Here’s another in my continuing series on beautiful French villages I’ve visited, because surely France has the the most beautiful villages in the world, this time about Collonges-la-Rouge – heart of the Correze.
Collonges-la-Rouge is, as the name suggests, entirely built from a gorgeously warm red sandstone. From the ancient priory to the 13th – 16th century houses and towers, red is the colour and it’s quite striking. It’s also well known for its mermaid decorative motifs.
Like Sarlat in the nearby Dordogne, this is a very popular tourist destination and full of galleries, boutiques and craft shops. But it is set in green rolling countryside dotted with manoir and is wonderfully quiet in the evening.
Collonges-la-Rouge is in the Correze department of the Limousin region and has had mixed fortunes over the centuries. From wealthy religious community to serious damage during the French Revolution, by the 19th century it was being used as a stone quarry. Designation as a French historical monument in 1942 saved the day.
So the Salade de Terroir is a selection of jambon de pays, confit de canard, chestnuts, maigret, foie gras on fruit cake and a big fat grilled goats cheese. The piquant mustard was made from sediment sourced at a walnut distillery in Brive le Galliard.
By Natasha von Geldern
Have you been to Collonges-la-Rouge? What is your favourite village in France?