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Favorite Places to Visit, Stay and Eat
Relais de Margaux – Fabulous hotel in the heart of Margaux. This is where I stay when I am tasting wines for the club. The service has improved greatly and is wonderful. The restaurant does a fantastic job and you can bring your own wine!
Lion d’Or – Not far from the Relais de Margaux is Lion D’Or. This is an iconic place that has changed owners in the last couple of years. The staff is fabulous, friendly and incredibly helpful and the food is exquisite. Don’t miss this place if you are in the Medoc.
The Loire Valley
La Roseraie – We first visited La Roseraie in 1999 while renting a house in the Loire for a month. The hotel/restaurant is located just outside the gates of the Chateau Chenonceau and we stopped in for dinner after visiting the chateau. The onion soup is the best in the world and Laurant and Sophie are wonderful hosts. We’ve returned several times and I always look forward to visiting this wonderful spot in the heart of chateau country.
L’Esplande in Domme – Sophie runs the place and you won’t find a better combination of great hotel, fabulous restaurant and magnificent view in all of France! To have dinner on the patio overlooking the Dordogne as the sun sets, is one of the great delights in France. This is an incredible place and you will love staying here. 011.33.5.53.28.31.41
Le Vieux Logis – in Tremolat: Tucked away in a small town this is a great place with outstanding service and maybe the best restaurant I have ever been to. Really fabulous service and an incredible experience; part of the Relais and Chateau group. 05 53 22 80 06
In Sarlat: Le Presidial is a nice and upscale restaurant with a fabulous garden for outside seating in the summer.
Near Sarlat is the little hilltop village of Domme and a great restaurant with a spectacular terrace and view is the Hotel L’Esplande. This is an enchanted place (see above). 011.33.5.53.28.31.41
Le Vieux Logis is perhaps the best restaurant I have ever been to. Don’t miss the tapas lunch (seven courses – each a surprise) or a long elegant dinner in their garden. This place has received a lot of great press and it deserves every superlative word. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this years ago. 05 53 22 80 06 www.vieux-logis.com
Chateau Les Merles – Mouleydier – www.lesmerles.com; A lovely old chateau with nice rooms and a great restaurant, that is also part of a golf course! This is a wonderful discovery and enchanting. 05 53 63 13 42
On a hill overlooking Bergerac, in the region of Monbazillac is the exquisite Les Tour des Vents. This is a fabulous Michelin One Star restaurant and is one of my favorite restaurants in France. 011.33.53.58.30.10 Here is our video of the Maitre’d talking about our lunch there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hV8aeXel7p8
The Hotel Eiffel Park is ideally situated on a quiet street within walking distance of the Tour Eiffel, Ecole Militaire, Musee Rodin, Musee d’Orsay and Place du Concord. The hotel has all the typical amenities, decent rooms, internet access and air conditioning in the summer (a must). 011.33.1.45.25.30.30
Hotel Le Chaplain – close to Montparnesse and Luxemburg Gardens (my favorite place in Paris) this is a very nice hotel with great amenities and a friendly staff. 011.33.1.43.26.47.64
If you go to Paris and don’t visit Angelina’s you might as well have stayed home! This is the quintessential Parisian patisserie and it is fantastic. The hot chocolate is the best in the world and worth the trip. You simply must visit Angelina’s and have the hot chocolate. On Rue Rivoli near the Louvre.
For dinner near the Eiffel Tour check out Fontaine du Mars on Rue St. Dominique. This is a great place that won’t break the bank and a perfect stop on your way back from visiting the Eiffel Tower. 011.33.1.47.05.46.44
Classic Paris: Le Closserie de Lilas: One of the restaurants where Hemmingway hung out. This is a fabulous place and a true over-the-top experience. 011.33.1.40.51.34.50
Le Dome du Marais – A very nice dinner in a fabulous ancient dome. Everything about this place was delightful. 011.33.1.42.74.54.17
Normandy, D-Day Beaches
Le Mont St. Michelle – I have just discovered Le Manoir de Crepon, a wonderful B&B near the landing beaches. Madame Poisson is a delightful host and the Manoir is lovely. Also, in Bayeux we loved Hotel d’Argouges with it’s prime location and lovely rooms. For a wonderful dinner try Ferme de la Ranconniere just down the street from Le Manoir de Crepon.
Of course when I’m looking for a new place I trust Karen Brown to recommend a great B&B or hotel. She finds great places with great people. Visit her website here.