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Love France Week – Limousin insider’s guide

July 30, 2012 3:00 pm
posted by Rebecca

Ever wondered where you can really get away from it all in France? Look no further than lovely Limousin. The region is one of the most sparsely populated spots in France, and if you’re a history buff, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained.

We’ve asked the people who know best, the Limousin tourist board, for their top tips on things to see and do:

There are many excellent restaurants in Limousin but for some authentic fare, head to one of the region’s Auberge de Pays where you can be sure to sample some local food.

Limousin knows exactly how to take ad­vantage of the flavours of its local pro­duce : beef, truffles, blueberries, walnuts, chestnuts, Golden Delicious apples and mushrooms. Traditional specialities to try include: gale­tous fourrés (thick buckwheat pancakes), potée limousine (pork hot-pot from the Limousin region prepared with cabbage and root vegetables), ceps, Saint-Yrieix Madeleines, Saint-Léonard marzipans, Creuse hazelnut cakes, Corrèze liquors and of course the amazing Clafoutis – cherry desert.

If you are looking to try some local tipple, try one of the yummy beers produced in one of Limousin’s micro breweries.

Limousin’s blessed with natural wonders including the Lac de Vassivières, one of France’s largest lakes in the heart of the region, and the  Plateau de Millevaches  national park. Its also a region rich with  historical sites like the Santiago de Compostella pilgrim’s walking route, the Château de Chalus where Richard the Lionheart spent his final hours and the martyr village of Oradour sur Glane destroyed by the Nazis in World War II.

Most people don’t know but… Two French Presidents are from Limousin Jacques Chirac who has his own museum in the region and current French President François Hollande, who is from Tulle.

The Impressionists’ Valley inspired many of the movement’s most renowned painters including Monet. Take a trip around Crozant to see the sites which inspired them.

The Château de Boussac is one of the region’s most iconic sites. Writer George Sand famously stayed there a few times and discovered the renowned unicorn tapestry

To check out some of Limousin’s best views over the Dordogne Valley  you can find a spot near the Pierre & Vacances Residence Les Belle Rives in Argentat.

Brive la Gaillarde has got a fantastic market, making it a great stop for a spot of gastro shopping. Limoges has got the largest concentration of boutiques in the area, it is also the Porcelain capital of France, so definitely worth a stop for any shopping outing.

Terra Aventura, Limousin’s version of geocaching, is a great way to entertain kids. Available for free on your sat nav or smart phone this gigantic treasure hunt will sure keep the kids amused!

The best place to enjoy the local nightlife are la Place Denis Dussoubs, the Place de la Cité and and the rue Charles Michel in Limoges, aptly nicknamed “thirst street”!

Local trivia/fun facts:

–   Two French President, Jacques Chirac and Francois Hollande are from Limousin

–   Renowned French patisseries Madeleine and Clafoutis are from Limousin

Enter Love France Week for your chance to win one of 10 goodie bags from Limousin.

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