Bourdeilles (within easy walking distance)
Bourdeilles is home to several good quality restaurants and bars where you can savour the local traditional cuisine whose specialities include the famous black truffle, foie gras (liver of goose or duck), duck, walnuts and wild mushrooms.
Le Donjon is a beautiful old limestone restaurant/hotel in the centre of Bourdeilles specialising in traditional local cuisine, offering both a la carte and fixed price menus (3 courses at around 20 euros). All produce is sourced locally, and the patron, a Parisian trained chef, prides himself on the quality of his food and with good reason.
Meals are enjoyed within the stunning wisteria lined courtyard where the service and ambiance are both excellent with classical tunes and occasional live acoustic guitar wafting through the air.
Opposite the ancient church in Bourdeilles lies the Dolce Vita where an enthusiastic and warm welcome awaits its diners. Whilst offering tasty pizzas and pastas, its a la carte courses are a delight to the palette. Prices from 8 euros for pizzas to 15 euros for main courses.
Located high on the hill overlooking the village of Bourdeilles is the Dames du maine, with stunning views from the terrace over the valley, this restaurant offers fantastic value for money rustic fayre. Think huge turins of Boef Bourginon and crusty bread, if its country food you’re after this is for you, and with a set menu for 15 euros great value too.
Next door lies the Café de Metz open daily for coffees and ice-cream but offering first class cuisine in the evenings. There is a daily set menu for around 23 euros as well as an a la carte menu, or you can just stop for a quick coffee as you return from a long bike ride and watch the sun set behind the chateaux.
Immediately opposite in the middle of the village square is The Tilleul, so named after the beautiful old lime trees under which its tables are shaded. The Tilleul offers a bistro style menu with main courses at around 11 euros and has a lively bar feeling in the evenings where locals and tourists while away the evening.
In the shadow of the Chateau walls you will find the Café de la Halle, a simple unpretentious bar that has existed with little change for more than 100 years. Cheap drinks in a convivial atmosphere is the order of the day here, and hence its popularity with the younger generations of the village. There are a couple of other Bar/Tabacs on the main street, the traditional haunts for the local agricultural workers but a great place to pop in for a quick coffee if you fancy a real insight into day to day French life.
For a soupçon of tranquillity the tiny Cour des Epices, hidden just off the main street in Bourdeilles, offers amazingly restorative mint tea and Turkish delights, perfect after a long run or ride.
Hostellerie des Griffons is a sixteenth century house beside the beautiful ancient bridge, with stunning views over the River Dronne offering quality regional cuisine in the intimate dining room or outside on the terrace. Two and three course menus from 28-35 euros.
If its haute cuisine you are looking for then Brantome is very well placed to satisfy your needs but it also offers restaurants to suit any budget.
A regular stop off after a long ride, the Saint Sicaire offers a really warm welcome to all the cyclists who stop for a coffee or a coke. With tables overlooking the river you shouldn’t confuse it as just a coffee stop. The menue is great, with excellent, simple, and really reasonably priced food, and you get the chance to see the river boat jousting in July and August.
Les Freres Chabonnel on the corner of the main bridge offers the best of French cuisine, but with a price tag to match. However, on closer inspection a typical 50 euros menu turns out to be good value for 5 courses, each with an accompanying glass of quality wine included, but allow plenty of time to digest, this is the marathon of menues!
The Moulin de l’Abbaye, located as its name suggests in the Abbey’s water mill, occupies an enviable location on the river looking out through the old water wheel to the Abbey, old town and riverside gardens. Its cuisine lives up to the location with a true gourmet’s palette in mind, menus from 50-90 euros and an a la carte which will leave your mouth watering.
Across the water the bistro style restaurant Au Fil de L’eau with its tables right on the riverbank offers delicious local specialities and seafood. Typical three course menus 24-29 euros, but no a la carte menu.
Au Fil du Temps is a homey and inviting restaurant full of comforting scents, situated on the bank of the river Dronne, its terrasse offers a view of Brantôme Abbey and the monastery garden. The restaurant offers spit-roasted specialities with menus ranging from 23-35 euros and an a la carte option, or lunch menu for 12 euros.
Clustered around the village square and along the opposite river bank are many good value eateries. Al fresco 3 course meals can be enjoyed for as little as 12-15 euros.
Just at the other end of the cobbled thoroughfare lies Les Dammes Gallant with its colourful tables and chairs on the pavement where good food and a warm welcome is assured. Better value you will not find with 4 courses at around 10/12 euros.
Pizza and Pasta is served from the atmospheric cave restaurant Le Vieux Four, where you can dine in front of the wood fired oven in an old troglodyte cave, average pizza price 8-10 euros. Very cool setting and a good option for vegetarians.
There are many other cafes, creperies and tea rooms in Brantome to choose from, so it is worth strolling around, browsing at the various menus on offer before taking a seat. It is also worth noting that some places have rather erratic opening times, so check this out if you wish to return another day.
*Menu prices correct at time of publication, but subject to change.