Foodie Blockbuster Film Whets Home Buyers’ Appetite at La Durantie


The recent release of the foodie blockbuster, The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren has uncovered the gastronomic delights of The Tarn region of south west France. Known for its rich cassoulet, foie gras, Lautrec pink garlic and premiere Gaillac wines, cinemagoers are being transported to this rural food heaven where the action revolves around a fictional Michelin-starred French chateau restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). In reality the belle époque Chateau de la Durantie is being renovated into a country club and spa with its own restaurant, bar and wine label – and will form the centrepiece of ‘La Durantie’ development of 57 vernacular holiday homes on the estate.

Ten years ago ‘culinary tourism’ was viewed as a form of niche tourism, but today tourists and holiday home owners are increasingly attracted to a region by its local produce, restaurants and culinary delights. Erik Wolf, President and CEO of The World Food Travel Association, says; “within the last decade the definition of culinary tourism has evolved to include those people who travel almost exclusively to search for and enjoy prepared foods and drink.”

In France, food is a religion and in every village and town around La Durantie, there are authentic country restaurants and lively town bistros serving delicious seasonal food all year-round. For more sophisticated dining, the nearest Michelin star restaurant is 15 minutes away with another in nearby world heritage site Albi. However, owners and guests won’t need to leave the chateau’s grounds to find the very best of local fare. La Durantie’s Bistrot and Bar will be located within the chateau and will feature a large outdoor terrace overlooking the pool and gardens.

The menu will use fresh produce grown from La Durantie’s very own vegetable garden and will feature traditional dishes with a modern twist, but always seasonal whether a wild boar casserole or cepe (mushroom) omelette; currently in season as depicted in the film. For dessert you cannot beat a homemade tarte tatin with beautifully caramelised apples – all will be accompanied by Durantie’s pick of the finest local Gaillac and renowned French wines.

The luxury development of La Durantie overlooks undulating vineyards, and has recently launched its own wine label.There are several different cepages that are unique to the ancient wine region of Gaillac and La Durantie has selected a white Mauzac Sauvignon blend and red Cabernet Duras, allowing owners of the local French vernacular homes to make the idyllic notion of drinking their own Gaillac wine whilst sitting on the terrace of their holiday home a reality. Owners will receive an allocation of Durantie wines.

Phase one will consist of 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 and most homes will have an ‘integrated’ private pool.

The kitchens at the luxury properties promise to make cooking a true pleasure; each is spacious and very well appointed with the latest Bosch appliances. The design of the homes, with their strong emphasis on outdoor living, means residents can enjoy al fresco dining in their properties garden terrace, which offers attractive views along their private pool and lush landscaped gardens. Each of the homes also comes fitted with an outdoor barbeque.

House prices in the leaseback scheme offering a hassle-free buy-to-let opportunity with a 20% tax refund by La Durantie Management Company are as follows:

1 bedroom start at €335,400 (approx. £268,300) / 2 bedroom start at €333,250 (approx. £266,600) / 3 bedroom start at €491,920 (approx. £393,600) / 4 bedroom start at €648,440 (approx. £518,800) / 5 bedroom start at €782,600 (approx. £626,100. A limited number of 2 and 3 bedroom apartments are also available starting at €371,090 (approx. £297,000).*All prices are nett (after VAT refund) and a mandatory annual charge includes management charge and country club.



Editors Notes:

La Durantie

The chateau estate dates back to a large land holding by the Count of Toulouse during the 13th century and the architectural features today are influenced by the owner’s travels to Italy in 1887 and love of the belle époque Palazzos. The chateau 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 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.

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