WHERE TO VISIT
Now fully restored, the Château d’estaing was home to the Estaing family for eight centuries and later housed a religious community. Entry €6, guided tour €10 (estaingdouze.fr). Estaing holds a medieval festival ( pictured) on the second weekend of September each year, when villagers dress in colourful costumes, and music, parades and feasting fill the streets.
The smallest wine cooperative in France, the Maison de la Vigne, du Vin et des Paysages d’estaing, lies just outside the village centre. Learn about the area’s winemaking history and today’s production methods before tasting some of the cooperative’s red, white and rosé wines. Guided tour €5 (lesvigneronsdolt.fr).
GETTING THERE: The airports at Toulouse and Montpellier are just over a two-hour drive away; The train journey from Paris to Rodez via Brive-la-gaillarde takes 7hr (tel: 0844 848 5848, voyages-sncf.com); Estaing is a 9hr drive from the northern ports. TOURIST INFORMATION: Canton d’estaing tourist office, tel; (Fr) 5 65 44 03 22, estaingdouze.fr; Aveyron tourist board, en.tourisme-aveyron.com.
Participants learn how to create a delicious three-course French meal at this 90-minute, chef-led course in central London. At the end, everyone gets a chance to taste the results. atelierdeschefs.co.uk