France: Aquitaine region, Eymet and Monpazier

Driving around the Aquitaine

Driving around the Aquitaine region is a truly beautiful experience. In September, with the summer not quite over yet, mornings are fresh, and the morning mist takes it time to lift. The mid-morning the sun is high up in all its glory.



Leaving Saint Emilion, we drove to the small village of Eymet. Eymet is a typical bastide village of Dordogne, an old fortified city of founded in the Middle Ages, with streets intersecting at right angles converging on a central square bordered by arcades, the commercial heart of the village. It is the most British-influenced village in the Dordogne. We had a look around and found some really lovely antique shops. I even bought some props, including small crystal glasses, and they survived the trip back to London. Result!



The next stop was Monpazier, one of the most beautiful examples of a well-preserved British fortified town. In 1991, Monpazier, one of the hundred villages entitled “Most Beautiful Villages in France”, was listed as a “Great National Site”, enabling it to preserve and showcase this unique architectural and urban heritage. There are many little shops selling antiques, local products, and ingredients. It’s an enchanting place with little alleyways and unexpected passages, stone buildings, and watering holes.

We stayed at Edward 1er, a comfortable 19th-century petit-chateau bijou hotel in the Dordogne, located a 2-minute walk from the central square of the beautiful Monpazier.  My room was spacious, with conservative decor. It has a double bed with white Egyptian cotton sheets. There are a separate room and a walk-in wardrobe, as well as his-and-hers sinks in the bathroom. The shower doubles as a steam room, and there’s also a large bathtub with a whirlpool. It is an ideal place to stay and relax during the trip in the Dordogne. Highly recommended.


The hotel houses a restaurant, Eléonore, where we enjoyed a splendid dinner, savoring the tastes and flavors of the Périgord. They serve two gourmet menus. The Edward 1er menu (3 courses) changes every day. There is also the Eléonore menu, which gives you a choice between several kinds of soup, starters, main courses, and several types of cheese and desserts, from which you can create your own 3, 4, or 5-course dinner. They will cater for special dietary requirements (i.e. dairy-free, gluten free, vegetarian). In the summer, the terrace within the walled garden of the hotel is open to customers to dine.

Dinner, Edward 1er: 3 courses: € 30: amusebouche was a small bite of leek pastry follow by a light and pink peppercorn dusted cod, main dish was a light and tasty Chicken Supreme with nori seaweed, leek confit ginger white balsamic sauce & Monbazillac (local wine). Someone order pigeon and stuffed courgette flower. Dessert was Moelleux au chocolat noir  – chocolat fondant with speculoos crumble and praline ice cream – just lovely.

restaurant Eléonore, Menu Edward 1er

Menu Edward 1er: 3 courses: € 30,– Menu Eléonore: 3 courses: € 41, 4-courses: € 46; 5 courses: € 51 Open for dinner, except for Wednesdays. In July and August, Restaurant Eléonore is open seven evenings per week.

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Next chapter of this adventure:  Saint Cyprien, cooking and eating in Aquitaine. 

Disclosure: I was a guest of AtoutFrance  and Aquitaine Tourism and their French partners on this trip. 



  1. October 21, 2015 / 12:02 pm

    those pictures are stunning!

  2. su tyler
    October 21, 2015 / 12:16 pm

    September is a good time for travel. I've never been to this area of France, it looks a very interesting area. Monpazier looks lovely, no wonder it made it the Most Beautiful Villages list.

  3. October 21, 2015 / 11:32 pm

    It just looks incredible, all that history and all those buildings are so fantastic.

  4. Elaine Croft
    October 27, 2015 / 12:34 pm

    I love this region of France, we took the kids there last summer, we stayed 1 weeks in a villa and 1 week in our bell tent. Can not wait to return next summer.