The Château de Castel Novel

The best restaurants and hotels in the region, plus some hidden secrets only the locals knew about (until now)

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TOP HOTEL-RESTAURANTS

Château de Castel Novel

Dominated by its fairytale turrets, the four-star Château de Castel Novel in Varetz is an 18th-century château on top of a 13th-century fortress. The Michelin-starred restaurant has chef Nicolas Soulié delivering his creations to three small dining rooms, and to the grand terrace in summer. Website: www.castelnovel.com

Château de la Cazine

This 18th-century château, among the lakes and forests near Noth, has two tennis courts, a heated outdoor pool, and a Michelin-starred restaurant. The presidential suite, with its twin baths and showers, occupies the entire third floor. Spoil yourself! Website: www.chateaudelacazine.fr

Château du Bois Noir

There are only four rooms in this tiny pink château in Perpezac-le-Blanc, but they are perfectly formed and elegantly furnished. The restaurant, La Petite Châtelaine, offers evening meals. Website: www.au-chateau.com/BoisNoir.php

The Château du Bois Noir

Hôtel Jeanne d’Arc

This former relais de poste is close to Limoges railway station and city centre. It’s aimed more at business travellers but, with three stars, it’s good value for tourists too. Website: www.hoteljeannedarc.fr

Château de Marsac

Red of brick, high of turret, and surrounded by shady gardens, this is a pretty special hotel with four tastefully-decorated rooms and a  swimming pool overlooking the valley. The restaurant is excellent. “Your taste buds will be charmed by the fresh food, the explosion of taste and the local terroir,” they boast. Website: www.chateaudemarsac.com

Hôtel Joyet de Maubec

This imposing granite building in Uzerche used to be a boarding school. Most of the eight four-star rooms have views across the Vallée de la Vézère. The restaurant, La Treille Muscate, is good, as is the sauna and the massage and fitness rooms. Website: hotel-joyet-maubec.com

The Château de Marsac

TOP RESTAURANTS

L’Amphitryon

Right in the old town, in a medieval timbered building, L’Amphitryon is one of Limoges’s nest restaurants. Chef Olivier Polla offers a selection of rich dishes from foie gras and buttered lobster to pigeon or scallops in truffles. The wine cellar is bursting with gems. Website: www.amphitryon-limoges.fr

Le Bistrot d’Olivier

If you want to eat like the locals, try this spot inside Limoges’s Halles marketplace. Sit at communal wooden tables and wrestle with other diners for the fresh fare on offer. Website: www.facebook.com/pages/Bistrot-DOlivier/154507631250654

The Hidden Veggie Kitchen

Vegan restaurants in France are rarer than the cooking time on your average steak. One Briton trying to change this is Louise Elsom, who has opened a tiny vegetarian and vegan restaurant in the hamlet of Latterie, near Saint-Laurent-sur-Gorre. Her customers are mainly British and Dutch but she does get some curious locals, too.

Auberge de Benges

Collonges-la-Rouge and its beautiful red buildings gets inundated with tourists in summer so be sure to book your table. This great restaurant claims to serve only local produce. Ask for a terrace table so you can enjoy the views across the Causse Corrézien. Website: www.aubergedebenges.com

The Camping des Iles campsite sits on an island on the river Dordogne

CHAMBRES D’HÔTES

A games room, a library, a sauna, a fitness room and a heated swimming pool are among the attractions at the lovely chambres d’hôtes Le Mardaloux in Saint-Martin-Le-Vieux. There are even horse and donkey rides available. Website: www.gites-de-france-limousin.com/location-Chambre-d-hotes-Saintmartin-le-vieux-Haute-vienne-87G9716.html

YOUTH HOSTEL

Things seem to be looking up when you walk into Brive-la-Gaillarde’s auberge de jeunesse, as its reception is in a former mansion. Sadly, the low-priced dormitory rooms are in a modern building next door. Website: www.fuaj.org

CAMPING

Fancy camping on the River Dordogne? This campsite in Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne sits on an island in the middle of two sections of the river. You’ll need insect repellent in summer, or a big, smoky camp fire. There’s also a swimming pool. Website: www.campingdesiles.com

TREEHOUSE

It’s not cheap (prices are from €110 a night for a couple) but the Cabane Perchée du Jardin de Beyssin is a charming treehouse perched six metres up an oak tree. It comes with a surprising number of mod cons, too. Website: www.lejardindebeyssin.com

From France Today magazine

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