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Off Highway in France

March 01, 1987

I would like to second Lisa Wolfson's article on Sarlat! (Feb. 8). We fell in love with the (French) area last spring and are anxious to return. The region, little-visited by Americans, is full of some wonderful gems of villages to be explored, treasures of prehistory, great food and natural beatuty.

While driving from the caves of Lascaux to Les Eyzies on Highway D-706 we wandered off the highway at the tiny village of Sergeac in search of a "panoramic view" symbol on our map. Hoping to see a vista of the valley of the Vezere River, we followed a small road to the top of a hill, and there at the view site discovered a lovely restaurant, L'Auberge de Castel-Merle.

We returned at dinner time to have one of the best meals of our trip. The host, a friendly, English-educated young man, Chris Mellencamp, explained the foods of the region and how they were prepared. The six-course meal was a bargain at 95 francs (about $15). We heartily recommend it to any visitors to the Dordogne area.

In Sarlat we stayed at the Hotel La Hoirie, a former hunting lodge about two kilometers south of town at the end of a country lane. It's a member of the Relais du Silence group, with pool. A double room was 240 francs. Charming!

PAULA KRUSE

Newport Beach

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