I'm always conflicted whether or not to write a review on a place that we like so well...do we keep it 'for ourselves', or try and help out a sweet couple running a great property? Karma wins again!
This a beautiful petit chateaux about 15 kilometers west of Perigeux, center of the Perigord. St Astier is the closest village, 5 km away. The location is just far enough away (NW) from Sarlat to be very relaxed and not flooded with fellow tourists, even during the 1st week of August.
The photos on the website certainly tell the tale well: the chateaux has been lovingly restored with new fixtures and fabrics, and tasteful period furnishings. We took a junior suite which was wonderful; huge tub and great multi-headed shower, sitting room with a TV, and fantastic bed and linens. There's even A/C, although we didn't use it - as the thick walls keep the place pretty cool, even during 32C afternoons. The grounds are neatly maintained.
Our owner-hostess, Catherine, took wonderful care of us - even personally coming out to the sunny pool asking if anyone needed anything to drink or eat. She is incredibly helpful, guiding us to a fantastic lunch spot - before we had checked-in.
Dinner is served on a nice terrace. The menu blends local standards with more eclectic dishes. All are beautifully prepared and delicious. The compact wine list focuses on near-by Bergerac and Bordeaux wines. We ended up dining there all three of the nights of our stay - highly unusual for us as we like to venture out and check out the dining scene. Her young service staff is learning quickly. As in any restaurant that is catering to the near-perfect realization of the chef's vision, the service can be on the slower side - so be prepared for a relaxing meal.
We skipped breakfast after the first morning; it's served in the ornate formal dining room and we opted for heading to the various farmer's markets for fresh fruit and baguette and cafe au lait - served in the sun. I bet that in winter, with fire a-roaring, that dining room is the place to be.
We named the housekeeping team 'The Tornadoes'. Our first morning we got to the car and I realized I had forgotten the camera. By the time I got back up to the room (3 minutes, maybe?) I opened the door to find four women ripping the bed apart like piranhas on an unfortunate water buffalo. I said 'pardon' and they turned and went back to their cleaning fury. I'm fortunate I made it out without a change of clothes being forced on me. Needless to say, the entire place is spotless.
We spent four fantastic days lazing by the pool, soaking up the sun and the peaceful environment, and exploring when we felt like it. It's a great place and highly recommended - just don't tell anyone.
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- Also Known As:
- Chateau De Lalande France/Annesse-Et-Beaulieu, Dordogne