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Plan your personalized
itinerary with our concierge
To give you inspiration, Relais & Châteaux presents the Routes du Bonheur: suggestions for travel itineraries that you can fully personalise according to your wishes and the experiences you would like to discover. Our consultants are available to help customise your route and assist you in making reservations at our properties. It is up to you to reserve any recommended activities on-site or nearby that might interest you.
*Total price provided for information only, based on accommodation for two people in a double room for the number of nights per property as indicated on this page, exclusive of recommended activities, properties that cannot be reserved online and restaurants.
Restaurant and hotel in a village. Contemporary interior designer Jacques Garcia has worked wonders with the décor of this 13th century bastide, that was once home to the Counts of Toulouse. The mood is theatrical and luxurious. Sofas with feet that look like lion paws sit beside ancient floor tiles and velvety wall hangings. There is a touch of the artist Jean Cocteau here too, with an avant-garde chandelier that appears out of a wall. Your itinerary should include visiting the region which is one of the most beautiful parts of France, and sampling the recipes dreamt up by Chef Michel Trama, this extraordinary self-taught multi-starred Chef, who strolls through the Lot-et-Garonne farmer markets looking for the best and the unexpected. His cuisine reveals his love of wholesome food and of life in general. You'll sample notably his potato papillote and his lobster lasagna, a few reasons the restaurant is not to be missed. ... Learn moreless
In 1998, I had a strong urge to add a cloister attached to our building. Designed by my friend Jean-Louis Costes, and given its final form by designer Jacques Garcia, it was inspired by the amazing Romanesque cloister at the Moissac abbey. Today, those who stay or visit get the feeling that it was always there! People come for the calm, or to “spend some moments in silence.” It’s also here that I organize a small truffle market every year.
It’s been almost thirty-five years that I’ve been working with the Verzeni family, in Palleville. Located in the Lauragais, this free-range poultry farmer was recommended to me at the time by my chef friend Jacques Maximin. We have since “grown” together, and I’ve remained loyal to this producer of top-quality poultry.
It’s a farmers’ market. A real market, dedicated to nature, where people still roll their ’’r’’. Here, people still count to the last penny. It’s a place of freedom, where you won’t be cheated. I go there once a week, on a Wednesday or Sunday morning, to buy beautiful regional vegetables, truffles, etc. For ’’fatty’’ products, go to the Valence-d’Agen market.
Hotel and restaurant in a vineyard. Staying in this 13th century château overlooking the Lot valley is a truly unique experience, an authentic immersion in the history of France during the Middle Ages. Built on a rocky promontory, this was the summer residence of the Counts and Bishops of Cahors for seven centuries. Today, the chef draws his inspiration from local producers, and has won an international reputation for working wonders with black Lalbenque truffles and Quercy lamb. The wine list includes the great Malbec wines and vintages produced in the château’s very own wine cellars, because before being the owner, Mr. Vigouroux was the wine grower. ... Learn moreless
As the emblem of the city, the Valentré bridge is a real masterpiece of medieval military architecture. Its three fortified towers still dominate the Lot River, old alleys and tall houses. The medieval city was patiently restored, offering a visit back in time. At night, it’s easy to imagine knights emerging from secret passages. Unless it’s the excellent wine being served in the taverns of the old city…
Georges Vigouroux has restored the prestige of Château de Mercuès’ vineyards. Today, the superb Malbec is one of the jewels among Cahors wines, honoured in many competitions. His son, Bertrand Gabriel, a trained wine grower and oenologist, presents the latest vintages in the cellar located under the estate’s gardens.
It’s one of the most beautiful estates in Cahors - the Château Lagrézette - whose first Malbec vines were planted in the early 16th century. Now owned by Alain Dominique Perrin, the château is classified as a historical monument. I especially like the prestige vintage Le Pigeonnier, whose essence was captured by the famous oenologist Michel Rolland.
Hotel and restaurant on a river. The towers of this château are so close to the river that it feels as if they are floating on it. Located between the Lot, known as the “land of marvels”, and the Dordogne, home to more than one thousand châteaux, the Château de la Treyne is the ideal base from which to set off and explore this fascinating region. The Chef adapts the cuisine of the terroir, based on foie gras or lamb from the Causses du Quercy nature park. A delicious dinner can be enjoyed in the Grand Louis XIII Salon, or on the terrace overlooking the Dordogne. Breathe in pure, fresh air and look around wide-eyed to take in this extraordinary setting. ... Learn moreless
I was very lucky to take a private tour of the Lascaux cave. We were a few special guests who got to visit this secret site, closed to the public in 1963 after climate and humidity problems were discovered. Some 1,900 depictions of animals, painted or carved, still decorate its walls. Although, a mere two hundred metres away, one can see a very high-quality reproduction of this incredible treasure from the Late Stone Age.
Before thinking of it as a village, Rocamadour is, for me, a goat cheese. It’s also one of my favourites. Served with a bit of walnut or hazelnut oil and a few truffle slivers, this raw milk cabécou is without compare. As well, for over 25 years, the eponymous village has been holding a festival for its cheese on the Pentecost weekend.
Going to Serlat is really making two trips – the first, to the Middle Ages, the second, to the heart of the truffle world. In December, two markets – one for professionals, the other for the general public – line up stalls on which the “black diamonds” compete. I go there every year for the Truffle Festival. I like the atmosphere of the Périgord noir’s capital - its history, its heritage, and its revival, marked by the creations of architect Jean Nouvel.
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Just outside Limoges, there is a peaceful haven where the lush vegetation is at its most beautiful. Time seems to stand still at La Chapelle Saint-Martin, where guests can step back in time and experience what life in the private residence of this 19th century porcelain manufacturer would have been like. Those who are partial to a beautiful landscape will instantly fall in love with the chapel surrounded by 35 hectares of 200 year-old trees. The surrounding countryside is delightful, and the grounds, ponds and old dock are the perfect place for quiet contemplation. While the house and gardens are historic, the inspirational cuisine is refreshingly modern. ... Learn moreless
It’s the kind of station one goes to without having a train to catch. The Limoges train station is one of France’s most impressive, and its architecture makes it a real attraction. A mix of late Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Neoclassicism, this station – classified as a historic monument, and still in use today – is perhaps one of the city’s most important.
Known the world over, a symbol of the French art de vivre, Limoges porcelain never ceases renewing itself. The daughter and granddaughter of great porcelain makers, Sylvie Coquet made a customised tasting plate for us, as well as porcelain bells, in which we serve our truffles. Here, the backdrop is as important as the flavours…
After significant renovation and extension work, the Adrien Dubouché national porcelain museum reopened its doors in 2012. Founded in 1845, it still holds the largest public collection of porcelain in Limoges, with over 12,000 pieces of porcelain and earthenware. Here you can really plunge into the history of ceramics. From Antiquity artists to contemporary artists, the museum offers a stunning background to the world of ceramics.