Two weeks ago I was invited by We like travel and the Tourist Office of Brive for a weekend in Brive-la-Gaillarde (in the south-west of France). I lived almost all my life in France but after all I realize that I don’t know my country very well. Every time I have holidays I go abroad which is ridiculous when you live in a country as great as France!
Thanks to this blog, I now have the opportunity to discover places I’ve never been like the Eure department (that I’ve talked to you about here and there) or also Cap d’Agde that I will talk to you about later. I must admit that I would have never thought about going to Brive on my own so I arrived on Friday evening without having a single idea of what Brive looks like. There I met Denis and Sophie, my traveling companions (I couldn’t take my Friday off so I missed one afternoon with the VW ride, how sad)!
Here is a little summary of our weekend in Brive.
Where to sleep?
I had a huge crush on Le Miel des Muses which is the poetic name of a syrupy wine produced in the region bur it’s also the name of the guest house we stayed in.
It’s at only 300 meters from the train station and from the historic center. It took 18 months for the owners to reconvert a former industrial hardware store into a guest house with a refined decoration. The result is more than satisfying since it is part of the Figaro Magazine ranking of the 200 most beautiful guest rooms in France!
I fell in love with my 80 m2 room (la Savennière) which is bigger than my own apartment. It combines space, comfort and design. The 1st thing I said when I entered the room was “No way this room is only for me ?!” And look at this amazing bathtub, it’s impossible to resist and not enjoy a nice bubbly bath. That’s what I did with a cup of tea : what a dream (especially when you live in Paris because you almost never have a bathtub in Parisian apartments)!
On top of that, my room gave on this gorgeous terrace where we were having substantial breakfasts of quality regional products. The staff was super friendly and the prices very affordable for a service and a room that big and beautiful (it’s between 90€ and 110€ per night per room)! It’s an authentic, charming and warm place that I love!
Le Miel des Muses – 21 avenue Jean Jaurès – 19100 BRIVE
What to do?
After a good night sleep, what do we do in Brive? I hope you like food. :)
The city :
You can stroll randomly in the streets of the city and raise your head to admire the architecture which sometimes reminded me of Paris.
Then go to the Tourist Office and go on top of the water tower that provides a beautiful view on the historic center. Inside the tower you can also enjoy an Instagram exhibition! And do you know who lives in Brive and who joined us?Anne-Laure known as latelierdal (she just opened her blog, go have a look)! We’ve been following each other on IG for such a long time but never had the chance to meet before this day. It was a pleasure, she’s such a nice girl!
Saturday is market day so don’t hesitate to go buy regional products or just go taste them. At only 10 am we had already tried a fig stuffed with foie gras (they also make it with apples), a glass of wine, several sorts of cheeses and a “tourtou” (buckwheat crepe with rillette)!
Lamy chocolate factory :
Even after eating all of that only 1h after having breakfast we went to Lamy chocolate factory for a chocolate workshop with Eric Lamy himself and his sons. He’s a real artisan because he makes everything, nothing is industrial. You can see by yourself, the manufacturing workshop is visible from the street.
It would make a perfect philosphy subject for an exam.
Chocolaterie Lamy - 5 rue de l’Hôtel de ville – 19100 BRIVE
Denoix distillery :
It is now time to go to Denoix distillery to digest. It exists since 1839 and is one of the oldest distilleries in France. The Denoix family (it’s their real name and “noix” means “walnut” in French) continues to manufacture aperitifs and liqueurs as they did in the 19th century : by using alembics and copper cauldrons. Come taste their specialities : “Suprême Denoix” (walnut liqueur), the “QuiquiNoix” (aperitif made of wine and green walnut juice) and “Violet Mustard of Brive” (made of grape). Visits and tastings are free. More infos here. Cheers!
Denoix Distillery – 9 boulevard du Maréchal Lyautey – 19100 BRIVE
Where to eat?
Let’s start eating properly because everything we had before was just an appetizer! I have the impression (and I don’t think that’s only an impression) that the only thing we did this weekend was eat and talking about food. It’s not a problem since I think the best way to discover a city is by eating local food. I was so happy that my travel buddies were stomach on legs like me. Anyway it’s a good thing that I love duck because it’s the speciality of the region so we had it in all its forms : magret, confit, foie gras, duckling…
Un singe en hiver :
If you are looking for some nice tapas you need to go to Un singe en hiver, they are delicious!
Un Singe en Hiver – 1 rue de la République – 19100 BRIVE
Le Comptoir St Sernin :
The Comptoir St Sernin is beside Le Miel des Muses and run by the same owners. It was the same former hardware store turned into a bistrot. Like the guest house, the atmosphere is authentique and vintage, recycling is very visible. They serve you good local products and wine from the cellar.
Le Comptoir St Sernin – 21 avenue Jean Jaurès – 19100 BRIVE
En cuisine :
En Cuisine is my big culinary crush of the weekend (and my stomach’s as well)! From outside it doesn’t look very special and inside either but it’s on the plates that the magic happens! We didn’t expect to have such beautiful and tasty dishes, we enjoyed it from the 1st starter to the 2nd dessert! The prices were not even high, they were the ones of a basic Parisian bistrot even though we had food worthy of a Michelin-starred restaurant. I could go back to Brive just for this restaurant!
En Cuisine – 39 avenue Edouard Herriot – 19100 BRIVE
Don’t worry we didn’t just eat, we also strolled in gardens and along the lake. I will tell you more about it next week on the second post.