If you ever thought you might be even a little French, a visit with Claude and Jacques de Ste. Croix at Chateau Sannat will make you want to tear up your passport. The Ste. Croixs hospitality is so generous you’re ready to become their long-lost cousin. Chateau de Sannat has the distinction of being a registered historic landmark and a four star Table d’hote in the Limousin, an under-appreciated region in the heart of France. It’s a treasure hiding in plain view, and over the past 15 years, I have brought numerous culinary tours here in summer, fall, even the winter months to discover chateau living in the French countryside.
The terrace of the Colombe d’Or in the south of France is a lovely place for lunch. Arrive early and you can get a shady table under a grape arbor. It’s an ideal place to enjoy dining as theatre: Is that elegant gentleman at the center table the owner the gold Rolls- Royce outside? The hip couple by the trellis, wouldn't they make great leads in a Peter Mayle novel? And don’t look now, that quartet with the big cameras, they have to be Americans. (It’s best to keep your darkest sunglasses on while doing this.)