These days there are too many visitors for the mayor to peel and cook potatoes to order. But he hasn’t let go of his original mission for the market: to feed local people and guests dishes from local producers.
At the end of the evening, unparking the Dersh is easy. The rented car that gobbled up the space has gone. Perhaps to find a more salacious night market, one with more Rolling Stones and less square dancing.
Located in Trémolat, an enchanting sandstone village close to the Dordogne River, Le Vieux Logis (011-33-5-53-22-80-06; vieux-logis.com) is an intimate four-star Relais & Châteaux hotel with a swimming pool and immaculate gardens. La Belle Etoile (011-33-5-53-29-51-44; hotel-belle-etoile-dordogne.fr), a pretty hotel with plain bedrooms, is in the center of La Roque-Gageac, one of the Dordogne’s most beautiful (and seasonally crowded) riverside villages. Ideally situated for drives to the area’s renowned caves, Hôtel Du Centenaire (011-33-5-53-06-68-68; hotelducentenaire.fr) is located in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, a tourist trap that’s home to a highly regarded museum devoted to Paleolithic man (the Musée National de Préhistoire). Hostellerie Du Passeur (011-33-5-53-06-97-13; hostellerie-du-passeur.com), also in Les Eyzies, is a lovely ivy-covered hotel on the river that feels worlds away from the bustle. Hôtel Du Château (011-33-5-53-07-23-50), in Campagne, is a modest Périgord-style mansion opposite a grand private castle in a hamlet in the heart of cave country. Simple, clean, with a rustic restaurant that serves standard Périgord dishes, L’auberge Médiévale (011-33-5-53-07-24-02; auberge-medievale.fr), in Audrix, is next to the church—and the weekly night market. Note: Few hotels in this part of France have air-conditioning.
Possibly the finest restaurant in the Périgord, Le Vieux Logis (see above) offers such exceptional treatments of French classics that it has become a beloved weekend retreat for politicians, actors, and other luminaries down from Paris. Le Bistro d’en Face (05-53-22-80-69), an offshoot of Le Vieux Logis, serves both typical bistro fare (grills, daubes) and top-flight offal, including pieds de porc (pigs’ feet) and andouillettes de Troyes (tripe sausage). On a terrace overlooking the river, La Belle Etoile (see above) lures tourists and locals alike with well-executed dishes, including oeufs en cocotte aux langoustes (eggs in a ramekin with crayfish) and foie gras poêlé aux fruits blancs (duck liver sautéed with soft fruits). (Don’t let the plainness of the décor put you off.) La Métairie (05-53-29-65-32), in Beyssac, is worth a visit for snail-and-wild-mushroom ragout and ground pork and lobster roasted in pork caul. At Restaurant de L’abbatiale Chez Julien (05-53-63-21-08), which is situated in the garden of a medieval church in Paunat, you can enjoy simply cooked (and absolutely delicious) duck and fish dishes.