It was about eight years ago this month that I knocked on the doors of this B&B in the village of Biron (population 140) in the Dordogne.
I drove from my home in Brussels and when I got off the highway in the Dordogne, I had to stop every few minutes to snap photos. I even called my husband a few times to say, "You won't believe what I'm seeing."
The scenery was that traffic stopping.
The knock on the doors of this 500-year- old former priory changed my life in many ways. It not only confirmed that yes, I am madly in love with France, but it's also where the idea for my book, Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves, was born. I've stayed here through three different owners, and it always feels like home.
The well-preserved historic site is now a luxurious inn with five huge, even by US standards, en suite bedrooms filled with antiques.
Le Prieuré is run by a charming French woman who lived in the US for 30 years before returning to France. The gourmet kitchen often plays host to guest chefs, and the outdoor patio and lawns have plenty of space to read, write, and let the mind wander.
The village itself is dominated by one of the largest castles in the region---the Chateau de Biron, open to the public and home to summer concerts.
Rumor has it there is a secret passage underground running between Le Prieuré and the castle, once used by the priests who lived there.
I've never found it, but I go back every year to try.