A beautiful little village in Dordogne that sells chocolate shoes? Sarlat is my idea of heaven on earth.
In France, pleasure is taken very seriously, and nowhere more so than in the town of Sarlat in the Dordogne Valley. I knew as soon as I arrived that this was a place made for a Travel Belle; a town founded on the good things in life. I walked down a narrow cobbled street, flanked on either side by medieval buildings, now functioning as shops selling the delicacies of the region.
Even the window displays were beautiful, like works of art, and the produce was to die for. Fine wines, walnuts, foie gras and truffles, these shops trade in sheer, unadulterated delight. I did not see a single item which looked mediocre or even ordinary; everything had been produced and selected with quality and care.
This philosophy was not limited to the produce on sale, but also extended to the town itself. Every corner I turned presented a new photo opportunity. It was like wandering through a romantic painting with the May sunshine casting a mellow light onto the golden stone of the buildings.
This was once the home of a famous philosopher Étienne de La Boétie, a friend of Montaigne, and it shows. Creativity flows everywhere. Even shopkeepers are artists, creating unique and wonderful displays for their products. My favourite was the use of wireframe mannequins to drape colorful scarves from to make them look like skirts.
I had lunch at a small but charming restaurant with red-checked tablecloths. Exquisite plates of food – tender duck with perfectly cooked vegetables – were accompanied by the best local wine, quite a statement in this region. After a heavenly dessert of fresh strawberries and cream, it was time for a tour of the town with a very witty guide. He brought the historic streets to life, describing the sights, sounds and smells of day-to-day life as well as the cataclysmic events. Once we had been completely immersed in his stories, we were left to our own devices and I happily wandered around, popping into shops here and there, but mainly enjoying just being on the streets and soaking up the atmosphere.
Just as I thought that Sarlat couldn’t get any better, I found myself outside a chocolaterie and of course, I went in. Macaroons in a rainbow of colours hung in clear baubles in the window, while huge slabs of chocolate, ready to be cut, diffused an irresistible aroma around the shop. Then I spotted the shoes made out of chocolate and wondered if I was dreaming. A beautiful little French town that sells chocolate shoes? Sarlat is my idea of heaven on earth.
Top 7 Must See In Dordogne, France
Header Photo by juliacasado1
11 thoughts on “Chocolate and Creativity found in the Dordogne Valley”
Mmmm, yummy! But they’re too pretty to eat!
What an inspirational place. I love the mannequins. A display like that would surely convince me to buy a scarf.
Beautiful Sarlat, although we had serious parking problems when we try to visit it several years ago. The Dordogne really deserves a visit!!
Even if these chocolate shoes are high heels, I wouldn´t mind to try them :-p
Soon I will post a new exclusive macarons only shop in Barcelona in my chocolate blog “El mundo del chocolate”.
This looks like a lovely stroll. Those chocolate shoes look delicious!
I can tell you love Sarlat as it comes through your writing! Have never been but the Dordogne is very high on my list. Loved the wire mannequins and the scarfs plus the shoes were fabulous!
Chocolate shoes?!? How fantastic!!!! Sounds like a perfectly lovely town…
I love that phrase, “pleasure is taken very seriously.” Those shoes are actually cute too!
I will add chocolate and shoes to my list of perfect combinations. (In case you were wondering, chocolate and peanut butter, cheese and wine are on the list.)
What a delightful place, Katy! Those scarf-skirted mannequins are absolutely delightful. 🙂
Oh wow! The chocolate shoes look freaking phenomenal – what an awesome idea!
And for once shoes that are not only not stinky, but actually smell good!
haha that is so cool! Alas, I’m sorry to inform everyone, but I’m not a big chocolate fan. If the shoes were made of cheese I would totally be down ;p