Our choice of hotels and restaurants to enjoy during your trip to this beautiful part of southwest France.
Ferme de Tayac
Far from a generic hotel, this historic farmhouse B&B was originally founded as a monastery almost 1,000 years ago. Alongside retro pop art, vintage gramophone discs blast out original recordings by the likes of Edith Piaf and, of course, Josephine Baker, who once had her own château home in the valley. When you’re ready to return, reluctantly, to the modern era, you’ll find luxurious rooms and a picturesque outdoor pool. A true back-to-nature experience with horse riding on offer nearby and farms offering deliciously fresh local produce.
During the 2020 filming of The Last Duel, a Hollywood movie cast including Ben Affleck and Jodie Comer descended on the fabled medieval town of Sarlat-La-Canéda – and this is the hotel they chose to privatise and call home. Located in the very heart of the town, it offers 4-star accommodation with a heated pool, a fully equipped spa with sauna, steam room and jacuzzi and a spacious terrace on which to relax.
As the foodie capital of the region, it was little surprise that the actors would also check out Sarlat’s local culinary scene – and La Couleuvrine was among their favourite eateries. The hotel-restaurant, set in a majestic medieval for tress, is located just 12km from Beynac, one of the châteaux used as a filming location. Family-run for three generations, it unveils the mysterious secrets of the area’s authentic home-cooking, with local flavours including duck foie gras jam, poached quince with chestnuts and, the pièce de résistance, their thoroughly moreish walnut ice cream.
Château de Lanquais
Rather than being content with visiting them by day, why not live the château experience around the clock and check into this stunning building dubbed ‘the unfinished Louvre’’? The location is full of hidden history. Although it might look like a medieval fort, it once housed a Renaissance palace too, before Protestants stormed and damaged the Catholic-owned building in a display of religious animosity. Nowadays, guided tours and rooms with breakfast are available – and best of all, it was produced by the same architects who designed the Louvre.
Le Relais de la Ganache
Horseback riders welcome – this restaurant with rooms even provides a paddock and stables for weary wanderers whose horses also need shelter for the night. Hidden away in a secluded barn in the hills, this is the epitome of countryside dining. The ever-evolving menus depend on the season, but an abundance of local ingredients can be guaranteed. It may even be hired exclusively for a private culinary extravaganza with personalised menus. A must for all galloping gourmets, surely?
La Tour des Vents
For those who believe the wine scene shouldn’t solely be the domain of Dordogne’s more famous neighbour, Bordeaux, why not try a local restaurant with panoramic views over a vineyard? One of a select few eateries in the region to have achieved Michelin star status so far, it provides all the foie gras, truffles and caviar toppings you could ask for, plus desserts that mix sumptuous strawberries and cream with irresistible melt-in-the-mouth chocolate. Plus Bergerac and its wider wine tourism scene is on the doorstep, perfect for a few dégustations.
O’ Plaisir des Sens
A five-minute drive from the troglodyte fort of La Roque-Gageac and its panoramic views, and less than 10 minutes from the Jardins de Marqueyssac, this is a perfectly placed location to taste the terroir after a day of sightseeing. In intriguing contrast to the ancient surroundings, this restaurant offers modern, rather than ultra-traditional cuisine, and includes dishes such as pigeon as an alternative to the usual duck. Chef Bruno Marien works with organic produce from local farms, as well as from his vegetable garden.
Lodges du Golf de la Marterie
This complex of five luxurious wooden lodges beside the excellent 18-hole Marterie golf course opened in late 2020.The 70ha estate makes an ideal getaway for any keen golfer, and once they can be prised away from the course and clubhouse, a spa complete with jacuzzi, hammam, sauna and swimming pool awaits too. Meanwhile in-house restaurant Le Clos de La Marterie provides a delicious local menu from light bites like truffle omelettes to substantial full meals.
From France Today magazine