The Relaxed Side of France
If your list of holiday destination priorities are food, relaxing and a hint of luxury not too far from home then the Corrèze region of France is there waving it’s arms around at ‘cha! Last month I compiled a pretty hefty guide for fun and adventurous things to do in la Corrèze including paragliding, staying in a treehouse and discovering what is basically a film set for Jurassic World. Let’s just say that there’s lots to do to keep you on your toes!
But after all this activity you’re going to be more than ready to discover the other delights, namely amazing food and wine. Here’s my list of amazing places and tastes to chill out in Corrèze.
Brive Food Market
Once you’ve had a good wander around the beautiful principle town of Brive (see me dressed up like a French girl there!) head straight to the market for lunch and to fill up your bags on local delicacies. We had a great simple lunch at Bistrot Brassens which serves the most massive steak my eyes ever have seen! Finish up with a cherry clafoutis. Don’t forget to spit out the stones!
Now to hit the market. Stock up on fresh fruit and veg, cheese, meats, plants, nuts, sweets and cheese. Did I mention cheese? Don’t miss the long shaped strawberries either, they’re a local delicacy and get their own party – a strawberry festival every summer!
Research La Corrèze online and you’ll likely get a list of beautiful villages to discover. Uzerche is one such place worth a gander around. Sink into a slice of dozy French life and meander around the old houses, towers and vaulted passageways to see why it’s named ‘the pearl of the Limousin district.’
I got up early and had a walk around on my own in the morning sun. There’s nothing quite like snooping around no-one’s watching! Scroll down to see where to stay in this pretty place.
EAT AND STAY
Hôtel Joyet de Maubec
Make Uzerche your stop-over town and stay at the relatively new Hôtel Joyet de Maubec, a beautifully restored boutique hotel and former boarding school with character and elegance (note the delicious smell of lilies everywhere you go!) If you want a touch of luxury then head here, if only to see those views over the valley of the Vézère river!
If you can’t stay, do at least make a stop at its restaurant, La Treille Muscate for a fine dining menu that changes weekly according to seasonal produce and the perfect wine pairings.
As a blogger, I love a beautiful village with winding streets, who doesn’t?! Gorgeous villages don’t come much better than Collonges-La-Rouge, named one of the most beautiful villages in France, it’s a definite stop off worth looking around.
Why so red? Well, I’m going to whip out my geography for you again folks! The houses lie on a region of clay soil high in iron which came into contact with oxygen. The more the iron elements rusted, the deeper red colour. Hey, I never thought I’d ever want a rusty house!
Be sure to spot the building with the mermaid in the wall at the village museum. Snoop around the hat shop down the road, check out the holes in the walls of the market square where sticks held prized local wine and see the village oven where villagers made bread. Mainly though, take beautiful instagrams!
Le Vin Paillé
The beady eyed of you may have noticed the beautiful cerise coloured wine bottles in one of my photos in the Brive market and then the white version in the background of our lunch. What you might realise is that the white labeled bottle with the sweet fruity liquor was pretty much a mainstay of our trip, popping at every meal and… breakfast?
Yep, on the second day of our trip, we were tasting it at 10am. All in the name of research of course, after all, it’s not every day that you get to sample wine straight from the hands of the producer. So when Jean Mage, a small-unit Vin Paillé producer invited us along to see the vineyards, vats and explain the process, all concept of time-appropriateness went out the window.
For the vino-heads out there, what makes this wine unique is that the grapes are picked and partially dried traditionally on straw (the French word is ‘paille’.) The sweetness of the grape is concentrated and when pressed produces that delicious flavour. Choose any bottle with the label and it will have been produced traditionally by one of around 20 local farmers like Jean.
Like the look of La Corrèze? Discover the wild side!