Recommendations for Dordogne, Perigord Vert
We are heading to the Dordogne in a couple of weeks and looking for recommendations for some great places to eat. We are staying in Saint Saud Lacoussiere, near Nontron in Perigord Vert for a week so any recs around that area would be great.
We then have another 3 days before flying out from Bordeaux, but have yet to decide where to go/stay - any places we shouldn't miss?
Funny, we were just in this same area last fall-- a wonderful part of the Périgord. We stayed at a Chambre d'Hote in Bourdeilles. Don't miss Perigueux, a great walking town, and the Chateau de Puyguilhem, both in this area. Brantome is a good half-day town as well.
We had some great meals at these places:
Charbonnel, Brantome. If the weather is good, sit right on the river Dronne, dreamy.
Le Chateau de la Cote-- in the countryside between Bourdeilles and Brantome, a gorgeous old castle with great food.
Les Jardins de Brantome-- Wonderful family place, gorgeous grounds.
and a highlight, in the pedestrianized streets of Perigueux, Papa Poule. One of the best meals of the trip!
For your last 3 days you might consider the Perigord Noir, down by Sarlat. Some great towns on the Dordogne river, La Roque Gageac, Beynac, and make reservations to see the 15000 year old cave drawings at Grotte de Font de Gaume and the Grotte des Combarelles. (Near Les Eyzies) Awesome.
Definitely make it to Perigueux, a charming town whose renovation has not destroyed its enormous charm. Great markets on Wednesday and Saturday mornings - like an episode out of a foodie travelogue. Upmarket restaurants include L'Essential (menus at 25 and 32 euros) and L'Eden (around 22 euros) - the later is very popular for business lunches, so book ahead). Cheaper (but good) alternatives can be found on the Place St Louis (lunchtime menus around £12 euros).
For a delicious version of the true Perigourdine peasant's lunch, try L'Auberge de France in St Pardoux (very near you). I don't know if you are staying at the Hotel St Jacques in St Saud - if you aren't, have a meal there. It's in the Michelin, been there forever, and is reliable and affordable.
We are actually renting a house just out of town, so will be cooking a lot of our own food from the fantastic local produce (have just purchased Elizabeth David's book for some inspiration!). But will be sure to check out the local places, and we will be doing various day trips so will add Perigueux to the list.
If you take Menton's original suggestion and go to Chateau de Puyguilhem (which you should! - it's only about 12 km from you), combine it with a visit to the Grottes de Villars (which, I think, do a combined ticket with Puyguilhem) about 2 km from Puyguilhem. It is a really accessible site (in every sense of the word), with both calcifications and drawings (the blue horse, bulls, and several handprints among them) and is actually older than some of the more well-known caves around Les Eyzies. It is worth going in itself, but will also soothe the paleontological guilt if you miss the others though lack of time or the crowds. There is an outdoor cafe at the
caves - simple things like sandwiches/steak frites - and there is a lovely picnic site in the woods which surround the caves, if you want to bring your own provisions.
Thanks for all the suggestions - we had an amazing time, now back to reality in London!
One of our standout meals was at the Moulin de L'abbaye in Brantome - just perfect sitting next to the river. We had the lunch tasting menu which was very good value (apart from the 25 Euro glasses of champagne we blindly ordered!), topped off with a lovely bottle of white wine (sorry can't remember the name - it was a local Bergerac).
Didn't manage to get to the Grottes de Villars but did visit the beautiful Chateau de Puyguilhem.
Had dinner at Hostelerie St Jacques one night which was ok - a bit disappointing really. My meal was ok but my boyfriend's was pretty average - it just felt like the kitchen was trying to hard. Pretty spot though.
Unfortunately the much lauded Moulin a huile de Noix was closed when we were there, but we did get to the Pont de l'Ouysse for lunch. Once again a lovely spot, although surprised that there was only one other table for Saturday lunch. We again went for the tasting menu which was lovely but felt the service let the overall experience down - we were often left with empty wine glasses (we had ordered a half bottle of red and a half bottle of white) - even after having our dishes put down in front of us, the waiter didnt fill up the glasses. We blew the budget a bit on the wine, and they were amazing, so this was a bit disappointing. We ended up pouring our own wine which took away from the occassion somewhat. By the end of the meal, the waiter clearly wanted to go home - we received our coffees but no petit fours (despite having seen the other table get theirs). We did finally get them - about twenty minutes after finishing our coffees! We also had some of the wine left, however they had cleared our glasses - we were in no rush and wanted to finish it so had to go inside to get some glasses ourself. It was a bit disappointing after some great cooking.
In Perigeux I had a fantastic steak tartare but can't for the life of me remember the name of the restaurant - charming little place in the corner of a square (the service was haphazard but charming so didnt' really bother us!).
In Martel we had a couple of fantastic meals - one of the highlights being dinner in the hotel we were staying, the Relais Sainte Anne (gorgous place to stay - highly recommended). The food was delicious, service lovely and the setting beautiful - we would have gone back had we not run out of time! Also great was Au Hazard Balthazar, although foie gras starter and cassoulet for one is just a bit much in thirty degree heat!
Had a few lunches around about in other places - all in all we didn't have one bad meal, really great area for food and can't wait to go back.
Am touring in the same area and want to second the recommendation for the Relais Sainte Anne in Martel. Stumbled into a great lunch there very much by accident. The food was fabulous. Great scallops, cod and a to-die-for apricot tart with chamomile ice cream. The menu is limited but the setting is lovely, the service was fine and at 23 euro for a three course lunch for quality you would usually pay twice that for a delightful experience. This part of the world is a little slice of heaven. Dave