DONATED BY: Karen Sargent, AIA
Details: A five night stay for two at Tour Saint Laurent, a charming restored late Medieval/ Early Renaissance “petite chateau” located along the route of Richard the Lionheart on the banks of an idyllic river in southwest France.
A stay at Tour Saint Laurent is a perfect way to experience a secret corner of France Americans rarely venture into, but is well known to Europeans for its breathtaking landscapes, picturesque villages, culinary delights and access to some of the most celebrated medieval châteaux in southwest France (Beynac, Castlenaud, Hauteforte, Milandes to name a few). The opportunity to see the nearby famous gardens of Marqueyssac, Egrignac and Jardins d’eau is worth the trip alone. The delightful market towns of Sarlat, Périgueux, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, Brive, Brântome and Rocamadour are all easy day trips. Also in close proximity are the important pre-historic sites of Rouffignac, Lascaux, Grotte du Pech Merle, La Roque St. Christophe and Font de Gaume.
When you tire of browsing village fresh markets, hiking and biking local trails, consuming sumptuous meals and admiring the spectacular architecture, take a break and settle into one of Tour Saint Laurent’s shaded terraces with a good book, The International Herald Tribune (or if you must, the NYT online) and limit your exertions to lifting your libation of choice and adjusting your down pillow.
Tour Saint Laurent is located in an area referred to as Périgord Vert near the Dordogne in the protected medieval village of Ségur-le-Château. Positioned on the border of the regions of the Limousin and the Aquitane, Ségur holds the coveted status of being designated a one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France” (the Most Beautiful villages in France). An hour south of Limoges, famed for its porcelains and 2.5 hours east of Bordeaux and its surrounding vineyards, it is an easy trip down the A-20 motorway to destinations such as Toulouse and Carcassonne or the Mediterranean, if you were to wish to expand your travels to the south.
Access: Limoges to the north and Brive to the south each provide access to Paris and London via air and rail. Ségur is convenient to the A-20 and A-89 motorways and is approximately five hours south of the center of Paris by automobile.