Festival Fun in The Tarn This Summer

We have a thriving cultural and festival scene in the Tarn from spring throughout the summer that gives visitors to the region a fascinating insight into the traditions, history and way of life here.


Here are a few of our favourites…



Grand Falconers Medieval FestivalJuly 14th


Every Bastille Day the village of Cordes-sur-Ciel turns the clock back to the Middle Ages with the Grand Falconers Medieval Festival. The whole town gets involved with locals and visitors dressing up, whilst the streets are lined with jugglers, musicians, knights and even fire-eaters. For 2 days, there is a vast selection of shows and concerts taking place. With the sounds of tambourines, bagpipes and lutes, along with many other medieval instruments, the festival is a feast of sight and sound.





Castelnau de Montmiral Music Festival – 21-23 July


Just a walk or short drive from Durantie to our local village of Castlenau de Montmiral, this three-day concert in the main square rocks the village in July.  The acts cover several genres of music with bands last year playing Latin, North American and Irish Music.


The concert starts at 4pm each day and continues late into the evening. Visit the website to find out who is playing this year at https://www.estivalesdemontmiral.com





Apéro Concerts & Gaillac Wine Festivalearly August


Throughout the summer many of the wine domains promote their wines with an apéro concert. Fun and casual, visitors can soak up the stunning vineyard views whilst sampling wine around a barrel, and enjoy some live music.



The concerts lead up to the Gaillac Wine Festival. This is a 48-hour wine party taking over the entire town of Gaillac.  It’s a great way to test out the full range of the Gaillac wines within the confines of a weekend and find out about the area’s unique grape varieties: l’Ondenc, le Mauzac, le Loin d’Oeil, le Braucol, le Duras, Le Prunelard. There are also circus performers, fireworks, strolling players and face painting for the children. The Gourmand Village serves up local delicacies such foie gras, cassoulet, smoked ham from Lacaune, goat’s cheeses and apple pie. There is also a procession with the Messe des Vignerons. resplendent in robes, tricorns and white gloves.





Pink Garlic Festival – August 4th



The village of Lautrec is proud of its local pink garlic (l’ail rose) and celebrates this every year with a festival, market, competitions and music. Some fun events within the festival include free tasting of the Lautrec Pink Garlic soup and a competition for the longest woven string of garlic- the current record being over 21 metres!


For more information see www.tourism-tarn.com

See us at the French Property Exhibition


We will be exhibiting our luxury development at the French Property Exhibition on the 17-18th March 2017 at Newbury Racecourse, Newbury, Berkshire, UK.


Come and talk to us about the completion of our first three hamlets, the next phase of new villas, hassle-free ownership, our country club facilities and the relaxed lifestyle you can enjoy at La Durantie.


The exhibition has useful seminars giving practical, legal and financial advice on buying a home in France, plus a variety of service companies who can help facilitate a purchase, should you decide to buy.


Admission is free. For more details see http://www.fpenewbury.com


Please get in touch if you’d like to make an appointment. Contact Jeanne Boden  Tel +33 (0)58 1026106, Email enquiries@durantie.com

Le Tour de France Comes to the Midi-Pyrénées!


The renowned Tour de France will kick-off on the 2nd July 2016 from Mont-St Michel before concluding on the Champs-Elysées in Paris on the 24th July.  Stage six will take riders down the rolling hillsides of South-West France, before their hilly ascent to the Lac de Payolle in the Pyrénées Mountains at the end of stage 7. It is during stage six that the Tour de France will pass nearby La Durantie, through the Garrigue forest situated in the Tarn department before arriving in the town of Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne).


The cyclists will ride through the Midi-Pyrénées during five different stages, a full list can be seen below:


  • 7th July 2016: 6th stage, Arpajon sur Cère – Montauban (187 km)
  • 8th July 2016: 7th stage, L’Isle Jourdain – Lac de Payolle (162 km)
  • 9th July 2016: 8th stage, Pau – Bagnères de Luchon (183 km)
  • 10th July 2016: 9th stage, Vielha Val d’Aran – Andorra Arcalis (184 km)
  • 12th July 2016: 10th stage, Andorra Escaldes Engordany – Revel (198 km)


The Tour de France is the third most popular sporting event in the world, after the Olympic Games and the Football World Cup, attracting a worldwide television audience of 3.5 billion people per year. Chris Froome ranked number 32 in the world and Geraint Thomas ranked 36 in the world are two of the 29 Britons in the Team Sky (GB) line-up this year.


With the Tour de France beginning this July, The Tarn is set to become a popular destination for lycra-loving Britons seeking new cycling spots to explore. The area’s diverse and dramatic landscape lends itself perfectly to being discovered by bike, with endless cycling routes right on the doorstep of La Durantie.


Popular routes include the expansive Gaillac wine region or the “Circuit des Crêtes”, a 65km cycling route passing through some of The Tarn’s hidden treasures including the famous bastide village of Cordes-sur-Ciel built on a rocky outcrop overlooking vineyards and rolling hills. More adventurous routes include cycling through the Monts de Lacaune, a verdurous forest in the heart of the Haut-Languedoc Regional Park home to the Lake of Laouzas, a natural swimming lake perfect for cooling- off after a day of cycling in hot summer temperatures.



Cordes-sur-Ciel, © Le Tarn Tourisme | tourisme-tarn.com


Keep checking our blog for news on The Tarn and exciting developments at La Durantie or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie and like our Facebook page La Durantie.

The UEFA European Championship shines a spotlight on the Tarn


Dozens of football teams will compete for the final of the European football championship in France throughout June and July, including the England, Wales and Northern Ireland teams. The matches will take place at different stadiums across France including Stadium de Toulouse, located just an hour away from La Durantie (87 km). As Britons flock the stadiums throughout France, the UEFA championship is set to shine a spotlight on lesser known areas of France, such as the Tarn. France is the second most popular place for Britons seeking a holiday home abroad, with the Midi-Pyrénées region also remaining a popular favourite.


The Stadium de Toulouse is the biggest in the Midi-Pyrénées region and is often referred to as ‘mini-Wembley’ because of its resemblance to the iconic London venue. In addition to football, the ground regularly holds rugby matches and was a venue for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.  Aside from cheering on your country, there is plenty to see in Toulouse, including the medieval old town, the elegant Capitole building and the Canal du Midi, which links the Garonne river to the Mediterranean Sea.



For all you football enthusiasts, here’s a schedule of the matches to be held at the Stadium de Toulouse during the UEFA European Championship:


- Monday 13 June, 15.00 (Toulouse): Spain v Czech Republic – Group D

- Friday 17 June, 15.00 (Toulouse): Italy v Sweden – Group E

- Monday 20 June, 21.00 (Toulouse): Russia v Wales – Group B

- Sunday 26 June, 21.00 (Toulouse): Winner F v Runner-up E – Match 6


Nicknamed ‘La Ville Rose’ in reference to the colour of the terracotta bricks used on many of its buildings, Toulouse is France’s fourth largest city. With regular flights to Toulouse Blagnac airport from UK airports, many Britons pass through the city on their way to the rolling hillsides of The Tarn. Boasting a dramatic landscape untouched by time, The Tarn is particularly popular amongst retirees or those seeking the tranquillity of the countryside. Home to undulating vineyards, the Aveyron Gorges, bastide hilltop villages and the winding Tarn River, France doesn’t get much more idyllic than the Tarn.



Keep checking our blog for upcoming events and exciting developments at La Durantie or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie and like our Facebook page La Durantie.

Ceremony Celebrates Start of Build


On 6th July 2015 local dignitaries, architects, contractors, local influencers and media from France and UK came together to celebrate the start of build at La Durantie.  ‘La Pose Pierre’ ceremony is a tradition in France at the start of significant builds and the Mayor of Castelnau de Montmiral, Monsieur Paul Salvador was present to endorse this project which brings with it an economic aspect to this area as well.


Despite temperatures nudging 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), the crowd cheered-on Monsieur Christian de Pierpont of SARL Gresigne Résidence (Development Company) as the brick laying commenced with excitement.  Lunch was then served in the shade within the historical chateau building and conversations naturally turned to the fact that most home owners at Durantie will enjoy an ‘integrated’ swimming pool set within their landscaped private garden.


Following the ceremony, contracts were signed-off by the Director and Lead Architect allowing full works to begin.  Sales Director, Jeanne Boden said:


“We have been fortunate to gain a rare permit to build in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Wildlife and the necessary meticulous planning has taken two and a half years.  We are extremely happy to start seeing the fruits of our labour today; we expect the first two homes to be delivered by January / February 2016.”


La Durantie will soon become home to 57 vernacular designed single and two storey one to five bedroom detached homes.  There will also be two styles of apartments with either 2 or 3 bedrooms.  In-keeping with the local villages, homes will be arranged in small clusters of approximately four to six homes with private spaces and landscaped internal courtyards.


Country Club membership gives owners the use of private rooms within the chateau building such as the bistro, drawing room, library and two private rooms for dining or meetings.  Other onsite facilities will include 20 metre indoor and outdoor swimming pools, state of the art spa, tennis courts, croquet lawn, outdoor dining terraces & barbeque.


List of Ceremony Attendees:


  • Mayor of Castelnau-de-Montmiral, Monsieur Paul Salvador
  • Mayor of Larroque, Monsieur Bernard Audard
  • SARL Gresigne Résidence, (Director of the development co ), M Christian de Pierpont
  • La Durantie, (Sales Director), Jeanne Boden
  • Astruc Architectes SARL, Gaillac (Lead architect and maître D’ouevres), Monsieur Christian Astruc
  • Shareholder, Monsieur et Madame Delmas of INFACO (world specialist in secateurs production)
  • Dias & Fils, Gaillac, (Main builder), Alain Dias
  • Terracing/Landscape contractor, Monsieur Sylvain Laclau
  • Société Escaffre, Albi, (Roofing and wood frame contractor), Jean Michel Escaffre and team
  • ENTS Nimsgern, Albi (Plasterer / painter contractor), Jean Louis Nimsgern
  • L et L Energie, Albi (Electrical heating and plumbing, Monsieur Yves Lagreze and team
  • La Dépêche (Reporter)
  • The Metro (Reporter), Oliver Wadeson
  • The Guardian (Reporter),Emma Cook
  • Tempus (Reporter), Victoria Smith
  • P1 Communications (PR), Caroline Burnett

Le Tour dans Le Tarn



Today, (17th July) at 12h 40 the Tour de France will pass through the Tarn on the D631 road, past Graulhet and only 35 minutes from La Durantie. Graulhet is a charming medieval village, crossed by the Dadou River and surrounded by stunning countryside; certainly a picturesque spot for the cyclists to whizz through!


The Tour de France is a popular sporting event that attracts a worldwide television audience of 3.5 billion people per year. Some popular French cyclists taking part in the competition this year include Jean-Christophe Péraud, ranked number 11 in the world, and Romain Bardet, ranked number 12. Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas are two of the five Britons in the Team Sky (GB) line-up.


The route covers 3,500 Kilometres in total, of which 198.5 kilometres of the route travels through the Tarn between Muret and Rodez (13th stage).  Upon reaching Rodez the cyclists will soon travel up the spectacular Gorges du Tarn (Tarn Gorge), a canyon formed by the Tarn River with numerous scenic villages to visit nearby.


Cycling is a popular attraction for holidaymakers in The Tarn with surrounding vineyards and sunflower fields. The bastide towns of Lisle-sur-Tarn, Cordes-sur-Ciel and Puycelsi are also often dotted with lycra-clad men and women experiencing ‘authentic France’ by bicyle.


Bikes can be rented for €12.50 a day in Gaillac (only 20 minutes from La Durantie), at Serge Botta’s business, located at 98 rue Joseph Rigal. A popular cycling route includes cycling through the Gresigne forest; 35 square kilometres of forest with marked tracks and paths, a short distance from both la Durantie and Gaillac. Alternatively, why not cycle past some of the local vineyards and get a taste of some of the delicious wines the local region has to offer. Château de Saurs, a short distance from the centre of Gaillac, offers spectacular views from its vineyards along the hillsides overlooking the right bank of the Tarn River.

Life’s greatest journey begins with the first step…


UK DVD RELEASE – 9th March 2015 


La Durantie’s belle-époque chateau has been featured as the set for part of the acclaimed film The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Helen MirrenIf you missed it at the cinema there is now the chance to see it on DVD – available in UK shops on 9th March.


The film is set in the stunning South West of France, with a particular focus on the Tarn region; and will transport you to the rolling French countryside. The picture-book rural French setting will have you wanting to sell up home right away and catch the next cross-Channel ferry to la belle France.


The feel-good film will fill your senses with beautiful scenery, people and, most importantly, food – and lots of it!
“A moving piece of food porn” (New York Magazine)


The cast includes the esteemed Helen Mirren and OM Puri


“It is a pleasure to watch two such accomplished scene-stealers as Mirren and Puri vying with each other on screen.” (The Independent)



Based on the best-selling novel by Richard C. Morais, the film is about an Indian family that moves to a quaint village in the French countryside to open a restaurant right across the road from Madame Mallory’s (Helen Mirren) Michelin starred restaurant. Outraged by the new arrivals, Madame Mallory is determined to have their business shut down. As cultures clash, a rift escalates between the two establishments – until, Hassan’s talent begin to enchant Madame Mallory and even she can’t deny that he could have what it takes to achieve more acclaim for her beloved restaurant.


In reality, in the place of Madame Mallory’s restaurant, visitors to the chateau will find the new private country club taking shape.  This will offer sporting activities and a range of amenities including tennis, volleyball, boule courts, croquet lawn, art studios, equestrian pursuits nearby, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness centre as well as a state of the art spa and dining on the Chateau terrace overlooking the parkland and vineyards.


…La Durantie offers all the charm of yesteryear but designed for today’s lifestyle.

Valentines In France:
Sweet Love in the Town on the Clouds


Valentine’s Day is believed by many to have French origins. It is a long-held belief that the first ever Valentine’s Day poem was sent by the young French Duke of Orleans to his beloved wife, while imprisoned in the Tower of London. Although this may be no more than a sweet fairy-tale, it is certainly no myth that France remains one of the most romantic countries in the world, and residents at La Durantie are perfectly situated to take advantage of this romantic atmosphere and enjoy a perfect Valentine’s getaway. The estate itself is a romantic haven for couples, where residents are able to enjoy stunning views of rolling vineyards and expansive oak forests, while walking through the quaint surroundings of the estate with its fairy-tale roses and Belle-Époque chateau.


A perfect Valentine’s Day for any sweet-toothed lovers should certainly include a trip to the Musée Les arts du sucre et du chocolat in nearby Cordes-sur-Ciel.  Cordes-sur-Ciel is a delightfully picturesque medieval town, perched high on a rock and overlooking the gorgeous surrounding countryside. The town’s name alludes to the way spring and autumn mists surround the foot of the hill, making the town appear to be magically floating above the clouds – ‘Cordes in the Sky’.


The museum is found in the heart of the village, and offers an insight into the work of some of France’s award-winning chocolatiers. There is a gourmet trail through the museum, where couples will discover the fine art of sugar and chocolate while learning about the history and importance of chocolate in the region. The visit ends with a demonstration by some of the resident professionals. Why simply buy a box of Valentine’s chocolates when you can watch them being made by award-winning chocolatiers? After spending the day indulging the senses with some of the world’s best chocolate, couples can head out to the town’s hillside botanical gardens and watch the sun set over the Tarn.



There are other options for those staying at La Durantie for Valentine’s Day. Residents at the estate are able to reach Paris directly on the TGV, France’s high-speed train, making it an ideal trip for those who would like to spend the most romantic time of the year in the most romantic city in the world.  Exactly what makes the city a great location for a Valentines’ Day trip hardly needs to be explained; the city has long been famed for its romance, which can be felt in the air while walking along the Seine, dining in picturesque cafes on cobbled streets, and enjoying the views of the Eiffel Tower aglow at night. The beautiful architecture and fine art also help the city live up to its romantic reputation.


Whether couples decide to spend the day in the city of love, visiting the seductive chocolate museum of Cordes-sur-Ciel or simply relaxing in the romantic surroundings of La Durantie, it will be easy to fall head-over-heels for Valentine’s Day in France.

Attic Clearance Sale (Vide Grenier)


23 November / 10am – 4pm

La Durantie | 81140 Castelnau-de-Montmiral


La Durantie is pleased to announce it will be hosting its own Attic Clearance Sale (Vide Grenier), on the 23rd November and the gates to the chateau estate will be open to the public to explore.  Since the release of the foodie blockbuster, The Hundred-Foot Journey, which was partly shot at the Cheateau de La Durantie, there has been a huge demand by locals and guests to see where the film took place and this will be an ideal opportunity, so feel free to come along!


Guests will have the chance to taste the delicious seasonal dish of wild boar stew, accompanied by La Durantie’s very own wine – just launched.


The passion for digging-around for old treasured items has long been associated with the French and you do not have to go too far in France to find a second hand market of some sort.  Until recently the best places to find a bargain has been concentrated in the larger towns and cities, such as ‘The Big Flea’ in Paris.  However, as many of these markets have today become more touristy and expensive, people are tending to travel further afield and off the beaten track to find quality antiquities.


‘Vide Grenier’ literally means ‘Attic Clearance’ and traditionally were designed for grandchildren to earn some pocket money from selling grandparents’ hoarded items. They provide a great way to uncover bargains such as antique paintings and furniture, French porcelain, vintage clothes, Art Deco objects and even 20th century design classics.


France is the No. 1 tourist destination in the world with around 70 million visitors per annum. There is much to love and to keep people coming back – gastronomy, landscape, architecture, history, culture, heritage, beaches, the weather. The list is endless; but one thing that is significantly growing ever more popular with visitors is seeking out the best flea markets in France.


Directions to La Durantie can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/o5hmwbb

We Will Remember Them…


Remembrance Sunday Commemoration Service

9th November 2014 | 11.30am

Village of Montmiral-de-Castelnau


On Sunday 9th November at 11am,the inhabitants and nearby communities will gather in the square at Castelnau-de-Montmiralbefore processing to the monument at 11.30amin remembrance of the Franco-British soldiers that fought in the Great War. Situated within The Tarn region of south-WesternFrance, the memorial service is a 5 minute drive from the grounds of La Durantie and will bring many of the local community together in remembrance. With it being the First World War centenary this year,the service will be especially dedicated to victims of the 1914-18 war.



In tribute to French soldiers, an exhibition has been compiled by residents, the local council and librarians over the last year. The exhibition will be opened to the public in the townhall of Montmiral just after the remembrance ceremony. It will cover many aspects of village life during the war, and information on the 66 French soldiers who died during the war, including information on their family and professional backgrounds, circumstances and place ofdeath. The exhibition will feature articles such as letters, photos and objects loaned by families of the current residents of Castelnau de Montmiral including one Victoria Cross.