Rural & rustic or formal & fancy? Come to the Dordogne for both!

Rural & rustic or formal & fancy? Come to the Dordogne for both!

Loulabelle's FrancoFiles - Episode 9

Guest: Rosemary Vine

Other Loulabelles links:

Loulabelles FrancoFiles Instagram

FrancoFile Fix on YouTube

Loulabelles FrancoFiles Spotify Playlist

Loulabelles FrancoFiles Facebook

Join my journey to my friend Rosemary’s divine country maison in the Dordogne.

In 2017 I stayed at Rosemary Vine’s très chouette country house right outside the plus-beaux village of Monpazier. It is a beautiful petit bastide village, meaning it is a little walled village. The plus-beaux village label is given to the most beautiful villages of France. The association of Les Plus Beaux Village de France was founded in 1981 to protect and promote the exceptional heritage of France’s most beautiful villages. Today there are around 160 villages who have earned the label.

Les Plus Beaux Villages de France

In this episode, I chat to Rosemary about what led to her decision to purchase a house in the Dordogne rather than any other region given that all over France is stunning and unique.

My experience in the Dordogne was quite a life changing week. We had day trips to prehistoric caves with preserved art, tiny villages, markets, a 5 or 6 course Michelin star restaurant lunch followed by a very swish boat trip, chateau visits and time to sit and watch the world pass by. It was a week that cemented my connection to France in my heart.

Dordogne Country House

Relevant travel tv series

If you have a yearning to travel or reminisce about time spent in the Dordogne, Rick Stein’s French Odyssey transports the viewer from his landing in France, through to his barge trip starting in Bordeaux and ending at Marseille. He visits many towns along the river and samples some exceptional traditional meals along the way.

The show covers variations of cuisine from formal and fancy, to rustic and flavoursome, and It is a lovely warm series that truly conveys the loveliness of the Dordogne people.

Rick Stein’s French Odyssey


This is the song featuring at the end of each of Rick Stein’s French Odyssey episodes. It is called French Cook, and mentions so many of the dishes we have featured in our podcast episodes as well as some more that we are still to discover. It’s a sort of a modern take on the traditional French “chanson” style music, and I love to listen to it to try and pick as many French dishes as I can each time!

French Cook – song


One of the most exceptional travel experiences I have had was in a farm house near Monpazier. With my travel amies and my host Rosemary, we were treated to a 6 course lunch including an amazing confit du canard in a rustic farmhouse. The owner Christine explained that traditionally the duck portions were par-cooked, then placed into small barrels with boiling duck fat poured in to cover the duck pieces. The duck would continue to slowly cook in the fat as it cooled over a period of time. In generations gone by the barrels were placed under the house to be retrieved when needed. Then each Sunday a barrel would come out, and the duck portions taken out of the barrel covered in congealed duck fat. Each piece would then be fried off in the duck fat that covered it, which left the confit du canard wonderfully crisp and tasty on the outside, whilst remaining juicy and beautifully tender in the inside. Traditionally par-boiled cut potatoes would also be cooked in the duck fat once the duck legs were crisped up! mmmmmmm!

Whilst we are not likely to be able to prepare it in Australia in the same way as was traditionally done in France, we can definitely make a confit du canard to make your taste buds sing! You will need to plan ahead though. The duck is best when salted and refrigerated overnight before cooking. The recipe I follow cooks the duck legs in wine slowly over a slow heat. Then straight away transferring to the oven, or alternatively refrigerating in all the duck fat & wine mix for reheating later. Either the oven straight away or chilling to reheat later is good, but if you have time for the longer version with the extra chilling time, the flavour will be worth it.

Confit du canard recipe

Spread the love