The Hundred-Foot Journey – In Cinemas 5th September 2014


The spotlight is set to shine on the undiscovered rural beauty spot of The Tarn region in south west France as “The Hundred-Foot Journey” film, based on the best-selling novel by Richard C. Morais is released in the UK on 5th September. Starring Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren, and directed by Oscar nominee Lasse Hallström (Director of Chocolat).  Scenes for the film have been shot in both France and India and La Durantie, the historical belle époque style chateau in The Tarn, has been used as the film set for a Michelin-starred French restaurant, run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren).  The chateau is also currently being renovated and transformed into a Country Club and Spa for a new development of vernacular holiday homes on the estate.



An uplifting and feel-good cultural feast full of Indian spices, French sophistication and British wit, The Hundred-Foot Journey is produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg.  Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. When Hassan and his family, led by Papa (Om Puri), move to a quaint village in the South of France with the grand plan of opening an Indian restaurant in the picturesque countryside, they are undeterred by the fact that only 100 feet opposite stands a Michelin starred classical French eatery.
However upon encountering the icy proprietress, Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), the Kadam family realise they may have bitten off more than they can chew. Outraged by the new arrivals, Madame Mallory is determined to have their business shut down. As cultures clash and food flies, a heated battle escalates between the two establishments – until, that is, Hassan’s passion and talent for French cuisine begin to enchant Madame Mallory and even she can’t deny this young chef could have what it takes to garner even more acclaim for her beloved restaurant.



This, along with his new-found friendship with her beautiful sous chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), starts to weave a magic between the two cultures and, despite their different tastes, they discover an unlikely recipe for success that surprises them all.


The Tarn region is a credible setting for a film with its plot relating to top quality food, as the region has retained a strong connection to the land through farming and the local cuisine is renowned for its rich cassoulet, foie gras, Lautrec pink garlic and Toulouse sausage as well as its premier Gaillac wines.



Jeanne Boden, Director of La Durantie has been a resident in The Tarn for seventeen years and agreed to the chateau being used for filming after receiving a phone call in July 2013 from a location scout.  She says: “The scout was searching for a period property in an area of the south of France which is relatively undiscovered rather than the places visited by the masses and the Artistic Director was quick to appreciate its charm and cast La Durantie as home to Madame Mallory’s Michelin starred restaurant.  It was eye-opening to work as an ‘extra’ on set here and see the chateau come to life once again.  The local community is delighted the esteemed actress, Helen Mirren will star as the French restauranteur and the exposure should bring more international visitors.”


Lasse Hallström’s entry in La Durantie’s visitor’s book says:

“What a beautiful place in the world. A very special place and thanks for allowing us to film in it.”


The Tarn is a quintessentially French rural region which is not as well-known as nearby Provence, but is much loved by a number of British expats who have stumbled upon it and then never left!  The elegant belle époque chateau is one of the region’s prized architectural possessions; it lies just 50 minutes north of Toulouse and close to the village of Castelnau-de-Montmiral in a landscape of rolling hills, vineyards and ancient hill-top towns.  It has seen several owners throughout its lifetime but significantly, the Schwarzkopf family, famed for perfumes and beauty products, bought the chateau in the 1980’s and held lively parties whilst farming the 800 acre plot. In the interwar period the vineyard estate was run by nuns and their peaceful influence can still be sensed when entering the chateau gates today.


Jeanne Boden says: “There has always been energy and dynamism linked to the chateau relating to women and the two sisters that built the chateau had a lot of success in economic farming and were the owners of the first car in the town.  Later, the resident nuns brought calmness to the building and now it seems apt that such a renowned actress should play the role of an aristocratic lady running a top-notch restaurant here.”


In cinemas 5th September.


The Hundred-Foot Journey

Novel – Richard C. Morais

Producers – Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake

Executive Producers – Caroline Hewitt and Carla Gardini

Co-Producer – Raphaël Benoliel

Production & Distribution – DreamWorks Studios is producing, with Participant Media co-financing. Mister Smith Entertainment is handling foreign sales to Europe, Africa and the Middle East, DreamWorks’ partner Reliance will distribute in India. eOne will distribute the film theatrically in the UK.

The Most Popular Village In France


Cordes-sur-Ciel has been voted the ‘most popular French Village’, on a programme of the same name “Le Village Préféré Des Français”,broadcasted on the national TV channelFrance 2 on Tuesday 1st July. Voting is carried out by French national viewers, who choose their favourite village in France from a shortlist of 22.


Cordes-sur-Ciel, located in the Tarn department of the Midi-Pyrénées, is an architecturally stunning village perched on the top of a hill. Originally named “corte” meaning “rocky heights,” the village was later renamed “Cordes-sur-Ciel”, to indicate its height above the clouds over low-lying areas of the valley – as in a fairytale book!


Interestingly, the Midi-Pyrenees is the only department in France that had two villages listed in the competition, indicating the true magnificence of this region.  The fact that the listing is decided by the discerning French themselves serves as a goodguide for international tourists wishing to visit the ‘real France’anddiscover its natural beauty for themselves.


Two Brits who have done just thatare Jeanne and David Boden who moved to the region 17 years ago.  The Boden’s are now involved in helping to develop La Durantie, so that others like them can own-in and enjoy this beautiful region of France.  Just 22 km from Cordes Sur Ciel, the Chateau de la Durantie is currently being renovated into a country club & spa and vernacular style homes are being developed in the chateau grounds.



The Tarn is a quintessentially French rural region which is not as well-known as neighbouring Provence, but is much loved by a number of British expats who have stumbled upon it and then never left!  The elegant belle époque chateau at the heart of La Durantie is one of the region’s prized architectural possessions; it lies just 55 minutes north of Toulouse and close to the village of Castelnau-de-Montmiral in a landscape of rolling hills, vineyards and ancient hill-top towns.


Overlooking undulating vineyards and miles of dense oak forest, La Durantie will soon become home to 57 vernacular designed single and two storey one to five bedroom detached homes together with 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 six homes with private spaces and landscaped internal courtyards.  Some homes will be stone faced and others will have the traditional render in soft hues bordered by local detailing in brick and stone whilst terracotta roof tiles will enhance the mellow and traditional character of the scheme.  Most homes will also have an ‘integrated’ private swimming pool set within the landscaped private gardens and the four apartments are clustered around a shared pool.



La Durantie will be in keeping with the vernacular-style of the local villages.


Having so many picturesque villages on the doorstep makes for perfect day trips for residents and guests at La Durantie should they ever tire of the magic of “Le Village Préféré Des Français”.

International Property Awards Winner


France – La Durantie has been informed that it is amongst the winning companies of the esteemed International Property Awards in the 2013 European regional competition. Chateau de La Durantie competed against a number of leisure developments in France to receive this recognition. Successful entrants have been invited to attend a high-profile gala and presentation dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on September 24th where the winning companies will learn which honours they have secured. The top-scoring winners who will go on to compete in the International Property Awards global competition will be announced at the close of the evening.


Stuart Shield, president of the International Property Awards, says: “In the continent most renowned for its timeless architecture and awe-inspiring buildings, these winning companies are creating modern buildings and homes that enhance the beauty of their old-world cities while incorporating modern and innovative features.”


Tony Dowse, Developer and Master Planner of Chateau De la Durantie says: “The International Property Awards are prestigious in the market and I am proud that I will be receiving this accolade on behalf of the team.  We have worked hard to ensure Chateau de La Durantie is positioned correctly with its Country Club and state of the art spa and to be acknowledged in the highly competitive category of Best Leisure Development is a most valuable endorsement for savvy property investors in the current marketplace.”


The European Property Awards are part of the long established International Property Awards, the world’s richest competition when measured by the value of the projects entered.  The award winners’ logo is recognised as a symbol of excellence throughout the global industry. The European Property Awards rank amongst the most prestigious commendations in the residential and commercial property industries. A high-calibre jury of international experts identifies the most significant building projects as well as the highest quality European real estate agencies.


At the end of the year, the highest scoring winners from the European Property Awards will compete against other winning companies from Asia Pacific, Africa, UK, the Americas and Arabia to find the ultimate World’s Best in each category.


The judging panel consists of approximately 70 professionals including Andrew Panting, Director of Operations for the British Property Federation, Peter Bolton King, Global Residential Director of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS); and Christian Morris, Director / Owner of architectural firm Yotomo Ltd.


Building upon the success of business events first added to the 2011 award ceremonies, the International Property Awards will also host a Property Show at Grosvenor House Hotel during business hours on the same day, September 24th.  A number of professional networking events, including seminars, discussion tables and an exhibition will be attended by guests from the upper-echelons of their organizations, including chairmen, CEOs, and managing directors. The 2013 European Property Show is open to all industry related companies, property buyers and investors.


About International Property Awards

The International Property Awards are open to residential and commercial property professionals from around the globe.  Since 1995, they have celebrated the highest levels of achievement by companies operating in all sectors of the property and real estate industry.  The awards are split into regions covering Africa, Asia Pacific, Arabia, Canada, Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, UK and USA.  The highest-scoring winners from each region are automatically entered into the overall International Awards, which ultimately determine the world’s finest properties and real estate professionals.

Durantie’s First VIP Visitors


La Durantie received its first VIP guests onsite as five leading UK property journalists were invited to visit and report back to their readers on the chateau development.  Publications represented included; Daily Express, French Property News, Evening Standard, Chelsea Monthly, Expat Telegraph and The Scotsman.


As well as familiarising themselves with the plans for Durantie and meeting the team responsible for bringing the chateau back to life the visit enabled the journalists to explore The Tarn and to see for themselves why so many have chosen to ‘up sticks’ and move here.  The quality of life is hard to deny!


The château has seen several owners throughout its lifetime but significantly, the Schwarzkopf family, famed for perfumes & beauty products, bought the château in the 1980’s and held wild parties whilst farming the 800 acre plot. In the interwar period the vineyard estate was run by nuns and their peaceful influence can still be sensed when entering the gates today… the earlier rush hour bustle in London was long gone!



The chateau is surrounded by undulating vineyards and oak forests for as far as the eye can see.  It is easy to imagine yourself on a warm summer evening sitting on the bistro’s terrace overlooking the pool and the hills beyond sipping a superb Gaillac wine and dining on delicious local delicacies.  For those with a passion for wine tasting it is well-worth following in the group’s footsteps to visit the Château de Mayragues 10kms north of Gaillac.

The journalists received a warm welcome by Christian Riviѐre of the Tarn Tourist Board ( and the local Mayor, Mr Paul Salvador who joined the party for lunch at the nearby Château de Salettes ( which is a culinary treat for foodies! Other restaurants sampled included La Table du Sommelier in Gaillac, L’Ancien Auberge in Puycelsi and lunch in Toulouse at the Restaurant du Père Louis after an extraordinary guided tour of the Toulouse-Lautrec museum in Albi.



The warm winter sunshine made a stroll around the nearby Bastide village of Castelnau de Montmiral a joy as thoughts turned to property once more as the French pastel shutter shades were admired and expert Tony Dowse, pointed-out the traditional characteristics and materials being echoed in the new Durantie homes.



To read the resulting articles and to see for yourself what the journalists had to say about the visit the media testimonials section of our website…