Located off the beaten track in the glorious foodie mecca that is Périgord region you will find the boutique gem that is The Vieux Logis Hotel. A member of Relais & Châteaux, this charming hotel is a family house located on an estate that was previously dedicated to tobacco production. With its manor house, the former farm building, the outbuildings, and the new gastronomic restaurant the Vieux Logis Hotel has soul, character and class. Listed by Relais & Châteaux, the 4 Star Vieux Logis Hotel is also classed as a high-end boutique hotel in the Gault Millau guide. The accolades do not end there, their gastronomic restaurant has received 1 Michelin star, as well as three Gault Millau “toques” (“Grande Table”) in the Gault Millau guide. At the Vieux Logis gastronomic restaurant chef Vincent Arnould creates traditional, seasonal cuisine, revisiting typical Périgord dishes with finesse and creativity all served in the rustic décor of the dinning room, located in the former tobacco-drying house.
After the long drive from Paris to the Dordogne, Eisbär and I were thrilled to see the warm lights of The Vieux Logis hotel peering out of the black night welcoming us weary travellers. After checking in to our room and sprucing ourselves up we headed to the gastronomic restaurant to celebrate Eisbär’s birthday!
The cobbled floors and rustic décor made the dinning room feel quaint whilst the individual “stalls” within the greater room made the experience private and secluded and gave the perfect vantage point to look out onto the central space to watch the toing and froing of the staff. Yves, the restaurant manager, showed Eisbär and I to our private “stall” with a beautiful round table dressed in white linens and candlesticks and introduced us to our waitress for the evening, Elise, who was on hand to help us through the menu.
We started with a glass of rose champagne and an amuse bouche of duck sausage, olives and smoked salmon on a crisp bread with roe, simple rustic tapas style snacks to get us on our way. The starters began with scallops and cauliflower puree with shavings, the scallops were perfectly cooked bordering on rare so they stayed juicy and moist, the cauliflower puree came with different toppings that gave another dimension to the dish, this was served with a chilled glass of local white wine Chateau Briand Bergerac Sec 2014 that complimented the dish perfectly. Following on from this dish were the l’escargot with local garlic sauce and a poached quail egg, this dish had a very pungent garlic smell but the taste was delicate with meaty snails, a great Gaelic dish! Up next was a dish for which this region is famous, the epitome of decadent dining: foie gras. One of my all time favourite French food items, foie gras is the food of kings, and where better to eat it than in the region that produces some of the worlds finest?!? Served in its purest form and not as a pate the sizable slab of foie gras came with maize garnish, maize ice cream and meat jus, the liver was al dente, like meat butter in the mouth, the ice cream provided a wonderful sweet comparison whilst the corn added a crunchy texture to the dish.
Now on to the main course of pigeon leg and breast with chestnut and turnips and carrots, the pigeon was served two ways, the leg confit and the breast pan fried, both were delicious, tender and beautifully cooked, the chestnut came in a puree form as well as whole chestnuts with turnips and carrots finishing off the dish. The dish was a great combination of earthy and meaty tones with sweet accents that made for a truly stunning dish, the pigeon breast in particular was the standout element, super pink and soft that just melted in your mouth. This dish was served with a Chateau Kalian Bergerac 2012 that is a blend of Cabernet Franc (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon (25%) and Merlot (25%). This wine is a dark ruby in colour, on the nose you discover dark fruit with an aftertaste of pepper, in conclusion a very pleasant and easy to drink wine and perfect with the duck!
Now was the course that nearly all BBB writers live for: CHEESE. My love affair with cheese has been over 30 years in the making and some of my favourite cheeses on the planet are French. Eisbär and I opted for one plate of cow milk cheese and one plate of goat milk cheese so we could have a cheese flight as it were moving from creamy soft cheeses to the more robust rind washed cheeses, I must note here that Vieux Logis sources all its cheeses from the local terroir so you will be sure to try something new and exciting.
After cheese came the dessert of poached figs with liquorish ice cream, a rustic autumnal dessert that was warming and spiced, the liquorish ice cream was subtle that did not over power the sweetness of the figs. Served with dessert was a wonderful wine L’Avinturier Blanc Moelleux, a 100% Semillon on clay-limestone soil wine. A fat, round, fruity wine with aromas of grapefruit, tropical fruit and overtones of white fruit aromas of apricot, peach, banana, the perfect accompaniment to the sweetness of the figs and sharpness of the liquorish. We finished dinner with Espresso and petit fours that came served on a trolley like a mobile candy store, so cute and such fun to chose from glass jars like a child.
Full like a foie gras goose Eisbär and I made our way to the secluded bar past reception in Vieux Logis for a birthday nightcap, the obligatory BBB Espresso Martinis of course, before heading to our room to sleep. Having driven 600 KM to eat at Vieux Logis gastronomic restaurant I would thoroughly say it was worth it, this 1 Michelin Star hidden gem pays homage to its French roots in presenting modern representations of rustic classics that are both palate and aesthetically pleasing served in beautiful traditional surroundings that are steeped in history. When travelling in the Dordogne region Vieux Logis is the logical choice for fine dining with a rustic twist.
Le Vieux Logis Relais & Châteaux