We headed to Sarlat this morning to meet up with our friends, Carol & Dean Reed, from Santa Cruz, California, who are, once again, vacationing in France for a few weeks. On our way, we happened across The Château de Fénelon, which got our attention because we had just learned about the apéritif of the same name from our friends in St-Martin-de-Vers. Classified as an Historical Monument, this fortress, dating from the 14th to the 17th centuries, offers a good example of integrating the war spirit of the middle ages along with the refinement of the Renaissance, as described in the Guide Touristique that we picked up from the Tourist Office. The Château tour was definitely worth an hour of our time, especially since we were able to purchase a bottle of the eponymous apéritif in the gift shop.
The Terrace of La Lanterne in Sarlat
We made it to Sarlat and got settled into our home for the next three nights, a Chambre d'Hôte called La Lanterne, situated perfectly in the old town of Sarlat. We were able to stash our Fénelon into the refrigerator in the kitchen of the hotel before heading out to wander along the cobbled streets in the old town of Sarlat-la-Canéda. Thanks to the Malraux Law enacted in 1962 by the then Minister of Cultural Affairs, Sarlat's historical center with its monuments and buildings have been protected and preserved as they existed in their medieval, Renaissance, and 17th-century pasts. Wandering around this beautiful medieval village of approximately 9700 inhabitants is like being in an outdoor museum, with history in everything you see.
We met up with Carol & Dean on the terrace of our Chambre d'Hôte, where we enjoyed a chilled glass of Fénelon before walking over to Le Quatre Saisons (2 Côte Toulouse; tél: 05.53.29.48.59) for dinner, where we enjoyed some of our favorite local specialties: Duck ~ Foie Gras ~ Pécharmant Wine.