John & Brenda's Excellent European Adventure - Part Deux travel blog

Another View Of Our Blue-Shuttered B&B

We Come Upon The Chateau Losse

Classical Gardens Of Losse

Geometric Garden Patterns Of Losse

River View From Losse's Gardens

Fabulous Woven Lattice Pattern Of Boxwood

Intricate Hedging of Losse

Our Guide Of The Chateau Tour

One Last View Of Losse

Our Lunch View In Montignac

Evening Light In The Alleys Of Sarlat

July 31, 2011

Superior bed linen and a comfortable mattress in air conditioned comfort meant that we had a great sleep and a decent lie-in. We had been pleasantly surprised when Chris had told us the night before that breakfast was served until 11:00 a.m., which we took full advantage of. In the breakfast parlour, we met Danny who helps out in the B&B and he served us great tasting coffee while offering up eggs done any way you could want. Brenda had the soft boiled and I had the poached which were both done to perfection. All the while, other guests came and exchanged travel stories and recommendations…Les Cordeliers seems to get a lot of Anglo tourist business.

Lacking a plan for the day, we decided to let Tom Tom direct us to one of the wineries listed in its “Points of Interest”. Unfortunately, the winery was in the town of Montignac which had the double whammy of being the main entry point to the Lascaux Caves (Neanderthal cave paintings) AND hosting a Sunday festival, so traffic was crazy. We skirted the traffic jam and kept driving, when Brenda spotted a beautiful castle across the River Vézère. I stopped for a picture and nearby we found directions to the castle, which was open to the public.

Looping around on a one-lane bridge across the river, we located the entrance to Château Losse and its classical gardens. Losse is a 15th century castle which has been restored from a bramble-covered rundown mess over the past few years and its beautiful gardens have been replanted from historical records and research into the garden styles of the period. University students provide guided tours (French only with printed English translation) and we enjoyed our one hour tour while we madly referenced our printed copy. Like many tours of historical buildings, photos were not permitted but we got several nice shots of the exterior.

Lunch was along the Vézère in Montignac during which we chuckled at the rookie paddling techniques of couples drifting by in rented canoes. We enjoyed cépe mushroom omelets and a carafe of the local white in the warm calm of our riverside retreat before heading off on an exploratory drive to the location of our next week’s cooking school. Going by memory and some reference landmarks, we managed to happen on the school’s remote (no street address) hilltop location. Our preview showed that we were going to be in a pastoral rural setting with gorgeous honey-coloured buildings…a genuine retreat. Knowing they would be busy prepping the school for our arrival the next day, we quickly introduced ourselves to Lucy, the Chef’s wife, who has been our business contact to that point.

Back at our B&B, I found it necessary to uninstall our Skype application from the netbook, as we had experienced several instances of Microsoft’s “Blue Screen of Death” since installing it…where is tech support when you need it? For our evening meal, we sought out simple fare with Brenda opting for a salad and me a pizza. We were craving English language TV as none of our recent accommodations even had a TV but we settled for reading ourselves to sleep instead.

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