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Report 2068: Going for the Gold in France. Part 3: Dawdling in the Dordogne

By Roz from California, Summer 2013

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Page 9 of 12: Saturday June 29, 2013: Monpazier to Bordeaux with a Great Lunch in Between

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Lunch with Kathy and Charley at Les Truffières

Weather predicted to improve, but remained relentlessly cloudy and drizzly.

After packing up and a farewell visit from La Fontaine caretaker Ian, we headed to Trémolat for lunch with SlowTrav friends Kathy and Charley Wood. They were just finishing six weeks of tour guiding -- three in Provence and three in the Dordogne, so they were ready to kick back and relax. The lunch at Les Truffières, a few km outside Trémolat, was a wonderful ferme-auberge meal, in a unique ambiance. Yannick, the owner, has filled his dining room with all sorts of oddities -- maps of everywhere from Dordogne to Sonoma to Buenos Aires, and a zany collection of memorabilia. When he found we came from Napa, he said that he had loved Guerneville and the Russian River area and showed us a brochure from J wines in Healdsburg. We have to check that place out!

Lunch started with an aperitif of pear kir. Next came the best foie gras we've had this trip (homemade, of course), served with a glass of Monbazillac wine. The main course was perfect roast potatoes, grilled duck breast, and grilled mixed vegetables, along with a carafe of the local red wine. Dessert was excellent crème caramel. The total bill for the four of us, food and wine included, was €97 -- what a deal for an excellent meal! And it was such a treat to spend time with good friends that we hadn't seen in quite some time. See more photos in the Les Truffières album at right.

Our last stop on this trip was Bordeaux. We had booked our flight back from there and decided to stay for a couple of nights to see the city, where we'd never been.

We first had to return our rental car, although Hertz did not make it easy. We had to leave the car at a garage near the train station, then pull our suitcases about three blocks to the office. At least we found a taxi waiting there; the ride to our hotel (Best Western Bayonne Etche-Ona in centre ville) was €18. Not trying to drive into the city center was definitely the right choice. The whole area is pedestrian-only, and the cab driver had to use a special pass to get past the barriers.

The "superior" room at the hotel was pretty nice, for the type -- not much charm, but well-appointed. It had a king-sized bed and two bathrooms (each with a bathrobe), plus a desk and sitting area. It was a struggle at first to get on the Internet, but eventually I did, and the connection was good.

We didn't want a big dinner, so went looking for a wine bar highly recommended by the NY Times, which was reported to serve nice light meals, but we found it closed for the week. That was about the third time we had tried to dine at a place that was on its annual fermeture during this last week in June. We ended up at Brasserie Bordelaise for goat cheese salad and charcuterie plate. The wine (a Cotes de Bordeaux) at €5 a glass was good; food okay but nothing to write home about. They did score points by bringing us a complimentary plate of delicious chocolate moulleux cake with our coffee.

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