Saturday, 25 October 2014

Dordogne: Paunat & Restaurant Chez Julien

The limestone village of Paunat
Sadly our holiday in the Dordogne was coming to an end. Having ticked off most of the places that we wanted to visit we decided to spend the day hanging around the village of Paunat where we were staying.

A picturesque limestone village, Paunat is on the pilgrimage trail. In the twelfth centurya pilgrims staff took root in village and grew into a tree. A large abbey was built at the site of the miracle. Although the monastery is no longer present, the large church of St Martia still dominates the village both in terms of its size and the bells which chime rather irregularly at 7am and 7pm daily.

The village is postcard perfect and I was surprised that all of the houses seemed quite large / high status. I'm not sure where the farm labourers stayed in centuries gone by. The only downside to the village as far as I was concerned is that it didn't have a boulangerie. I love being able to walk to the bakers to buy fresh bread, and maybe a croissant, every morning.

With no road signs in the village I also found it quite infuriating to navigate and it took me most of the week before I'd worked out which road to take in order to arrive at neighbouring town I was aiming for.

Our gîtes for the week
We ate twice at the village restaurant, Chez Julien, during our stay. On the first night we hungrily scoffed down our food after a long day travelling, so we returned on our last night for a more relaxed meal.

Chez Julien is a friendly and welcoming restaurant which probably explains why even in late summer they were still busy and you needed to book a table if you wanted to get in. On both occasions we visited there were a fair few English voices at neighbouring tables with expats and holiday makers coming in from the surrounding countryside for dinner.

A local brew from Limeuil
On our second visit I started the evening with a beer from the local brewery in the next village. When it came to the menu I decided to order local specialities that I either hadn't tried during the week or wanted to try again.

Cèpes mushrooms were in season so I went for the tartallete de cepes a la creme d'ail so that I could get in my last fix. For the main course I went for the confit du canard as I hadn't yet had any duck during the week.

The food was good, but it didn't feel like they were pushing any boundaries and that they have found a formula that they are comfortable sticking with. Every main course (on both nights) came served with the same vegetables, and not a very generous portion either.

After dinner it was great to be able to walk back to our gîtes across the village square and be in bed within minutes.

The next morning we were up early to drive back to Bordeaux train station. Despite one wrong turn we made it back to the train station in the centre of the city much more easily than I was expecting.

Tartallete de cepes a la creme d'ail

Confit du canard

Chocolate tart

1 comment:

  1. Great ! What a lovely pictures. You really did great job. I can't stop myself from going this country. In fact, I am also starving after seeing food..yummy!
    road trip france