Invitation to Press trip to France, Dordogne Valley arrived in my inbox early September. I've been in France number of times before but never in South West region, so my answer was yes, sure! Trip was just for two of us, me and Sara, travel blogger from Birmingham.
We flew to tiny Brive-Dordogne Valley Airport from London Stansted, where Cecile, our guide for next days was already waiting for us. First place to visit and also our place to stay for a night was little town called Martel.
Our accommodation for first night was in Maison D'hôtes De la Devinie, crazy name that's as hard to type as it's hard to pronounce in French. This place was absolutely stunning, bed, bathroom, everything.. After couple pictures we decided to go for walk around town. It was after the rain and on the end of summer but still gorgeous and charming. All those little streets and flowers everywhere. Dinner was in place called Le petit moulin and steak and wine was both perfect. Tired we came back to our rooms and went straight to beds.
At the morning we packed everything and wend down for lovely breakfast. Plan for the day was to explore some caves around, which didn't sound as great idea considering the weather. However Cecile convinced us that we have to try that. We managed to put wet suits on and with our guide we went to explore Le Virage cave. It was quiet interesting as parts were under water and we had to swim :) Straight after in massive need of shower we vent to another little town called Meyrone where we had booked rooms in Hotel la Terrace which had beautiful views of river Dordogne and surrounded valley.
We didn't stay at the Hotel for long and went to explore more caves, this time Grottes De Lacave, This wasn't as adventurous as swimming through previous one but still it was a cool experience. After quick stop in Eco Art Atelier Karteko and we come back to hotel for a lovely dinner. Did i mentioned that i love Foie Grass? I know it's a very brutal way of preparing food but it's soo good. I think i had it on every meal since we arrived and still couldn't get enough :) Room in the hotel wasn't as cool as previous night but still very clean.
Another day and Cecile insisted that we have to try jump to kayak and go down the river Dordogne. It was actually quiet fun and sun also same out for a brief moment. Highlight was a cave with massive jump that we rather didn't try :) After Kayaking we stopped at Chateau De Castelnau Bretenoux for lunch and when i spotted Escargot on the menu, i knew this place be good. It was delicious i have to say.
Plan for afternoon was to visit four small villages called Bretenoux, Carennac, Autoire and Loubressac. My favourite was Carennac with tiny streets, flowers and lovely people. Our place to stay for third night was Hotel Le Pont de L'Ouysse in Lacave that we visited day before. This place was absolutely spectacular, with it's Michelin star restaurant of same name, sitting next to ruins of od bridge, hence the name in French. We had dinner with wife of head chef Stéphane Chambon who also joined us for drink and chat after dinner. Food was unreal, totally well deserved Michelin Star. Hotel room was very beautiful again.
Last day we decided to visit famous Rocamadour and to make it more fun, we did it through hills on mountain bikes :) Super fun and i have to say Rocamadour castle is beautiful and very picturesque. All what left then was to stock up with foie grass and went back to Brive Airport and back home to London.
Weather wasn't with us but food and those little villages was absolutely amazing and i'm sure i'll come back to this part of France sometimes again in the summer. Thank you again Brive-Dordogne Valley Airport