Stay in a French castle in the town of Cahors and the Lot valley
Thick swaths of green forest carpet the road on either side of us. We are in the Midi-Pyrénées region of southern France and bound for an overnight stay in a castle. The driveway up to Château de Mercuès is long. As it should be; after all, this castle was where the Bishops of Cahors resided until the Revolution. It’s a wonderful place to stay overnight, as well as pretend you are king or queen of the castle.
Relais & Chateaux approved
The Relais & Chateaux castle features 24 guest rooms and six suites. Architect Axel Letellier is over seeing the restoration with each room offering its own unique style. All rooms are non-smoking and offer a telephone, in room safe, mini bar, LCD tv, desk, shower or bath (my room had a tub with detachable shower hose) and air conditioning. My room, #21, had a wonderful view looking out the window to the Lot valley, river and vineyards below. A one night stay is not enough time for this princess. Next time, I’ll come back to Château de Mercuès with my prince charming.
Château de Mercuès restaurant
If you are a foodie, you’ll want to dine at the restaurant featuring the cuisine of Chef Philippe Combet. Regional Quercy specialities include duck, lamb, saffron and black truffle.
French wine country
Château de Mercuès looks out over France’s Lot valley and the Cahors vineyards. From the terrace, the garden or the bedroom, views of the surrounding area are exceptional.
While the signature cocktail in the restaurant is creme of casis with red wine, I recommend a glass , or bottle, of Château de Mercuès Malbec. It was in 1987 that owner Bertrand-Gabriel Vigouroux began harvesting the grapes to make Georges Vigouroux wines. Make sure to visit the underground wine cellar during your stay at the castle.
French California wine connection
While France knows its way around cheese and wine, I’m a third generation Northern California girl and proud of our agricultural and viticulture heritage. I was pleased to learn of Château de Mercuès’ California connection. Bertrand had crossed paths with California winemaker Paul Hobbs while in Argentina. The two winemakers became friends and Hobbs now works as a consultant for Georges Vigouroux estates in France.
Château de Mercuès is not open to the public year round. The hotel is open from the beginning of April to the end of October. Check the website for rates and reservations.
If You Go:
Château de Mercuès (+ 33) 5 65 20 00 01
Article written by and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Top photo courtesy of Château de Mercuès. I was a guest of Château de Mercuès .