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Chateau de Mercues

Listed under Unusual Places to Stay in Midi-Pyrenees, France.

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Photo by flickr user Nelson Minar
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Not all chateaux have the accoutrements of a castle, some are more manor houses or Halls, with a capital 'h', but de Mercues was, for seven centuries, the summer home of the Counts and Bishops of Cahors, and its rounded towers with pointed roofs, and graceful battlements look like something a little girl would choose as her future home. The chateau stands on a rocky outcrop over looking its own vineyards and the river Lot. The Cahors defended it with boiling oil over the battlements and it took a bit of a battering in the Hundred Years War, but it was repaired and restored in the early 17th Century, so even the repairs are now properly aged.

The food and drink are up to regal standards as well – expect home grown vines, and home made foie gras and rich truffles – and just like the Cahors you should expect to pay for the privileges, but at that price you do get to choose your surrounds, and each of the 30 rooms is dressed differently, some with exposed beams and smooth stone, some draped in rich, soft fabrics.

Written by  Jemima Jones.

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