Sunday 19 August 2012

A chateau in the dordogne

The Dordogne is a part of France I'd never seen until last month, when a few days there seemed not nearly long enough.

A short train-ride from Paris on a speedy, comfortable TGV gets you to this peaceful green and pleasant land, which the broad Dordogne river snakes through, and there is seemingly a chateau, castle or abbey around every corner.

We picked up a hired car at Limoges Bénédictins gare - and I had to include the pic below, because when did you ever see such beautiful architecture for a provincial railway station?

Driving through this peaceful countryside it was hard to imagine the wars that raged here in the Middle Ages - the Hundred Years War with England, and later France's 'wars of religion'.

The farmhouses we passed had weathered centuries of war and peace ...

The Dordogne is known as 'the land of 1001 castles'. For a special reunion with friends from far away, we had the great treat of two nights in one of those castles - the gorgeous Chateau de la Treyne

... perched high up above the Dordogne river, and built like most castles in the 11th and 12th centuries on inaccessible sites with strategic viewpoints, its terrace has stunning views over the river ...

The current owners, Philippe and Stéphanie Gombert have spent the last twenty years restoring and decorating, and their passion is self-evident for this place that they see themselves as caretakers of for a tiny fraction of its history (it goes back to 1342).

Arriving early afternoon and too late for lunch, Stéphanie insisted on ducking into the kitchen to rustle up some cheese, bread, salad and wine - producing this most elegant 'picnic' lunch in about five minutes! ...

The swimming pool beckoned ...

and with Walter the friendly retriever for company ...

and these seductive gardens to explore, it was clear to me that only by a cruel twist of fate had I not been born to a chateau life and that it was going to be very hard to leave.

But there was a region entirely new to me to explore, and so I shall duly sort through my snaps and show more of this gorgeous part of France very soon on my lately neglected blog ...


  1. Dear Karen, Oh my, what sensational photographs, especially the first one, no actually, all of them. And how fortuitous. We will be traveling through the Dordogne region, for the very first time this September and October. Thank you for adding information about the Chateau de la Treyne. Will contact them today.

    1. Dear Gina, I know you will love this area. I had the huge pleasure of seeing Karin at the divine La Pouyette on this trip, and I believe you will too! I look forward to hearing about your travels there later this year.

  2. Karen, what lovliness you've given us today. Your photo collages are beautifully put together and should make everyone of us want to jet on over to explore. Can't wait for our September BIO posts, I know they will be insightful and fun. xx's

  3. Thanks, Marsha for your kind comment. I look forward to the September post too :))

  4. the first picture looks like a painting!
    Talk about divine...
    Just heavenly.
    what an experience
    I think all chateaux have a blond Lab to go with the sandstone...

    1. Haha, I'll remember to get the matching dog if I ever acquire a chateau :))

  5. Wow what a beautiful post and stunning photos - it's time I travelled again I think - you have whetted my appetite. I especially love the first photos - I am lost in its peace! Thank you for making my day. F x

  6. Your photographs look like something out of a magazine Karen! I am instantly drawn to the fields of sunflowers and bales of hay. How I would love to witness fields of sunflowers and lavender - preferably not on the front of a postcard. (Thanks for your lovely comments recently.) Bella B!

  7. I'm putting this on my list of must dos- when I get back over to Europe!

  8. Oh my! Your photos are georgeus!! I want to leave right now! I'm not really for the French or France, as I've expirenced them not very friendly. But this landscape and the lovely castles sure could make up for a lot. I understand, why you wanted to stay.

  9. stephanie gombert21 August 2012 at 09:12

    Dear Karen,
    Your husband sent me the email with your blog. Thank you very much for taken the time to put so much beautiful pictures from our home - Chateau de la Treyne - on your blog. I'm very impressed and I like it very much. Our dog Volta is great. We have so much work that sometimes we forget how beautiful it is. Thank you very much. I will show your blog to all my staff and to our friends. Hope to see you again. Warmest regards. stephanie gombert.
    PS : You have also the possibility to come to the Dordogne Valley by plane, from London City Airport, with Cityjet. It is a new airport and only 20 minutes from us.

    1. Dear Stephanie, I'm so glad you liked the pictures. We loved staying with you and will never forget your hospitality and beautiful surroundings. Next time we'll take the more direct route by air!

  10. I'm quite sure that you WERE born into a chateau life, Karen, and were just carelessly misplaced!
    These photos and quick overview of the Dordogne gave me more insight into a region I've heard much about but never visited than so many other blogs and travelers' accounts!
    The photos have a dreamy quality that somehow imbues what is pictured with the centuries that also belong to them. I look forward to the "more."


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