Saturday market in Sarlat-la-Canéda

Local markets to fine dining - experiencing the delicacies of the Dordogne

Awash with a golden glow, the hilly countryside of the Dordogne is majestic in the autumn months. But it was the food that left the deepest memories from our visit. After several days of sampling the best of the region – from high-end tasting menus to local market grub – here are the highlights of our culinary exploration of the Dordogne.

The bustling Saturday market in Sarlat-la-Canéda

Bread in the market of Sarlat-la-Canéda

As a refuge for the religious fleeing persecution, Sarlat was settled in an unassuming position in a dell around 5 kilometres from the Dordogne River. With history visible on worn facades and ancient squares, it is an intriguing town with an independent streak born from its chequered past.

But it’s the Saturday market that transforms the entire village into an artisanal commercial hub. Up early on a crisp October morning, the yellow and orange leaves blowing through the village streets were a signpost for the produce were about to find. Stalls were packed high with pumpkins, squash, parsnips, cured meats, a staggering array of cheeses and plenty of wine to wash it all down with. The highlight was the regions star ingredient – mushrooms.

Blessed with excellent produce and enterprising locals, Sarlat has a reputation for markets. Saturday is the full market, while Wednesday is dedicated to food. The covered market in the Sainte Marie church is open daily (except Thursday) and the truffle market takes place from December to February. The Christmas market is considered one of the best in France.

Creative vegetarian cooking at Le 1862

After a day exploring the ancient rock formations hidden in the nearby mountains, we made our way to Hotel Les Glycines to dine at Restaurant Le 1862. Tucked into a scenic spot in the Vézère Valley, the staff prepared an innovative vegetarian tasting menu. The on-site garden provided the vegetables and aromatic herbs, while the kitchen used a deft hand to exploit the versatility of mushrooms to craft a memorable meal.

A trio of mushrooms with a depth of flavour often missing in meat-free dishes blended creamy luxury with spicy accents and an ingenious beetroot jelly. The earthy flavours of the Dordogne were present in a colourful take on a classic risotto, and a marshmallow dessert presented on a bed of pine needles embodied the rural charm and autumnal tones of the region.

The local Sunday Market at charming Issigeac

Sunday Market at Issigeac

Restaurant Le 1862 is fancy food in refined surroundings and the Saturday market in Sarlat is a popular stop on the tourist trail, but the Sunday Market at Issigeac was a sensory overload where we found local farmers selling their fresh produce to discerning locals who know where to get the good stuff.

In this most beautiful of villages, medieval streets curve towards a central square where stalls packed high with fresh seasonal produce enticed local cooks to form orderly queues; patiently waiting in line for the best ingredients. We wandered past stalls of fat, rotund parsnips still covered in dirt; trays of mushrooms in multiple varieties; freshly baked bread and a mind-boggling selection of cheeses.

The Sunday Market at Issigeac is one of the best encounters of food in the Dordogne, and the perfect place to pick up a tasty morsel to accompany the region’s most renowned wines.

The views and wine of Monbazillac

Monbazillac

Not far from Issigeac and spread across the slopes of a hilltop just above the Dordogne River, the vineyards of Monbazillac are regularly shrouded in a light morning mist. As the sun burns through in the afternoon, the location creates the perfect conditions for nobel rot; a beneficial fungus that partially raisins the grapes, producing the delicate sweetness that is synonymous with Monbazillac wines.

With mechanical harvesting banned since 1993, the Semillon, muscadelle and sauvignon grapes used in Monbazillac wines are all handpicked. This passion for traditional methods has created some of the finest sweet wines in the world.

A tour of the sweeping vineyards and the hilltop cháteau is a walk through the history of wine production in the area. The in-house museum has a collection of equipment from a bygone era, and an atmospheric storeroom contains 700 dusty bottles from early vintages. But the highlight, is the wine itself. Deliciously sweet, yet versatile, we didn’t need much convincing to leave with a few bottles home.

Sarlat-La-Canéda 

Sarlat-La-Canéda

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Saint-Robert

This charming medieval village is built on a ridge on the border between the Corrèze and the Dordogne. 12C Romanesque church. Guided tours of the village all year by prior arrangement for individuals and groups. Duration: 1hr/1hr 30.

19310 SAINT ROBERT
- Corrèze Tourisme -
- Corrèze Tourisme -
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Objat mobile home site

On the border with Périgord and Quercy, in Objat, a dynamic town famous for its apples, the service area is located at the heart of a 18 ha leisure park with a water centre, a jogging track, a pétanque ground and a skate park. Euro-relais hookup working with tokens. 26 delimited pitches with lawn, toilets blocks, play area, barbecue, picnic tables. Fence at the entrance of the area (code available at the Tourist Information Centre or at the 'maison de la presse' shop). Tariff : 2 € for 100 liters of water or an access to the shower. Free chemical disposal point and electricity. Parking fee: 6 euros per day with a maximum of seven days from April to mid-October and 15 days from 15 October to end of March. Only payment by credit cards.

Espace loisirs Jacques Lagrave 19130 OBJAT
- Corrèze Tourisme -
- Corrèze Tourisme -
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Le Vert Galant

Snack bar

4 rue des Claux 19230 SEGUR LE CHATEAU
- Comité Régional du Tourisme de Nouvelle-Aquitaine -
- Comité Régional du Tourisme de Nouvelle-Aquitaine -
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Pompadour

This small town is famous for its castle, offered by Louis XV to his mistress Jeanne Le Normant d'Etiolles. Pompadour is also renowned as the home of France's National Stud, as well as a Mare Farm, unique in France. The cradle of the Anglo-Arab breed, Pompadour has been the headquarters of an Equestrian Institute since 1976, and is the venue for several famous horse races. Horse-racing, cross-country racing and steeple-chases take place here from the last weekend in June to September.

19230 ARNAC POMPADOUR
- Corrèze Tourisme -
- Corrèze Tourisme -
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Pizzeria L'Origan

Horaires d'ouverture:
Lundi au Jeudi de 13h30 à 21h
Vendredi de 13h30 à 22h
Samedi de 8h à 1h du matin
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15 rue Coudamy 87500 SAINT YRIEIX LA PERCHE
- Comité Régional du Tourisme de Nouvelle-Aquitaine -
- Comité Régional du Tourisme de Nouvelle-Aquitaine -
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Restaurant Fleur d'Asie

Horaire d'ouverture
Lundi fermé
Du Mardi au Dimanche de 12h à 19h

25 avenue Marceau 87500 SAINT YRIEIX LA PERCHE
- Comité Régional du Tourisme de Nouvelle-Aquitaine -
- Comité Régional du Tourisme de Nouvelle-Aquitaine -