The sleepy hamlet of Tréjouls is in the heart of the area known informally as "Quercy Blanc", just south of one of France's most beautiful rivers, the Lot. Striking bands of tender chalk, lacerated by running streams, lend the region its name.
The wide valley below the village is an ever-changing patchwork of melon and sunflower fields, against a backdrop of oak woods.
Nearest shops, post office, restaurant, etc. are 6 kms (4 miles) away: a car is essential for both shopping and sightseeing. (You can, however, walk to the village tennis court through our woods... about 4-5 minutes.) Tréjouls is also approximately equidistant (approx 15 mins drive) from three striking medieval "bastide" towns: Lauzerte, Montcuq and Castelnau-Montratier.
Most villages have lively weekly markets selling the melons, strawberries, grapes, soft goat's cheeses (cabécous), duck breasts (magrets) and Cahors appellation contrôlée wines - to name but a few - for which this gastronomic area is justly famous. Scroll down for more on food and wine!
Travel by air
La Petite Grange and La Petite Maison are within easy reach of several airports served by “low-cost” airlines.
There are several trains daily, including night sleepers, from Paris (Austerlitz) to Cahors which is linked to the motorway network and approx. 30 minutes' drive from Tréjouls.
All the main car hire firms are represented in Cahors (Avis have an office on the station square) and at Toulouse airport.
From Lazy days out in the Dordogne and Lot, by Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls, publ. Cadogan Books, 1996.
The local specialities are the pride of southwest France. Many derive from corn-stuffed ducks and geese: not only the rich and famous foie gras, but also magrets (boneless duck breast steaks) and confits (thighs, legs and wings preserved in their own golden fat, pâtés or meaty rillette. Duck or goose fat is used for everything from sautéing potatoes to flavouring soups; combined with the excellent wines from Cahors and Bergerac you have, believe it or not, a delicious, cholesterol-clobbering combo. Wild mushrooms and especially the mighty (and mighty pricey) black truffle - are other prized gourmet ingredients. ... The summer markets overflow with delicious fruit: strawberries, cherries, kiwis, peaches, pears, apricots, melons, plums, raspberries and walnuts.
From: Travellers Wine Guide - France, by Christopher Fielden, publ. Philip Clark Ltd, 1989:
In the Middle Ages, most of the wine that was shipped from Bordeaux came not from the local vineyards, but from what was called the Haut-Pays, up the Dordogne and the Garonne and their tributaries. Today there are still wines from those regions, with the best probably coming from around Bergerac on the Dordogne and Cahors on the Lot.
The basic grape of Cahors is the Malbec, here called the Auxerrois, which plays a supporting role in Bordeaux. Traditional methods of vinification used to give what was known as a "black" wine, deep in colour, full of tannin and long lasting. Modern wine-making methods and more planting in the sandy valley bottom, rather than on the limestone slopes, now give rather lighter, but by no means light, wines which mature earlier.
Frrom: Discover Quercy, by Michèle Aué, publ. MSM, 1994, 1997:
Already appreciated in Gallo-Roman times, Cahors wine became known throughout the Christian world... In 1956, a wave of intense Siberian cold swept through France and within a few days, centuries of painstaking cultivation were wiped out. But the people of Quercy do not give up easily and today, the noble vines with succulent names like Tannat, Merlot, Malbec and Auxerrois, once more yield their fruity, full-bodied wine. Cahors wine can be served young, slightly chilled, or left to mature, developing delicate perfumes of mushrooms and spices, and turning its strength into full-flavoured roundness.
From: Discover Quercy, by Michèle Aué, publ. MSM, 1994, 1997
The region is famous for its soft little cabécou cheeses. Left to mature until a thick, downy and softly tender skin forms on the outside, and the inside becomes deliciously runny, this cheese is best spread in gently creamy waves on a crusty chunk of country bread.