Discover the enduring appeal of the Dordogne Quercy by walking in what is essentially a land of milk and honey where superb food and fine wines feature prominently. Dates 2019: 26th - 1st June
Since the dawn of tourism visitors have flocked to the Dordogne Quercy. Indeed, the prehistoric cave paintings at Lascaux (visit included) are testament to the area’s enduring appeal. That does not mean however the region is overrun and as this is our home turf we know it better than anywhere else so we can make sure you will visit those hidden corners unknown to outsiders.
In the Dordogne Quercy your host and guide, James, is in his element and will regale you with tales of old as you walk the ancient byways between medieval villages, across flowering meadows and through oak-wooded valleys.
The highlights of any trip to this land of plenty are the traditional markets and the gastronomy. The chefs at both of the charming hotels you will stay at are among the best in the area. One cooks slowly with a little spice and artistry; the other with sophistication and an emphasis on balance of flavours. There is also time for a little shopping.
Hotels, restaurants and visits have been carefully selected to reveal the character and colour of the Dordogne Quercy. The donkeys and Mag, the muleteer, will follow at the back for the first few days which creates a happy atmosphere for those slightly behind. All meals are included and lunch will be a mix of picnics and restaurants.
James will be hosting the week as with all their walks. Donkeys will be with you for three days of the week. The muleteer, Mag, stays at the back but is up at the front at elevenses time to open up home-made lemonade and home-made biscuits.
The accommodation is split between two beautiful places of charm and character. The first is the Logis des Baudry, a beautiful house in the centre of the medieval, bastide village of Domme which peers from its hill top over the dramatic view of the Dordogne river. François and Hélène Passebon are the perfect hosts with a knack for creating elegant and sumptuous interiors. Hélène is also a top-class chef. 5 bedrooms with bathrooms en suite. Wifi. Three nights here in the heart of the Dordogne.
The second hotel is an elegant manoir in the heart of the Quercy landscape, owned and run by the region’s top chef, Bernard Philippe, and his delightful wife, Eva. There are just 6 comfortable, spacious, en suite bedrooms and we would normally occupy the whole house. The dining tables are arranged around the impressive fireplace with its open fire or on the terrace to enjoy the balmy evenings serenaded by nightingales. Heated pool. Wi-fi. 3 nights.
Grade Of WalkingThis flower filled week is very good walking with only a few hills. They are more like gentle undulations than hills! We will cover a maximum of 42 miles. The paths are good and solid and occasionally we will walk on tarmac lanes. We always suggest walking the morning walk. For those feeling tired in the afternoon there is always a vehicle to take you back to the hotel. Our hotels have been carefully chosen (see ACCOMMODATION) so they are all excellent places for relaxing, reading and just taking it easy. The fact that we do not officially offer time in the villages that we stay in, as we always have walks on offer, means that often people will take an afternoon off to enjoy village life.
FOOD & WINE
Our first chef and hostess, Hélène, specialises in slow-cooked food bursting with flavour and enhanced with a pinch of spice. Our second chef and host, Bernard, works on great flavour and sophisticated presentation. Both are true artists. There will be picnics with freshly sourced, market produce and café lunches along the way.
A tasting at the famed Clos Triguedina and an excellent selection of southwest France wines will jolly along the week, topped by some humdingers from James and Diana’s cellar such as a delicious sweet Saussignac Chateau Richard to accompany a Carles Roquefort cheese or a vin jaune from Chateau Chalon with a walnut brie.
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SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT
26 May - 1 Jun