Flavors of the Dordogne
Duration: 9 Days
May 26 - June 3, 2023
$5,995 from Bordeaux, France
In the Dordogne, all of France’s provincial charms have been distilled into one of the most beautiful regions of Europe. The medieval town of Sarlat-La Canéda, for example, one of the gems of the Périgord, boasts the greatest concentration of medieval, renaissance, and 17th-century facades of any town in Europe. The Périgord Noir, where we’ll spend most of our time, is a lushly forested corner of Aquitaine embraced by the Dordogne and Vézère rivers. From any angle, the area is rapturously lovely, but it is also a gourmet’s dream: the home of France’s finest foie gras, truffles, strawberries, walnuts—the quintessence of Gallic cuisine. Here, we’ll find wonderful markets with a mouth-watering tableau of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and meats, as well as crafts and a colorful array of French country folk.
Our “base camp” for this extraordinary week will be a lovely Relais et Châteaux property, the Château de Mercuès. With a spectacular location high on a forested hill, the Château is an authentic medieval castle with manicured gardens and winery. With extraordinary style and character, the property treats guests to fine wine, gastronomic dining, luxurious rooms, and sweeping views of Lot Valley. Erected in the 13th century, Château de Mercuès' original purpose was to protect the town of Cahors and the Lot Valley. It was later rebuilt for more pleasurable pursuits. Today, guests can escape the ordinary and embrace the elegance, warmth, and pleasures of an exceptional hotel with a Michelin-star restaurant.
We’ll learn much about the culture and history of southwest France through our leisurely visits to Sarlat, Château de Beynac, and La Roque Gageac, one of France’s most beautiful villages. We’ll also enjoy an afternoon cruise on a river barge, participate in French cuisine cooking classes, study the prehistoric paintings at the Pech Merle Grottes, and visit the pilgrimage site of Rocamadour. This, too, will be a Flavors trip worth savoring.
Traveling With You
John Lambeth retired in 2022 as Professor of Romance Languages after 37 years teaching French language, 20th Century French and Francophone literature and culture and film studies at W&L. John served as Romance Languages chair from 2003-2007. He worked for the Educational Testing Service as Chief Faculty Consultant for the French Advanced Placement exams in language and literature. He was the academic director for the Sweet Briar Junior Year in France program in Paris from 2001-2003 helping shepherd 180 American undergraduates from 36 different colleges into the French university system. John took W&L students abroad during several Spring terms to Paris and later to Senegal. John has lived in France for nine years including five years in and around Toulouse where he worked as an English instructor and translator for Airbus Industries.
- View an accessible, HTML version of this trip brochure.