Sunday, July 17, 2022

Seductive Sarlat

               Sarlat is located in the Dordogne river valley only 100 miles inland from Bordeaux

France's medieval village of Sarlat, a tangle of pedestrian-only cobblestoned lanes, secret squares and beautiful honey-colored stone buildings, is sure to seduce.
  It’s no wonder why this enchanting town is a favorite location for film directors (>20 movies have been made here including Chocolat).   Sarlat is just the right size for travelers in that there are a host of services available for visitors, but small enough that it still offers the feel of a romantic getaway, especially after day trippers return home and twinkling lights appear in this Hollywood-set city.

                                 Sarlat is France's epicenter for goose & duck products

Although I have visited Sarlat at least 10 times, it’s the kind of place that one never tires of returning.   Located a few hours inland from Bordeaux in the area of the Cro Magnon caves, Sarlat is the perfect spot to unwind from jet lag.  The town is a stroller’s dream with all kinds of nooks and crannies---ancient alleyways wind throughout town and beg for exploration.  While the beautiful main street is usually filled with visitors, the equally charming back streets are often empty.   

          Sausages come in every flavor (L to R): pheasant, nuts, mushrooms, & duck

Sarlat is a gourmand’s paradise.  The region surrounding Sarlat (Perigord) is one of the epicurean centers for French gastronomy:   foie gras farms, walnut orchards, and forests filled with truffles & wild mushrooms.  The area’s many culinary treasures are palpable during the city’s outdoor markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Local cheeses, honey, a cornucopia of fresh produce, sausages, foie gras of both ducks and geese in every conceivable preparation, endless walnut confections, and bottles of earthy walnut oil all compete for hungry shoppers’ attention.

             Rotisserie chickens are accompanied by potatoes cooked in duck fat with onions & fresh herbs

I've timed by upcoming September visit to Sarlat so that my stay includes Saturday, their largest outdoor market.  I intend to fill my suitcase with Perigord's tantalizing delicacies.  But, I'm equally looking forward to Sarlat's mid-week nights when the village feels its most alluring.




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