The sun has peaked over the picturesque town of Saint-Cirq Lapopie as I sit in one of the town’s most atmospheric eateries, Restaurant Lou Bolat. Perched at one of the highest points in the historic hilltop town, it’s outdoor terrace has stunning panoramic views over pointed medieval roofs and chimneys, the St-Cirq Renaissance church and the stunning Lot valley that stretches as far as the eye can see.
The owner, who engages with all his customers with equal friendliness, serves both our dishes with great pride. My dining companion and I have chosen two regional specialities: Coq au Vin Querynois, chicken cooked casserole-style in a rich Cahors Red wine sauce served on a bed of tagliatelle noodles and another well-known local dish, Cassoulet Campagnard, a steaming casserole of duck, locally made sausage and haricot beans. The large portions mean we are well sated by the time we are finished, but we’re still keen to share one more regional speciality, Tarte aux Pommes. This is far more than a typical apple cake. This is a simple, yet finessed French delight. This small tart is layered with fresh local apples, with a coulis of caramel and hand made vanilla-bean ice cream.
If you chose to do nothing more than simply reward yourself for the climb to the top of Saint-Cirq Lapopie, then at the very least, relax with a glass of Cahors wine, indulge in a few mouthfuls of this exceptional dessert and drink in the view.