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The Clos Colombier kitchen comes with professional equipment. Owner of the property and of the Relais & Châteaux La Chapelle Saint Martin, Michelin-starred chef Gilles Dudognon and his team can attend to guests on request to share a gastronomic experience and a private cooking lesson in situ.
In the centre of the village, sheltered behind a stone wall in the shade of a bell tower and tall trees, the Clos Colombier has a charm so unique to the patrician houses that have survived the centuries. The remains of a distant past and the property's noble origins are still etched in the stone, despite a reconfiguration at the end of the Revolution and a more recent renovation that introduced an elegant combination of authenticity and modernity. Guests have the privilege of staying with a Michelin-starred chef who also welcomes them into his restaurant not far from the house. In the heart of the Limousin countryside and its pastures lined with hedgerows, the property is perfectly in tune with the surrounding province that has preserved its rural soul.
Because it was the only place for us! We have always been committed to sharing our regional passion and there is nowhere better for expressing it than Chapelle Saint Martin. It is a member of Relais & Châteaux and was once the residence of porcelain makers in the 19th century. Head of his restaurant, my partner, and Michelin-starred, chef Gilles Dudognon gives pride of place to local products. All we needed was a new place to make people fall in love with the unique life of a Clos in a village surrounded by nature. This house was his favourite. In 2014, we viewed it together for the first time, but the scale of work needed gave us pause. Then four years later whilst out for a walk, we came across the house with the shutters still closed. Calls and discussions with the neighbourhood ensued, as though we were launching an investigation into this majestic place. And before we knew it...sold!
At the heart of the village, this 12th century building was rebuilt after the Revolution. A tower and part of the moat still remain. Impressing visitors with its size and one-hectare park planted with centuries-old trees and a dovecote bridge, the building is unique in Europe and listed as an Historic Monument. The buildings of the castle were built with rubble and freestone, and the inverted hull shaped roofing framework is a model of its kind. The walls are around four-metres thick in the widest parts. The Clos as is stands today mirrors an old wing of the castle, located next to the main building and facing the front door on one side and the terrace on the other. On the first floor, a walkway leads to an octagonal watchtower which once served as a food store overlooking the rest of the property. From the first floor, a small stone staircase set in the thickness of the walls led to the top of the keep and has been preserved in what is now the octagonal bathroom of the "La Tour" suite.
Oriented to face the sun as it rises over the surrounding land that overlooks a valley, the Château de Veyrac tells the story of an 11th century Limousin episcopal barony, on the former lands of Aliénor of Aquitaine. It was Jean de Vérac, Bishop of Limoges, who had the castle built to house his companions during the holy war against Jean Sans Terre. Jean de Londeix, first of his name, oversaw the construction of the Colombier Bridge at the very beginning of the 17th century. Having fettered away the large fortune of his ancestors, the Marquis de Vérac had to sell the property to Charles de Lavergne in 1770. In 1789, the Revolution brought about the destruction of the drawbridge, the filling in of part of the moat and part of the castle. The current house, which was rebuilt in the 18th century on the remains of the old feudal building, remained in the Lavergne family until we bought it in December 2018.
We invite guests to live with a world class chef! We are conscious of how privileged we are to live in such an emotionally charged place, but also of our responsibility to imbue the property with all the vitality needed to keep pace with the third millennium. Our experience and expertise as hoteliers have enabled us to create a place that meets all the criteria for a stay in a five-star hotel, but our relationship and our passion for aesthetics have also helped us to make it a warm place for families with authenticity and soul. The one-hectare park is home to an eighteen-metre-long swimming pool, a fruit garden and a henhouse for eggs in the morning. We welcome our guests with homemade jams and honey from our hives. A taste of authenticity and simplicity. The Clos Colombier kitchen comes with professional equipment. The chef and his team can attend to guests on request to share a gastronomic experience and a private cooking lesson in situ.
Nature lovers will enjoy Veyrac and its forest. We love sharing our favorite routes with guests. In terms of local savoir-faire, the ceramic arts and glass-making alone deserve a trip. Limoges is a member of Unesco's creative cities and Limousin has three times more Entreprises du Patrimoine Vivant (Living Heritage Companies) than the national average: leather, porcelain and enamels provide for a luxury shopping experience in our region with the likes of Bernardaud and Raynaud Houses, Daguet and Agnelle leathers, and Weston and Repetto shoes. In terms of gastronomy, a visit to the Halles Centrales is a must, followed by exploring the Maison du Fromage in Limoges, a real institution that has existed since 1935. And for the more discerning foodies, our Michelin-starred restaurant, La Chapelle Saint-Martin, serves classic and inventive cuisine with real character. Les Ruches à Manger, a picnic service with a range of sweet and savoury treats, allows you to privatise different areas of the Relais & Châteaux park. You can share your passion for gastronomy and dive into the gourmet world of the Dudognon family at the La Table du Couvent restaurant. It specialises in Limousin meats matured in the local cellars and carried by butchers François Brun and Éric Boutaud.