“A touch of luxury and exceptional table d'hôte meals at a medieval hunting lodge in the heart of the Lot”
All bedrooms have pretty divans and armchairs and are, according to those who have stayed, oases of comfort and tranquility.
Floors are stone, seagrass or wood, and beams abound. Beds are super-kingsize or twin in French antique style, with cane headboards and mosquito nets, and mattresses are exceptionally comfortable. Pillows are delicious, and there are hypoallergenic duvets and blankets in honeycomb cotton. Bathrooms have drenching showers (plus baths in the Family Suite, Laramiere and Marcillhac) and L’Occitane soaps and oils.
Saint Sulpice is a cool, airy double on the ground floor, with direct access to the garden and pool. It’s decorated in a palette of whites and grey-blues, with a vintage kilim on an immaculate stone floor. On the second floor, Laramiere is full of light and is many guests’ favourite, with white stone walls and wonderful views of the valley and hills.
Up on the third floor, the Twin Rooms consist of 2 connecting rooms. The first, Beauregard, is a double with gorgeous views of the nearby village of Calvignac, plus spectacular sloping beams. Its bathroom is a lovely surprise: set in a round stone tower, with antique-style basins and a roll-top tub. Montbrun is an elegant twin room with high rafters that can become a triple on request.
A short stroll from the main house, Sailliac and Marcillhac sit in a renovated barn. They're lofty, stone-walled spaces that feel super-private, yet they're only a flip-flop from the pool for easy morning dips.
Food and its provenance are taken seriously here, and dinner at 8pm - in the dining room or beneath the high trussed roof of the courtyard - is a wonderful affair. It comprises 4 courses served 2 evenings a week (Mondays and Thursdays), at a communal table set with silver, china, candles and Waterford crystal.
On Sarah's menu might be a scrumptious mushroom tart or a homemade pâté (courtesy of their own porkers), magret de canard à l'orange with vegetables from the potager, white truffles in summer and black in winter, endless salads from the market, local Cabecou du Rocamadour goats’ cheese with honey and walnuts, freshly picked raspberries, strawberries and cherries, and an eye-popping tarte tatin. It’s all washed down with the famous Cahors red (included in the cost), with coffee or fresh mint tea as the finale. And if you don’t eat fish or meat, Sarah will go out of her way to prepare you a veggie feast.
You'll still find room for breakfast the next morning: a spread of local croissants and breads, yoghurt, fresh juice, fresh fruit salad, coffee, tea and homemade preserves.
There are plenty of excellent restaurants within a short drive - your hosts know the best places to eat, so take their advice. Don’t miss Oustal in St Cirq Lapopie - a little gem with delicious food and a magical dining balcony.