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France outside Paris

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small towns to explore when in France
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27 Rue Jean Jaurès, 87000 Limoges, France
It was Easter, so naturally the window was full of fish. The chocolate "Poisson d'Avril" is a special delicacy for April Fools' Day in France, but to be honest these creations were so beautiful I couldn't have borne to eat one. We saw a few...
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8 Rue du Temple, 87000 Limoges, France
Desperate for a cup of tea after a hard day's shopping, my three girl friends and I stumbled across this little place... and we couldn't have got it more right. While I can't vouch for how a guy meet feel about the place - it seems quite a dainty...
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Place de la Cathédrale, 87000 Limoges, France
Look, you can't go to Limoges and not visit the cathedral. I mean, why would you? It's a fantastic Gothic monster of a place and just standing in it made me get shivers. Have a wander around its immense nave, check out its many side chapels, its...
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Rue du Vieux Pont, 86500 Montmorillon, France
My friend Philly took us to this "Salon de The" - a welcome treat for us Brits, as French brands of tea really aren't anything like you get across the Channel. To be honest, just a nice cup of Earl Grey would have made us happy - instead we got...
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4 Place Saint-Pierre, 86250 Charroux, France
Charroux may be a small, insignificant town today but in the Middle Ages it attracted hordes of pilgrims. The once large (now ruined) abbey here housed a very special relic: the holy prepuce, or foreskin of Jesus, said to be the only piece of...
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24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda, France
Sarlat is a picturesque medieval town located in the heart of France, and although it is one of the most beautifully restored and preserved towns representative of 14th century France, or Europe for that matter, due to its isolated location, it...
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Les Jardins de Marqueyssac, 24220 Vezac, France
The Marqueyssac Gardens in the Périgord region of France are not only the most visited in the region but among the most reminiscent of a fairytale landscape. Perched on a hill overlooking the Dordogne valley, Julien de Cerval's topiary masterpiece...
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24440 Beaumont-du-Périgord, France
I may be from San Francisco but my heart was left in the Dordogne long ago, back when I started writing my book about one of my favorite regions of France. One of the many reasons why is this wonderful annual celebration called Felibrée. Since...
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Dordogne, France
The apéritif of choice in the Dordogne (and in many parts of France) is this sweet dark liquor called walnut wine, but there's nary a grape in site. The vin de noix is made from young green walnuts harvested between La Fete de St. Jean (June 24)...
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46200 Souillac, France
Trade the car for a kayak in Souillac and float down the Dordogne. Then get ready to eat. We still fantasize about the foie gras from Château de la Treyne, a Michelin-starred castle where, if you get too buzzed on regional Cabernet, you can rent a...
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24290 Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère, France
St. Léon sur Vezère is a charming little village, built on the curve of the Vezère River, and is a cluster of honey-coloured stone houses linked by small alley ways. And there is one church, where my friend Roland was married.
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Le Moulin de Madame, 47300 Bias, France
Every village has its own B&B, but we suggest routing your trip through Villeneuve-sur-Lot for a stay at Le Moulin de Madame, a remarkably fashionable hotel considering the age of the building that houses it: a riverside mill built 235 years ago....