The Lot Valley offers some of the most reasonably priced restaurants to be found in France. And don’t forget the local wines and vineyards – Duras/Bergerac, Buzet, and Cahors (a fine and complex dark red wine much appreciated by the French since mediaeval times) – visit the Chateaux and taste them before you buy. Here’s our guide to local food and drink.
Eating and Food
The area is largely agricultural and the cafes used by the locals on a day to day basis offer large portions of local produce, as well as the typical French snacks of omlettes, croque monsieur etc, relatively inexpensively. Local produce includes duck, good soups, garlic, walnut, truffles, wild mushrooms, an abundance of vegetables, foie gras, confits, stews (cassoulets), wild boar (sanglier), deer, chicken fed on maize and corn and lamb roasts and casseroles. There is also a wide range of fish, cured hams and sausages as well as a wide variety of cheeses such as Cantal, soft goat cheeses (cabécous) and the hard mountain cheeses as well as a wide choice of all the famous French varieties. Followed of course by good fruit tarts, plum and apple pastries and cakes.
Foie Gras (duck liver made into a patè) and duck form the basis of many local traditional dishes. Rillettes (potted pork, goose or rabbit meat with bread), Bayonne ham direct from the farm.
This area has become increasingly popular with the British and other nationalities and today there is a wide selection of restaurants from the Michelin starred to the exotic.
Marchés Gourmands Nocturnes
Les Soirées d’Éte
For the real taste of Summer in France, then don’t miss one of the ‘Marché Gourmand Nocturne’ near you. This is dining ‘al fresco’ as it should be. Select somewhere to sit at the one of the many trestle tables then, browse the stalls selling local cooked meats and produce from which to make your selection of a meal. To accompany this choose a bottle of wine from one of the local wine producers. Why not finish by having a crepe, fresh fruit, gateau or ice cream? The ambiance deepens as the entertainment gets going and you may even get to your feet to dance a step or two under the stars.
Starting at 19 hours
Tuesday Dausse, Laparade and Bourg de Visa
Wednesday St Maurin
Thursday Penne d’Agenais, Monfnaquin and Lauzerte
Friday Beauville and Villeneuve sur Lot
Wine and Armagnac
In common with most areas of France, there is a huge variety of local wines. Many are Appelation Controlled but there are also a large number of Vin du Pays wines available from local producers. Red wine is predominant but white and Rose are becoming increasingly available locally.
Chateau Latuc is a private vineyard in the heart of southwest France near Cahors. You are welcome to visit and follow their beautiful vineyard trail and taste their excellent wines. http://www.latuc.com/
World renowned Bordeaux, Cahors (the deep red wine loved in the past by the Czars of Russia and now making a strong comeback having lived for many years in the shadow of Bordeaux), Duras, Buzet, Bergerac, Madrian are wines are made in small quantities and the Armagnac brandies are produced in the area between Auch and Condom. Floc is a brandy-based wine and a very local aperitif. Visit the Chateaux and taste them before you buy. Wines from the producers are relatively inexpensive.