roque Gageac. Rocamadour is one of the most tourist infested places in France. But all these places I've mentioned are quite interesting to explore - especially in the early morning or late afternoon, which I think is when you'll be there. There is a lovely view of the Lot river from St Cirq.

As I've mentioned before on this Forum - I'm not a big fan of Cahors. We've been there many times (4-5 I think - great market), and it has always been disappointing to us. We much prefer Figeac. I had a birthday dinner at Le Balandre, and it was not as good as most other Michelin 1 star restaurants. I think it lost it's star the next year.

If you want to be close to Pech Merle, I think St Cirque Lapopie is a great choice.

Stu Dudley
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Dec 23rd, 2012, 01:11 PM
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I have to say that Cabrerets is beautiful in fact. It used to be sadly taken over by people that wanted to store trashed cars all over the village (very bizzarely), now it has been restored to it's rightful former glory. It has 3 beautiful restaurants in the centre and new restorations mean it is no longer run-down looking. If you want to stay near Grottes de Pech Merle, see www.cele-holidays.com, St.Cirq Lapopie is one of the most beautiful villages in the world and if you cannot enjoy the beautiful architecture and scenery that it has to offer, I don't know what could ever make you happy. Maybe try visiting sites outside of August if you don't want to experience other tourists. If you want to stay in St Cirq Lapopie, you could try Chateau st Cirq Lapopie, it's slightly wacky but very special. If you don't want to stay in the village, there is Hotel St Cirq Lapopie in Tour de Faure over the way from St Cirq. For restaurants, at St Cirq, there's Gourmand Quecynoise. La Truite Doree (at Vers) is always a favourite in the area, Le Jardin de Cabrerets (in Cabrerets)has a great setting and great food.
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Dec 23rd, 2012, 01:20 PM
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Its likely the OP isn't still looking since the thread is three years old. Assuming you aren't advertising those self-catering apartments, welcome to Fodors. Threads about France are very popular here.

(If by any chance you are advertising - that isn't allowed on this site)
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Dec 23rd, 2012, 05:53 PM
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It may be (I hope) that Cabrerets has cleaned up its act, which could only be a good thing, but <> Ummm...Let me tell you what could ever make me happy..."MY" St-Cirq, in the Périgord, which is about a thousand times more authentic and interesting than St-Cirq-Lapopie. As for <> I take it you haven't traveled much. It's a craggy hill town; there are dozens like it all over France, Italy, Europe. It has one main street that climbs the hill, lined with souvenir shops. That's beautiful? How?

And I'm not trying to put people off going to St-Cirq-Lapopie. It's geographically interesting enough, popular (way too, IMO), and close to Pêche-Merle, but it's filled with artisans hawking wares made in China and the whole atmosphere seems contrived and kitschy and commercial. And not a decent cup of coffee in the whole town last time I was there.

If you're traveling in the area, by all means stop by; a lot of people find the place interesting and pretty. But please don't qualify it as one of the most beautiful places in the world. Not even remotely close.
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Dec 23rd, 2012, 09:25 PM
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We loved St Cirq Lapopie and our two-night stay at La Pellisaria. We toured the area, including Peche Merle, during the day and enjoyed the pretty village in the evenings. The owners of La Pellisaria retired in 2009, so I understand that the hotel is no longer in business. We dined at Auberge du Sombral and I remember it being very nice.
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Dec 24th, 2012, 12:45 AM
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Can I once again be picky and say it is NOT Peche Merle - it is PECH Merle. Not related to fishing or peach (Pêche) or sin (péchê.)

Pech is Occitan for hill (think peak). Sometimes pronounced 'pek' as in Sarlat, the region above the town called 'Les Pechs',sometimes softer, 'pesh' as in Pech Merle.

And I still don't particularly like St Cirq Lapopie, far too touristy - much nicer as a view from afar than up close. There are so many other places in the Lot and the Dordogne to choose from.

I do however, unlike Stu, like Cahors a lot. ALso like Figeac though, but it's different, not a city, like Cahors. I haven't been to Le Balandre for a while, but always liked it when we did go. But I don't think it ever had a Michelin star, at least not in the last 10 years.

Two other restaurants near Cahors that do have stars are Le Gindreau, to the west, usually wonderful, and Marco, further east. Highly regarded, but the day we were there the waitress refused to turn the music off, even though we were the only people in the restaurant. Kind of puts a person off, and we've never been back.
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Dec 24th, 2012, 09:43 AM
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>>I do however, unlike Stu, like Cahors a lot<<

This coming June, we're staying in a gite for 2 weeks on the Lot, just a few Ks west of Cahors - in Puy l'Eveque. We'll undoubtedly go to the market & walk around Cahors afterwards. This will be our 6th exploration of Cahors. Perhaps we'll see "another side" of it that we missed before. Our main complaint is that there is really not a high percent of "older" buildings, like you find in Figeac, Sarlat, Perigueux, and elsewhere in the region.

Le Balandre was a Michelin 1 star restaurant - but I'm pretty sure that was more than 10 years ago. We had an OK meal there - nothing exceptional. We'll try all the 1 stars within 35 mins of our gite (I think there are 3). I looked at the menu at Chateau de Mercues several years ago, but it seemed kinda "bland". Anyone have any comments about Ch de Mercues?

Stu Dudley
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Dec 24th, 2012, 09:54 AM
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http://restaurant.michelin.fr/restau...#resto_reviews

and its wine list of Cahors wines is exceptional.
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