Day by Day

Each day of your trip offers organized activities and excursions combined with periods of leisure. We want you to share an experience and then have time to reflect on it in the relaxed ambience of your group.

Day One -(Wednesday): Welcome to the Dordogne!

  • Pick up in either Angouleme or Limoge. We will coordinate this with your group
  • Transfer to Les Stables. Settle into your apartment and take time for a swim or a leisurely walk
  • Champagne welcome reception
  • Dinner alongside the Dronne River at the charming Moulin de Pont. Your first introduction to typical Perigordien dinning. You are now in the heart of France – where French folks come to explore gastronomic delights.
  • A five-minute drive back to your cozy bed

Day Two - (Thursday): Visit to Goat Cheese Farm followed by picnic lunch. Afternoon and evening in Bourdeilles

  • Breakfast in your apartment
  • Visit and tasting at a local goat cheese farm. Experience how varying aging techniques affect the flavor
  • Lunch and wine tasting picnic at your apartments
  • Afternoon visit to the Renaissance chateaux and Medieval castle of Bourdeilles – two epochs, side-by-side
  • A leisurely afternoon on at a local café or time for a walk among the farm fields, gentle hills and valleys of your French country home
  • Dinner on the terrace of Le Donjon, Bourdeilles
  • Your chaufeur will transport you back to your cozy bed at Les Stables

Day 3 - (Friday) Morning at the farmer's market in Brantome, the Venise du Perigord, and visits to Grotte de Villars and Chateau Puyguillem

  • Breakfast in your apartment
  • Morning walking tour of Brantome and time allowed to wander the charming riverside farmer’s market
  • Lunch at Au Fil du Temps on the banks of the Dronne River or if the weather is good we'll have a picnic!
  • Afternoon visit to prehistoric sites at Grotte de Villar and the Renaissance Castle of Puyguillem
  • Time to catch your breath and a chance to eat more lightly. We’ll incorporate today’s market fresh finds into a lite and elegant dinner. Help if you want – or sit back with a glass of wine while Tom and Susan work their magic

Day 4 - (Satruday) All day tour of the fascinating and charming "City" of Perigueux

  • Breakfast in your apartment
  • Perigueux market. Two hours on your own to wander and explore. Or, just sit and enjoy a coffee and watch the world go by – it’s the best! Or, we can incorporate a walking tour in the maze of medieval passageways.
  • 12:00 lunch at Au Bien Bon
  • A walk through the Roman coliseum followed by visit to the Gallo Roman Museum of Vesuna
  • Dinner in the hillside village of St Victor

Day 5 - (Sunday) Visit to Aubuterre and Artist Studios

  • Excursion to the village of Aubuterre. Wander the steep streets of this village labeled a Plus beau village de France and visit the monolithic church (A huge church carved out inside a mountain. Everyone's favorite and no way to describe.))
  • Lunch in Aubuterre
  • Afternoon canoe ride on the Dronne or driving tour of Romanesque churches and hidden dolmen (ancient stone sites)
  • Cocktails and art with artist Tom Vieth
  • Relaxing dinner just outside your door at Les Stables

Day 6 - (Monday) Visit to a Pecharment Vineyard

  • Breakfast in your apartment
  • Wander over the hills and through the valleys to a hidden treasure. The robust wines of the Percharmant region of France. Never heard of them?
  • Well all the better for the surprise of this un-traveled wine. Private vineyard tour and tasting
  • Picnic lunch at the vineyard
  • Farewell dinner overlooking the Dronne River at Le Moulin de L'Abbey in Brantome.

 

 

Day 7 - (Tuesday) Time to pack luggage and departure.

  • Departure for train station of your groups choice. Angouleme or Limoges. Train schedule and ticketing will be coordinated with your group once your flight information is determined.
  • Lunch will be determined by your groups travel time.

ARMCHAIR ADVENTURES

I will give some book suggestions that help orient you to the history and flavor of the place you will call home for a week. There are many, many more titles that could be listed. I have tried to give you a mix of non-fiction and fiction that are easy to read, and discuss, if your group gets inspired.

 

The Road from the Past: Traveling through History in France
Author: Ina Caro

 

I have selected this book to start off your week because it gives a good insight into the historical layers of France. Although Ms Caro has used all of France for her travel through history, here in the Dronne River Valley we are encircled by all of the historical facts she is illustrating. From the Roman ruins through the Medieval period and the chateaux of the Renaissance.

 

My Life in France
Authors: Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme


I can almost say that Julia and Paul's story is why we are living here in France. I loved Paul and Julia's approach to life and when the opportunity arouse to be as adventuresome as they had been we grabbed it.

 

For me it was not about the cooking, but the will to grab life and live it fully. I was really moved by the end of the book and wanted to be sure that we had experienced as much of France as we could before we couldn't. Hopefully we had done the same with our lives in the States.

 

The Lady and the Unicorn
Author: Tracy Chevalier


Today we will be placed in the world of now with the sensory overload of the local farmers market, prehistoric cave paintings and the interior of a Renaissance chateau. Take your cue from Ms Chevalier and try to place yourself in the scene.

 

Make up a story to go along with the activity of weekly shopping, how did you arrive at the market, would you take time to visit with friends, how would you prepare this week's discoveries, and would you be the chatelaine or the cook?!

 

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes
Author: Elizabeth Bard


Ahh food, what a way to discover a culture. ..."both the love story and the food story feel slightly muted next to what seems to be the book's deepest undercurrent: how to build an adult life that reconciles societal pressure, personal ambition, cultural dissonance, and true happiness." - Gillian Engberg

 

 

Five Quarters of the Orange
Author: Joanne Harris

 

I have tried to imagine what was happening both physically and in the minds of people in France during the Nazi occupation, for even though this area was only officially ‘occupied' for a month there are stories that float around about abandoned homes, hidden attic spaces and once a woman came to my door to see the home where her parents had sent her as a child so she could eat. Parisiennes had little food in 1944. Ms Bard allows me to fall into this conflicted time and experience a bit of the chill of complicated events.

 

Families of the Vine: Seasons Among the Winemakers of Southwest France
Author: Michael S. Sanders

 

This book recounts the life of three winemakers in a region not far from your home away from home. I am grateful to Mr. Sanders for giving me a sympathetic view of the hard work that goes into the glass of wine that I take for granted.

Last but not least I have to mention:

 

Is Paris Burning?
Authors: Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins


I couldn't breathe until I finished this book. Even though I know that Paris and all its iconic glory still exists today I just knew that something terrible was going to happen to it! How is it that Paris was saved from Hitler's persistent question, "Is Paris Burning?"