Museums in the Tarn – a region steeped in history and culture

 

The Tarn is a region of France that is rich in both history and culture, demonstrated by the large variety of museums it has to offer. One of the most famous museums in the area, as mentioned in our blog post in April, is the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec in Albi (35 minutes from La Durantie), home to the largest collection of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s work.  The museum has a new exhibition running up until the 3rd January, exhibiting some of the best photographs of Marilyn Monroe by the famous photographer Bert Stern.

 

Albi has also recently opened a fashion museum, Musée de la Mode, home to a private collection of clothes and accessories covering the period from the 18th century through to the 1970s. Each annual exhibition is selected to highlight a particular historical or creative theme, this year’s theme being black and white, ‘Noir sur Blanc’. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from the 1st April to December 28th: 9.30am-12am and 2pm-6pm. The museum is set in a beautiful historical building with many architectural elements dating back to the 12th century such as a spiral staircase and splendid vault.

 

The region’s interesting history dates back to The Albigensian Crusade or Cathar Crusade (1209-1229), a 20 year long military campaign led by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism. During this crusade, the Cathars conquered many of the splendid fortifications and castles that are a major attraction in the area today, such as the beautiful fortified towns of Puycelsi(12 minutes from La Durantie).

 

 

The Musée du Catharisme in Mazamet (about an hour from La Durantie), in the heart of the Montagne Noir and the Cathar region, provides an in-depth portrayal of the Cathar tragedy. The museum is located on the second floor of the Office du Tourisme in a beautiful 19th century mansion, on Rue des casernes. The museum is open from 10:00 am-05:00 pm Tuesdays to Saturdays throughout October, and closed for two hours over lunch between 12 and 2. Whilst you’re there make sure to visit the nearby village of Hautpoul, and see the remains of the castle that was besieged by Simon de Montfort during the Cathar crusade.

 

Château de Mauriac (25 minutes from La Durantie) is a breathtaking Templar castle, classed as one of the 50most beautiful buildings in France for art and decor and with a 1 Michelin star rating. Located in Senouillac, between Albi and Cordes-sur-ciel, the castle is a very short distance from la Durantie. Take a stroll around the beautiful grounds and marvel at the stunning art work inside. The château is open every day for visitors over the summer period (unless stated otherwise), from 3:00 pm-6:00 pm. An adult ticket costs 7 euros, and a child ticket costs 4 Euros.

 

 

The town of Gaillac, only 15 minutes from la Durantie, has 3 different museums to offer, Musée de l’Abbaye, Musée des Beaux-Arts and Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle. On the first three Thursdays of each month the museums offer a pause café, pause musée system from 12.45pm to 2pm for €2.50. It is a quick and cheap option with a guided tour of the museum of your choice followed by a cup of coffee. Musée de l’Abbaye focuses on the history of wine growing and production in the area, whilst Musée des Beaux-Arts portrays the works of some famous painters from the area, including Jules Cavalliès and Raymond Tournon.

 

 

As you can see, the Tarn certainly has a lot to offer when it comes to museums. Make sure to follow us on twitter @ChateauDurantie and on pinterest for more suggestions of interesting things to do in the area.


Le Terroir de Tarn

 

As the hot September sun continues to shine in the Tarn, construction continues at full speed at La Durantie. Terracing is now complete for the foundation preparation of plots 1-6, including the private pool areas of plots 3, 4 and 5 (as pictured above). These three plots will be part of a mini hamlet, made up of three-bedroom homes with ensuite bathrooms and a shared courtyard, La Cour Braucol which is one of the Gaillac grape varieties and coincidentally chosen for the house red this year.

 

 

Even as autumn approaches, the sunny days in the Tarn with temperatures still in the high 20s, will draw residents outside to their shared courtyards for al fresco lunches and evening drinks with their neighbouring friends. Whilst the homes’ individual courtyards will provide a secluded, private space where residents can relax and recharge in the autumn sun.

 

 

September is an important month for both La Durantie and the local area as it signals the start of the wine harvest.  With its own onsite colourful vines La Durantie is preparing for the harvest in full swing.  In the near future, homeowners will be able to taste wine made on their doorstep and enjoy picturesque views of the wine domain situated at the most southern part of the development.

 

 

The Tarn is the oldest wine-producing region in France and is acclaimed for the country’s finest reds whites and sparkling wines. Wine lovers can look forward to celebrations in nearby towns, offering their own ‘Fête des Vendanges’ (wine harvest celebrations), such as one taking place in Bruniquel on the 20th September.

As you can see September is an exciting month in the Tarn. Residents at La Durantie can enjoy the hot September weather, as well as benefiting from fewer crowds when visiting nearby sites. Keep checking our blog to keep track of the exciting developments at La Durantie, or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie.


Diggers have arrived at La Durantie!

 

Despite temperatures reaching a toasty 33 degrees this week, diggers and wheelbarrows arrived at La Durantie to start constructing the first 10 houses at the luxury development.

 

One thing which will make the properties at Durantie so special is that each of them is to be built on a slightly different level, making all the rooftops different heights. This rooftop effect replicates that of nearby hilltop villages such as Castlenau de Montmiral and Cordes sur ciel, following in the authentic Bastide style.

 

One of the houses being built is Le Castelnau which, like many of the houses at La Durantie, is named after one of the beautiful villages surrounding the site. Le Castelnau is a stylish, 3 Bedroom house with two en suite bathrooms and stunning views all the way along the pool to the rear garden. Plot 1 comes with the added feature of a beautiful 150 year old well in its private garden.

 

The houses are to be grouped into mini hamlets of 4 to 6 houses with a shared courtyard. As members of the Country Club, residents will be able to stroll in the Château’s lush gardens and enjoy the Château’s peaceful   indoor and outdoor pools. Most of the properties will additionally have their own indoor private pool or Jacuzzi. Another property being built, the 2 bedroom Le Corduries, on plot 2 is having a Jacuzzi semi submersed on its wooden deck terrace.

 

Residents at La Durantie will also be able to enjoy the development’s own Country Club and its various luxury facilities. The chateau’s belle époque salons and terraces will be the heart of the Country Club, which will add a relaxed and friendly atmosphere to the development, and become a place where residents can wine and dine, and socialise with kindred spirits from the area.

 

 

Members can interact while making use of the Country Club’s tennis courts, croquet lawn, beach volleyball net, and the pitch & putt golf course. Residents can also dine in The Bistro and Bar on the lower ground floor of the Château, tasting some of the best and most innovative dishes from local chefs.

 

As you can see, there is a lot to look forward to at La Durantie, and the site will be undergoing a big transformation over the next few months after the famous French august break. Keep checking our blog to keep track of these exciting developments, or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie


Ceremony Celebrates Start of Build

 

On 6th July 2015 local dignitaries, architects, contractors, local influencers and media from France and UK came together to celebrate the start of build at La Durantie.  ‘La Pose Pierre’ ceremony is a tradition in France at the start of significant builds and the Mayor of Castelnau de Montmiral, Monsieur Paul Salvador was present to endorse this project which brings with it an economic aspect to this area as well.

 

Despite temperatures nudging 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), the crowd cheered-on Monsieur Christian de Pierpont of SARL Gresigne Résidence (Development Company) as the brick laying commenced with excitement.  Lunch was then served in the shade within the historical chateau building and conversations naturally turned to the fact that most home owners at Durantie will enjoy an ‘integrated’ swimming pool set within their landscaped private garden.

 

Following the ceremony, contracts were signed-off by the Director and Lead Architect allowing full works to begin.  Sales Director, Jeanne Boden said:

 

“We have been fortunate to gain a rare permit to build in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Wildlife and the necessary meticulous planning has taken two and a half years.  We are extremely happy to start seeing the fruits of our labour today; we expect the first two homes to be delivered by January / February 2016.”

 


La Durantie will soon become home to 57 vernacular designed single and two storey one to five bedroom detached homes.  There will also be two styles of apartments with either 2 or 3 bedrooms.  In-keeping with the local villages, homes will be arranged in small clusters of approximately four to six homes with private spaces and landscaped internal courtyards.

 

Country Club membership gives owners the use of private rooms within the chateau building such as the bistro, drawing room, library and two private rooms for dining or meetings.  Other onsite facilities will include 20 metre indoor and outdoor swimming pools, state of the art spa, tennis courts, croquet lawn, outdoor dining terraces & barbeque.

 

List of Ceremony Attendees:

 

  • Mayor of Castelnau-de-Montmiral, Monsieur Paul Salvador
  • Mayor of Larroque, Monsieur Bernard Audard
  • SARL Gresigne Résidence, (Director of the development co ), M Christian de Pierpont
  • La Durantie, (Sales Director), Jeanne Boden
  • Astruc Architectes SARL, Gaillac (Lead architect and maître D’ouevres), Monsieur Christian Astruc
  • Shareholder, Monsieur et Madame Delmas of INFACO (world specialist in secateurs production)
  • Dias & Fils, Gaillac, (Main builder), Alain Dias
  • Terracing/Landscape contractor, Monsieur Sylvain Laclau
  • Société Escaffre, Albi, (Roofing and wood frame contractor), Jean Michel Escaffre and team
  • ENTS Nimsgern, Albi (Plasterer / painter contractor), Jean Louis Nimsgern
  • L et L Energie, Albi (Electrical heating and plumbing, Monsieur Yves Lagreze and team
  • La Dépêche (Reporter)
  • The Metro (Reporter), Oliver Wadeson
  • The Guardian (Reporter),Emma Cook
  • Tempus (Reporter), Victoria Smith
  • P1 Communications (PR), Caroline Burnett


Le Tour dans Le Tarn

 

 

Today, (17th July) at 12h 40 the Tour de France will pass through the Tarn on the D631 road, past Graulhet and only 35 minutes from La Durantie. Graulhet is a charming medieval village, crossed by the Dadou River and surrounded by stunning countryside; certainly a picturesque spot for the cyclists to whizz through!

 

The Tour de France is a popular sporting event that attracts a worldwide television audience of 3.5 billion people per year. Some popular French cyclists taking part in the competition this year include Jean-Christophe Péraud, ranked number 11 in the world, and Romain Bardet, ranked number 12. Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas are two of the five Britons in the Team Sky (GB) line-up.

 

The route covers 3,500 Kilometres in total, of which 198.5 kilometres of the route travels through the Tarn between Muret and Rodez (13th stage).  Upon reaching Rodez the cyclists will soon travel up the spectacular Gorges du Tarn (Tarn Gorge), a canyon formed by the Tarn River with numerous scenic villages to visit nearby.

 

Cycling is a popular attraction for holidaymakers in The Tarn with surrounding vineyards and sunflower fields. The bastide towns of Lisle-sur-Tarn, Cordes-sur-Ciel and Puycelsi are also often dotted with lycra-clad men and women experiencing ‘authentic France’ by bicyle.

 

Bikes can be rented for €12.50 a day in Gaillac (only 20 minutes from La Durantie), at Serge Botta’s business, located at 98 rue Joseph Rigal. A popular cycling route includes cycling through the Gresigne forest; 35 square kilometres of forest with marked tracks and paths, a short distance from both la Durantie and Gaillac. Alternatively, why not cycle past some of the local vineyards and get a taste of some of the delicious wines the local region has to offer. Château de Saurs, a short distance from the centre of Gaillac, offers spectacular views from its vineyards along the hillsides overlooking the right bank of the Tarn River.


New vines planted at Durantie

 

Located on a wine domain, overlooking undulating vineyards and miles of oak forest, La Durantie is a wine enthusiast’s dream; not only will homeowners be surrounded by beautiful Gaillac vineyards, they will soon be able to drink wine produced on their own doorstep. Gaillac itself is one of France’s premiere wine regions with a rich history of production, with the first vine plantations dating back to the Roman times. Wine lovers living at La Durantie can look forward to the annual Fête des Vins (Wine Festival) that takes place every August in the heart of nearby Parc de Foucaud.

 

The new vines at La Durantie have been planted this April as part of the restoration process at the chateau which will see it return to its former status as a vineyard domain. Not only will these vines produce delicious wine, they are also an impressive sight, adding colour to the already beautiful surrounding countryside. The vines are planted at the most southern edge of the site and provide picturesque views from the Chateau terrace.

 

La Durantie has clay soil and many nearby brooks and streams, creating perfect conditions for the “Petit Manseng” vines which have been planted.  This is a white grape that will be hand-picked late in the season (up to November), allowing the first mildews to appear and the rotting process to start.  This process is what results in the delicious sweet wines the region is so famous for.

 

La Durantie’s wines will be produced in attractive 50cl bottles for serving with puddings and foie gras, and will be available to homeowners at a discounted price.  The bottles will proudly bear the ‘La Durantie’ label, with its turquoise flying duck signifying an escape to tranquillity, an escape that will surely be made easier with a glass of fine Gaillac wine in hand.


The Tarn – What the Visitors Say

The Tarn is a beautiful place famous for its quaint villages, acres of rolling hills, unspoiled countryside and peaceful lakes. La Durantie itself is situated between two of the most beautiful villages in France, or officially “Les plus beaux villages de France” – two of just 150 villages in the country which hold this official label. Puycelsci is 6km from La Durantie and Castelnau de Montmiral is just 2km away.

 

Despite its beauty and tranquility, there is plenty to do and see in the region. The Tarn boasts some of France’s most interesting and popular tourist attractions.

 

But don’t take our word for it! Here’s what people are saying on TripAdvisor about the attractions:

 

 Jardins des Martels, Girousseus

 

 

“Simply beautiful”

★★★★★
By Peter, France – Reviewed 17th September 2014

These beautifully laid out gardens offer interest and colour from April to October. Try and go when the lotuses are out (June-August), they are simply beautiful. We have visited most months now and are never disappointed. 

Our top tip: Make sure not to miss the Japanese pagoda and stepping stones across the pond!

 

Hautpoul, Mazamet

 

 

“What an incredible location”

★★★★★
By Christina, Cardiff – Reviewed 6th February 2015

The tiny village of Hautpoul, thought to have been built in 413 by the Wisigoths is perched high above the town of Mazamet. It has been beautifully preserved and is now pedestrianized. There is a statue to the Virgin Mary overlooking the valley and the remains of a small medieval chateau. There is also a reconstruction of a medieval garden and a museum. The views are superb of the valleys.

Our top tip: Best explored by foot! A lovely ramble up to the top of the village will reward you with some amazing views.

 

Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi

 

 

“The Palais de la Berbie and its gardens, great collection”

★★★★★
By Anonymous, Croatia – Reviewed 4th November 2014

Thanks to the parents of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the museum possesses the largest collection of the artist’s work in the world. Over 1000 works, pictures, lithographs, drawings and preparatory studies including all 31 posters provide a complete documented approach of the artist and illustrate each facet of his innovative talent. The museum is located in a lovely setting.

Our top tip: The art of the great Toulouse de Lautrec is alluring enough to make the visit worthwhile, but the setting and the lovely gardens are not to be missed! Spring and summer visits are recommended. The museum reopened in 2012 after refurbishment; the sleek renovation has given a modern touch to the interiors of this impressive historic building.

 

Cathedrale Ste-Cecile, Albi

 

 

“The paintings are remarkable”

★★★★★
By Michael, Australia – Reviewed 22nd February 2015

Big! It is one of the biggest churches we have seen. It’s quite beautiful; the paintings are as remarkable as are the statues. Albi is a nice town to visit actually. We loved it – do yourself a favor and check it out.

Our top tip: Try one of the audio tours (available in several languages) to find out about the cathedral’s fascinating history.

 

Musée de la Mode, Albi

 

 

“A jewel of a museum”

★★★★★
By Hatty, UK – Reviewed 29th June 2014

I’ve visited this museum twice now and been stunned by the quality of the display and the wonderful venue. This is a private museum created by an inspired collector of costumes. They are beautifully displayed, the building is fascinating and in the oldest part of Albi. The catalogues are beautifully printed and there is even a shop where you can buy some vintage items if you have a penchant for collecting or the old and loved, as I do.

Our top tip: It’s not a huge museum, but make sure you leave enough time for your trip as the 5 rooms are packed with information and exhibits that are well worth taking your time to enjoy.

 

Le Sidobre

 

 

“Great scenery and walks”

★★★★★
By Mary, UK – Reviewed 7th July 2014

A brilliant part of the Tarn for walking and spectacular scenery – the granite formations provide excellent points of interest and photographic opportunities.

Our top tip: Sidobre is an absolutely great place for exploring by bike. There are plenty of cycle-hire shops in nearby Castres. 

 

Château de Penne

 

 

“A fantastic Medieval village”

★★★★★
By Denise, UK – Reviewed 14th August 2014

This castle is not a ‘French château’ it’s a proper fortified castle on the top of a huge approximately 200 foot rock outcrop. As spectacular as you would see anywhere in the world! A fantastic place to visit. The village is genuinely medieval and absolutely lovely.

Our top tip: Make sure you leave enough time to explore the picturesque medieval village as well as the castle itself.

 

Jardin des Paradis, Cordes-sur-Ciel

 

 

“Go There!”

★★★★★
By John, UK – Reviewed 11th September 2014

Well-advertised and worth following the signs if you are looking for somewhere a little different, away from the shops and tourists. A hidden gem with so much to see and appreciate in relaxing and peaceful surroundings. Different styles of garden in such a small area and good to see there is a small shop/cafe to stop for refreshments.

Our top tip: It’s a great place to visit during the summer months; an oasis from the heat with water features and a lovely pond….cooling and calming.

 

Musée Laperouse, Albi

 

 

“Australian connection to Albi”

★★★★☆
By Shanthini, Australia -  Reviewed 4 November 2012

The French explorer La Perouse was born in Albi. This museum is dedicated to his amazing voyage of discovery throughout the pacific and Asia rim. It contains relics from his ship which sank on his way back to France as well as maps and documents. Interesting link to Australia in this small town in South of France.

Our top tip: The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable. So if you have any questions, let them know.

 

Musée Goya, Castres

 

 

“Small but well organised.”

★★★★☆
By Ben, Australia – Reviewed 31 May 2013

Delightful city council run art gallery that has permanent and temporary exhibitions. Free entry and helpful staff make this a worthwhile visit.

Our top tip: The museum shows much more than just Goya; there is usually a very varied selection on display. During sunnier months make sure to spend time in the lovely surrounding gardens.

 

Musée Charles Portal, Cordes-sur-Ciel

 

 

★★★★☆
By Jane, UK – “Beautiful”  Reviewed 1 August 2013

This is a magical place and getting the little train up to almost the top, saves your energy for walking the cobbled streets to the vantage point at the top. Steeped in history this is a picturesque place and one of France’s many treasures.

Our top tip: Not far from the ‘Jardin des Paradis’- try to incorporate both in one trip and spend some time taking in the breathtaking views of the tarn from this picturesque hill-top town.

 

Office de Tourisme de Castres

 

 

“Excellent – worth a visit!”

★★★★★
By Shanthini, Australia – Reviewed 10th October 2014

There are the usual brochures, of course, but the people themselves are what make it special. They really like their jobs and take time to talk and really answer questions. Very helpful.

Our top tip: Located next to the Goya Museum, the tourism office is really easy to find and great for finding out anything from simple directions to in-depth information about the local attractions.


Toulouse – The Ultimate Rugby Destination

 

… And currently great value for money as UK holidaymakers to the euro zone will have just over 15% more spending power than a year ago.

 

The heart of French rugby is in the South West of France. Stade Toulousain, or Toulouse as they are most commonly referred to, is traditionally one of the strongest sides in French rugby, having won 19 French Championships and made six Heineken Cup finals appearances, winning a record of four. The Heineken Cup, for those who might not know, sees six different European countries bearing representatives and is considered to be one of rugby’s top prizes.

 

Stade Toulousain’s home ground, the Stade Ernest-Wallon, is located on the northwest side out towards the Toulouse Blagnac Airport. The stadium can accommodate up to 19,500 people and on match days the streets of Toulouse become buzzing with rugby goers wearing the team’s red, black and white kit.

 

 

With Toulouse only 50 minutes away from La Durantie, residents can enjoy a great day out at the rugby.  Pre-match, we recommend oysters and a glass of chilled wine in the market bar of Victor Hugo, followed by a feast of barbequed Toulouse sausage in the grounds.

It hasn’t been so cheap to visit the 19 countries that make up the eurozone since 2007. On 10th March 2015, the pound reached a more-than seven year high against the euro, assterling rose 1% to hit €1.40 for the first time since December 2007.

 

Upcoming ‘home’ match dates for your diary include:

– Toulouse vs. Montpellier (Saturday 14th March)

– Toulouse vs. Toulon (Saturday 28thMarch)

– Toulouse vs. Bayonne (Saturday 11th April)

 

Toulouse’s current squad features a number of notable players, none more so than inspirational national team skipper Thierry Dusautoir, one of the best players in world rugby at the moment. Dusautoir is joined by former All Black Luke McAllister, Australian scrum-half Luke Burgess and fellow French representative Vincent Clerc.

 

 

Stade Touloussain dates back as far as 1907, prior to which rugby was only ever played in schools or universities. Stade Touloussain played its first final in 1909, claiming its first title in 1912. Throughout the 70s and 80s Toulouse established themselves as the dominant force in French rugby.


Life’s greatest journey begins with the first step…

 

UK DVD RELEASE – 9th March 2015 

 

La Durantie’s belle-époque chateau has been featured as the set for part of the acclaimed film The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Helen MirrenIf you missed it at the cinema there is now the chance to see it on DVD – available in UK shops on 9th March.

 

The film is set in the stunning South West of France, with a particular focus on the Tarn region; and will transport you to the rolling French countryside. The picture-book rural French setting will have you wanting to sell up home right away and catch the next cross-Channel ferry to la belle France.

 

The feel-good film will fill your senses with beautiful scenery, people and, most importantly, food – and lots of it!
“A moving piece of food porn” (New York Magazine)

 

The cast includes the esteemed Helen Mirren and OM Puri

 

“It is a pleasure to watch two such accomplished scene-stealers as Mirren and Puri vying with each other on screen.” (The Independent)

 

 

Based on the best-selling novel by Richard C. Morais, the film is about an Indian family that moves to a quaint village in the French countryside to open a restaurant right across the road from Madame Mallory’s (Helen Mirren) Michelin starred restaurant. Outraged by the new arrivals, Madame Mallory is determined to have their business shut down. As cultures clash, a rift escalates between the two establishments – until, Hassan’s talent begin to enchant Madame Mallory and even she can’t deny that he could have what it takes to achieve more acclaim for her beloved restaurant.

 

In reality, in the place of Madame Mallory’s restaurant, visitors to the chateau will find the new private country club taking shape.  This will offer sporting activities and a range of amenities including tennis, volleyball, boule courts, croquet lawn, art studios, equestrian pursuits nearby, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness centre as well as a state of the art spa and dining on the Chateau terrace overlooking the parkland and vineyards.

 

…La Durantie offers all the charm of yesteryear but designed for today’s lifestyle.


Valentines In France:
Sweet Love in the Town on the Clouds

 

Valentine’s Day is believed by many to have French origins. It is a long-held belief that the first ever Valentine’s Day poem was sent by the young French Duke of Orleans to his beloved wife, while imprisoned in the Tower of London. Although this may be no more than a sweet fairy-tale, it is certainly no myth that France remains one of the most romantic countries in the world, and residents at La Durantie are perfectly situated to take advantage of this romantic atmosphere and enjoy a perfect Valentine’s getaway. The estate itself is a romantic haven for couples, where residents are able to enjoy stunning views of rolling vineyards and expansive oak forests, while walking through the quaint surroundings of the estate with its fairy-tale roses and Belle-Époque chateau.

 

A perfect Valentine’s Day for any sweet-toothed lovers should certainly include a trip to the Musée Les arts du sucre et du chocolat in nearby Cordes-sur-Ciel.  Cordes-sur-Ciel is a delightfully picturesque medieval town, perched high on a rock and overlooking the gorgeous surrounding countryside. The town’s name alludes to the way spring and autumn mists surround the foot of the hill, making the town appear to be magically floating above the clouds – ‘Cordes in the Sky’.

 

The museum is found in the heart of the village, and offers an insight into the work of some of France’s award-winning chocolatiers. There is a gourmet trail through the museum, where couples will discover the fine art of sugar and chocolate while learning about the history and importance of chocolate in the region. The visit ends with a demonstration by some of the resident professionals. Why simply buy a box of Valentine’s chocolates when you can watch them being made by award-winning chocolatiers? After spending the day indulging the senses with some of the world’s best chocolate, couples can head out to the town’s hillside botanical gardens and watch the sun set over the Tarn.

 

 

There are other options for those staying at La Durantie for Valentine’s Day. Residents at the estate are able to reach Paris directly on the TGV, France’s high-speed train, making it an ideal trip for those who would like to spend the most romantic time of the year in the most romantic city in the world.  Exactly what makes the city a great location for a Valentines’ Day trip hardly needs to be explained; the city has long been famed for its romance, which can be felt in the air while walking along the Seine, dining in picturesque cafes on cobbled streets, and enjoying the views of the Eiffel Tower aglow at night. The beautiful architecture and fine art also help the city live up to its romantic reputation.

 

Whether couples decide to spend the day in the city of love, visiting the seductive chocolate museum of Cordes-sur-Ciel or simply relaxing in the romantic surroundings of La Durantie, it will be easy to fall head-over-heels for Valentine’s Day in France.