Lost In Limoges

From the sheep-dotted pastures of France's underpopulated Southwest, Limoges rises in all its grey glory. The city's claim to fame: fine porcelain. The half-timbered houses of the Medieval center are surrounded by strip malls and McDo. Land-hungry Brits descend with flailing pocketbooks (thanks, RyanAir). The weather is remarkably cool year-round. Sure, I live on rue de Nice, but this is NOT the Cote d'Azur. Welcome to Limoges, "the middle of nowhere"-- or as Pierre says "everywhere"-- France.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Why the Relais de Margaux Kicks Some Hotel George V Booty

So maybe the hotel lacks a private in-room jacuzzi. Or fancy chocolates on your pillow. Or personal butler service to cater to your whims as you watch the sunset over the golf course. Or ingratiating (and secretly mocking) front desk folks.

But how many hotels have shoe-shining machines outside your door? For a quick touch-up before a delicious dinner at the Brasserie? Pierre was obsessed. Step 1: put leather shoe under the polish. Step 2: move shoe under the brush. Step 3: push button and watch the magic. Shoes turned new in a matter of seconds! From a standing position!

Other gadgets that are dangerous for boys: in-room steaming machines which magically press shirts and pants within minutes, flat-screen TVs, heated towel racks, and tubs with rainshowers.

The Relais de Margaux is the essence of comfort in the middle of wine country. Rooms are new-- and thus lack the charm of older residence-hotels, with their whimsical antique-filled rooms, but who cares when the service is so friendly and unpretentious (and un-French) and the food is so divine. (Try scallops on a pumpkin puree with sauteed mushrooms, followed by a chocolate pizza(!): rich melted chocolate over a thick, round crust of brioche.) And breakfast.... heaven-on-earth.


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