The Château itself is absolutely stunning and has an old world feel about the place. When one enters the elaborate yet cosy Louis XIII dining room it really does feels like one has stepped back through time to the 17th century. The high ornate wooden panelled ceiling, tall elegant windows, logs burning in the huge fireplace extending from floor to ceiling, chandeliers, ornate embroideries and furnishings all make for the most exquisite dining venue.
As Cheeky and I entered this majestic place Eric the restaurant manager, welcomed us in and showed us to our table. He was to look after us for the next two evenings with delightful wit and personable charm which made for such a enjoyable experience. The 16 year long Head chef of Château De La Treyne is Stéphane Andrieux. He loves to work with the local cuisine from the Périgord and Quercy regions and utilises ingredients from the local terroir taking them to a whole new level of taste experience. His unique culinary talents won him his first Michelin star in 2001 and we were now lucky enough to be experiencing his talents first hand.
The first plate was a trio of apple mousse with foie gras creme brulee, a duck ball with Walnuts and a mozzarella in a tomato and basil sauce which wondrously tasted like liquid pizza; quite a sensational first dish which left our taste buds bewildered. Next up was cold pea soup with truffle mousse, the soup was clean and smooth whilst the truffle was subtle yet refreshing with a combination of slight saltiness and sweetness. Eric then bought us grilled scallops with risotto, parmesan wafer and girolles mushrooms; this had a very clean almost Roman feel with three main ingredients and good seasoning, every mouthful was utter pleasure. With these first three courses our sommelier recommended a refreshing 2014 Chateau de la Jaubertie a deeply dry white wine from the Bergerac region with exotic flavours fruits and herbs.
Sasha the very attentive waiter brought us our main course of beef and foie gras cooked together with a spicy wine jus, fondant potato, puff potato and carrot. The meat was so very tender, the foie gras soft and smooth whilst the puff potato was like a little air sack made from potato, who knows what sort of black magic is used in the kitchen to create such a decadent dish. We drank a rich and luscious Montravel Chateau Puy Servain Terrement red wine which had hints of warm honey and pecans with overtones of sweet peach, apricots and orange. After main course it was Cheeky’s favourite course… it was time for a cheese adventure. Out came a humongous tray of about 24 different cheese. Oh where to start? We thought it best to try as many different cheeses as one could fit on two plates. We tried cheeses from all over France, like Livarot from Normandie, Maroilles from Flandre, Brin D’amour from Corse, Langres fermier from Champagne and Rocamadour goat’s cheese.
Once we had eaten our two mountains of cheese our tongues were feeling tangy after all of the fermented dairy but luckily the chef had a moment of genius and we were served a pre-dessert-dessert of pear and toffee mousse in a nut brittle with pear and toffee pieces. The second dessert was warm pear with caramalised vanilla pods, honey ice cream, toffee sauce and crisp pear, I was in a desert paradise with these two courses, Yum!
As we approached the following evening we were both very excited knowing that we were about to do it all again. This time we had Salmon with wasabi and garlic followed a Potato cup with snail and garlic butter garnished with Parsley. It would not be the same without foie Gras in some shape or form and this time it came in the form of a small soup which was sweet and salty.
Just as we thought we had finished all of the Chateau’s supply of foie Gras it was now time for poached foie gras of duck with shallots, thin rolls of various raw vegetables with beet jus and crushed haricot beans. The poached foie gras had a texture that I have to describe as delectable ‘meat butter’ whilst the clean and crisp vegetables were a welcome change from the usual cooked veg. After this we had John Dory with fresh veg in a tomato sauce which was like a crisp and clean bisk, this was followed by saddle of lamb and French prepared cutlet with more of those magical puffed potatoes and a potato gratin with lamb jus. Eric selected a 2006 Château la Coustarelle Cahors Grande Cuvée Prestige which had aromas and tastes of red fruits with spices and a little tannin and sat alongside these two dishes perfectly.
Once again it was now time for Cheeky’s favourite cheese course, and Jean Phillip helped us select some more unusual cheeses including one that literally smelt like a rotting zombie but surprisingly tasted pretty good. I did not think that it would be to possible to outperform the previous night’s double desserts but once again the chef outdid himself by making three deserts. We started with white and dark chocolate in a mini crumb tower, followed by poached figs in fig jus with honey and fig sorbe, wine marshmallows and finally exotic fruit. We drank a Château Tour des Gendres Cuvée des Conti 2014 which had the taste of peaches and apricot with a hint of ginger and was like a 4th desert alongside the others.
That evening we retired to the cosy lounge bar where we worked with the Jean Phillip to make our favourite Rum based Espresso Martini. Having spent some time working as a cocktail barman Jean then spent the rest of the evening testing our palettes with all sorts of various cocktails from around the world.
This is historical, elegant and luxury dining at its peak all making for a most memorable experience. This Chateau is magical at any time of the year, whether visiting around christmas with all of the log fires burning and cosy atmosphere or during the summer months eating out on the terrace up high above the Dordogne river. The staff at Château De La Treyne are second to none; they are so very vigilant and courteous but with such a great balance of humor and charm that they make one feel at home.
The restaurant is open every evening from 7.30pm. For lunch on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and public holidays from 12.30pm.
Château de la Treyne – Salon Louis XIII
Tel : +33 (0)5 65 27 60 60