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Golf in the Limousin - Far from the madding crowd

If you haven't heard of the Limousin in France - well, you're not the only one. Many French barely know it either, except as the home of some of the finest cattle in the country. But you are sure to know of the Dordogne, to the south-west, and the marvellous thing about the Limousin is that it is very similar - but without the crowds.

A view of Aubazine in the Corrèze
View from above Aubazine in the Corrèze

The Limousin sits astride the Massif Central in the centre of France and comprises three départements: the Haute-Vienne, with Limoges, of fine porcelaine fame, as its capital, the Corrèze and the Creuse.

It covers a big area but the population is tiny - less than three-quarters of a million, roughly half the number of famous Limousin cattle in its lush green fields and mountain pastures. The density of population is a mere 43 inhabitants per square kilometre (compared to 112 for the whole of France and 246 for the UK), so if you want to get away from the crowds, enjoy beautiful scenery, delicious food, empty roads and some fine golf on almost deserted fairways, this is the place for you.

Click here for maps of the Limousin region and its golf courses.

We spent three days exploring the nine golf courses of the Limousin (that have since become ten), and despite suffering the appalling late August weather we were charmed by what we discovered, and could only be amazed that this delightful region is one of the least well-known in the world's most visited country.

The Limousin is also the first region of France to offer visiting golfers 2-FORE!-1 green fees from May 2008 onwards, so that you can discover its ten fine courses at half price. To find out more about 2-FORE!-1 FRANCE vouchers, which work in exactly the same way as the regular UK scheme, and to order your vouchers, just click here.

THE HAUTE-VIENNE DÉPARTEMENT

Golf de la Porcelaine

Only 5km from Limoges, in a 75 hectare estate perched above the valley of the river Vienne, lies the Golf de la Porcelaine, the most famous of the Limousin courses. Designed by the great French pro Jean Garaïalde, this is an absolute gem of a layout, drawing on everything the wonderful local scenery has to offer.

The Golf de La Porcelaine
The beautiful Golf de la Porcelaine, seen from the 2nd fairway

At 6,042 metres and par 72, it is not the longest of the ten Limousin layouts, but it is certainly the most subtle. The undulating, sometimes hilly terrain, lakes, ponds, streams, trees and bunkers combine to make this a challenging but very pleasant course. The views of the Massif Central are magnificent, and there really cannot be any more shades of green in the spectrum than you can observe on this golf course with its richly varied vegetation.

We unfortunately played it on a very wet day, and finished soaked to the skin - so much so that even photography was impossible on the back nine - but, back in the warm and welcoming old stone clubhouse, we had no regrets at having gone round the full 18!

La Porcelaine starts and finishes with a par 5. You might be grateful for a few warm-up shots on the splendidly scenic range before you head off, because the 1st is tree-lined, and has twin lakes eating into the fairway awaiting wayward drives.

The green at La Porcelaine's par 3 15th

The 2nd is perhaps the loveliest and certainly one of the most difficult holes on the course. Only 352 metres, but a sharp dogleg left, it starts with a drive from an elevated tee down into a tree-lined valley. If you can get the ball into the opening at the elbow, you then have a short to medium iron into a plateau green with water left, back and right, plus a bunker between the green and water on the right for good measure. It's a great hole and if you walk off here with your 4 you can feel well-pleased.

The 4th is a dogleg par 5, where the longer hitter can try and cut the corner, although this leaves a very tough second shot, as the green is long and narrow and well-bunkered.

The 5th and 7th are both heavily bunkered par 3s, calling for a precision tee shot, but relatively easy compared to the very tough par 5, 460 metre 8th. This is narrow, tree-lined and all uphill as you approach the steeply elevated, plateau green. Even once on the green, a careful touch is required, as it's easy to putt right off it and leave yourself a horribly difficult pitch back. This hole will test every level of golfer to the full!

The 9th is a short par 4, but with a large pond on the left off the driving zone and out of bounds right, so an iron for safety might be a good idea.

The 10th is stroke 1 on the card, a long par 4 with trees and OB down the right and a stream down the left. The 11th, on the other hand, is a short par 4 and potential birdie hole if you can keep your drive left and then find the well-bunkered putting surface with no more than a wedge. The par 3 12th, with its multiple tees, can be quite a test, driving over water to a shallow, heavily bunkered green below you, making it difficult to hold.

13 and 14 are all about trees and keeping the ball on the short stuff, and bring you to the lovely par 3 15th. It was getting rather waterlogged on the tee when we played and photographed it, but it is an excellent hole, calling for a precision tee shot between encroaching trees and a large pond to long, narrow green with three lurking bunkers.

The 16th has a tight driving zone but a treat awaits you as you crest the hill approaching the green, with a magnificent panoramic view towards the Massif Central and the Monts d'Ambazac (rising to 701 metres). It's not easy to concentrate on the second shot once you've seen this! The par 3 17th offers a little respite, except for its tricky double plateau green, bringing you back to the clubhouse via the par 5 18th, with its water and bunker protected green.

The warm atmosphere in the clubhouse, with its stone walls, oak beams, huge fireplace and panoramic windows is then the perfect spot to relax and look back on a great golfing experience that players of all standards can enjoy. There's good, hearty food here too. This is golf as fine and beautiful as the Porcelaine that gives it its name.

Golf de la Porcelaine
Célicroux, 87350 PANAZOL
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 31 10 69
Email: golf@golf-porcelaine.com
Website: http://www.golf-porcelaine.com/

Golf de Saint-Junien

Situated to the north-east of Limoges, the Golf de Saint Junien is built on a 200 hectare estate around a 19th century Manor House and the farm's outbuildings, which have now become the clubhouse, a 23 room, three star hotel and a good restaurant offering plenty of local and regional dishes. Taken over by Dutch investors, it has been beautifully renovated, while retaining all the features of the old property, such as the magnificent ancient trees around the house.

The Golf de Saint Junien
Arriving at the old Manor House that is now the Golf de Saint Junien

Designed by an amateur, the course makes full use of the natural contours and vegetation of the land. The fairways are mostly generous in width, but the course makes up for it with some very thick rough, plenty of bunkers, ponds and streams, and some interesting slopes. The views over thick forest towards the distant hills are spectacular, although sadly the weather was damp and misty the day we visited. The British greenkeeper tends some excellent greens, which are far from easy.

The course begins gently. The 1st has an invitingly wide fairway and large green; stay down the left, if you can. The 2nd has the first of many greens which are wide but shallow, approached over a bunker, making club selection vital. Fortunately most of the greens have run-off areas, rather than the clingy rough beyond the fairways, but elevation changes can make chipping difficult.

Things start to get tough at the par 5, dogleg right 3rd. Drive over a pond and two fairway bunkers, and you face a second shot over another bunker with bushes guarding the angle of the dogleg. It's also out of bounds all down the right. This is another shallow green (only 7 metres), so a precision approach is called for.

The pretty par 3 10th at Saint Junien,a 19th century Manor House

The 5th has a large pond at some 150 metres off the tee to catch the weak drive, and another shallow green with a bunker behind. The 6th, a short par 4, has a similar drive with a pond in the landing area, so laying up and taking the longer second is the best option. But the green is L-shaped, with thick rough behind, so the longer second has its disadvantages - a good hole. The 7th has a bunker in the driving area, while the par 3 8th has a big bunker guarding a shallow, kidney-bean shaped green. The 9th is an uphill par 5, with a sloping fairway and a stream crossing it for your second.

The 10th is a pretty little par 3 over a pond to a large, flat green without bunkers. But the easy start home soon ends on the 11th, a monster (560 metres off the back tee), S-shaped par 5, with water across and left and trees down both sides. You must keep as near left as you dare, otherwise you'll end up zig-zagging your way down this one! 12 has a shallow, bunker-guarded green, and 13 is a short par 3 to an even shallower green with bushes and a pond behind. The 14th has an unusually narrow fairway for this course, and you drive over a large pond, with trees and thick rough eigher side. It's stroke index 1, although under 300 metres long, so be warned! An iron off the tee makes sense here.

15 and 16 both feature water hazards, and are best played down the left, and the 17th is a very good par 4 dogleg left, where the drive is crucial. Too short and you're blocked out by trees; too long and you run out of fairway into rough or trees.

The 18th has it all. Water across and down the left, bunker in the driving zone, shallow green with trees left and bunker right, and uphill to a green that falls away on every side. But a beautiful hole, nevertheless!

Thanks to multiple tees, the course can measure anywhere from 4,265 to 5,165 metres, so the difficulties are very manageable. This is a lovely, very natural course, well worth a visit, and why not a stay at the hotel? The Club also offers excellent teaching and practice facilities, with lessons available from the 1991 Dutch Professional Champion Willem Swart, now a resident of the Limousin.

Golf de Saint Junien
Les Jouberties, 87200 Saint Junien
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 02 96 96
Fax: +33 (0)5 55 02 32 52
Email: info@golfdesaintjunien.com
Website: www.golfdesaintjunien.com

Golf de Limoges Saint-Lazare

How many golf courses of over 6,200 metres can honestly claim to be only 5-10 minutes from their city centre? The Golf Municipal de Limoges Saint-Lazare was France's first public course, and owes its creation in 1976 to the socialist Senator and Mayor of Limoges, Louis Longequeue - not even a golfer himself - who had the visionary idea of transforming the town's disused municipal airport into a golf course.

The 18th green at Limoges Saint-Lazare

Working with just 59 hectares of extremely flat terrain, architect Hubert Chesneau (creator of France's famous Golf National) fashioned a par 72, 18 hole layout with four genuine par 5s. His original design was given additional character in the late 1980s, when the municipality decided to use the earth being excavated for the construction of the city's bypass to create some gently rolling humps and hollows. Together with the growth of the thousands of trees planted, it has all matured into a very enjoyable, well-maintained, quality golf course that boasts 850 members, but remains entirely open to the public for a very modest Euros 28 (under £20) green fee in high season.

This is not a difficult course, although the wayward hitter will quickly become acquainted with the splendid variety of handsome trees which are the key features of Saint-Lazare. There are no water hazards and it is not overly bunkered, nor are the bunkers very penal, but the rough can be quite deep and there are some very thick patches of heather. As you would expect, given the confined area, the greens are quite small and place a premium on accuracy - or a good short game!

The 10th tee at Limoges Saint-Lazare

Particularly enjoyable are the two big doglegs at the 5th and 10th, both very pretty holes, and calling for good placement of the drive to avoid being completely blocked out by the trees, and the 12th is a nice little par 3 with a tree plumb between you and the green.

It's a course that tempts you into using the driver - the fairways are generous, and on a number of holes you're better off being very wide than just off the fairway - so you can open your shoulders and have some fun. And despite the appalling summer weather we found the greens in surprisingly good condition.

There is a separately owned, but on-site two-star hotel with 33 rooms and a good bar-restaurant which does a roaring lunchtime trade, given its proximity to the centre of Limoges.

For more information:
Golf Municipal de Limoges Saint-Lazare
Avenue du Golf, 87000 Limoges
Tel : +33 (0)5 55 30 21 02
Email: golf-club-limoges@wanadoo.fr

Hôtel-Restaurant Le Green Saint-Lazare
Avenue du Golf, 87000 Limoges
Tel : +33 (0)5 55 06 00 00
Website: www.legreensaintlazare.com
Email: legreenstlazare@wanadoo.fr

Golf de Mortemart

The brand new 9-hole course at Mortemart

At the time of visiting, this new 9-hole course was scheduled to open in September 2007, although the appalling summer weather may delay this. The course is situated just 1 km from the village of Mortemart, officially classified among the "Plus Beaux Villages de France", and affords a magnificent panoramic view of the Monts de Blond, in the foothills of the Massif Central, home to some remarkable prehistoric monuments. At 2,920 metres and with a par of 37, it will bring to ten the number of courses in the region.

Golf de Mortemart
Les Villards, 87330 Mortemart
Tel : +33 5 55 60 45 16
Email: golfdemortemart@orange.fr
Website: N/A


THE CORRÈZE DÉPARTEMENT

Golf de Brive Planchetorte

Only five minutes from the centre of Brive-la-Gaillarde, the Golf-Club de Brive Planchetorte is a testing and mature layout created in 1994 by Jeremy Pern. A par 71, it is one of the longer Limousin courses at an undulating 5,847 metres off the back tees, and set among magnificent, often centenarian trees. Its most memorable feature is however the Planchetorte stream, which winds its way from end to end of the course, coming into play on no fewer than 13 holes!

Golf de Brive Planchetorte
Golf de Brive Planchetorte
Left: The clubhouse and its wooded setting - Right: The extraordinary driving range at Brive Planchetorte

If you're a golfer who likes to warm up with a bucket of balls before the round, you can also experience another striking feature of Brive - the driving range, set into the side of a hill, with a huge rocky outcrop some 200 metres distant. Just try and resist the temptation to whack a driver at it to see the ricochet!

Teeing off under the panoramic terrace of the clubhouse, which offers a fine view of almost every hole on the course, you are immediately confronted by the three main difficulties that characterise Brive: trees, sharply sloping drop-off areas on the side of the fairway and, inevitably, the stream, which cuts across the hole two-thirds of the way along, awaiting the over-ambitious drive. Get used to it - you're going to see a lot of each other!

The lovely Golf de Brive Planchetorte

The par 5 2nd is the first of many doglegs, the key being a well-placed drive. Try and cut it too fine, and your second is blocked by trees and the stream. The 6th is an excellent and very pretty par 5. The temptation is to open the shoulders on the drive, but the stream cuts across in the landing area about 220 metres out, so you're inclined to go left, where there is more fairway. Doing this, however, brings a huge stand of trees into play for the second shot. Best to go for placement and play it as a three-shotter!

The 8th is a delightful hole, with its undulating fairway and strategically placed, lone tree requiring a precision drive to open up the green, while the 9th is a par 3 off a very elevated tee into an enormous green. If you manage to avoid the stream and the bunkers which guard the green, you're still a candidate for three putts!

The 10th starts the back nine gently - one of the flatter holes on the course - but there's tougher to come. The par 3 15th plays to an elevated green, with out of bounds to the right, a bunker front left and a huge bunker behind. Play short and you'll roll back down the hill; long, and you're in the sand.

The last three holes continue in difficult vein. The sharp dogleg 16th is not long, but trying to cut the corner and go for the birdie is not an option with tall trees barring the way.

Then comes the monstruous 17th, a double dogleg right and 522 metres off the back tee. The Planchetorte runs all along the hole until it cuts across around the landing area of your second shot. If you stay out of that, it leaves you with an uphill third shot to an elevated green. Interestingly, the hole is sponsored by the local McDonald's - they obviously realise you'll be hungry by the time you reach the green!

Last, but not least, the 18th calls for an accurate tee shot to avoid out of bounds down the left and a big slope off the fairway to the right. Club selection is then vital for the second shot - the green is 52 metres deep, so it's hello three putts again!

Despite its tricky nature, and just like the other more difficult Limousin courses, Brive is an absolute delight for the eye, so if you get the chance to play here, do take it. This is really lovely inland golf.

Golf Club de Brive Planchetorte
Vallée de Planchetorte, 19100 Brive-La-Gaillarde
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 87 57 57
Website: www.golfdebrive.com/ (French only at the time of writing, but English is in the works)
Email : accueil@golfdebrive.com

Golf de Neuvic d'Ussel

The 2nd green at Neuvic above the Lac de la Triouzoune

The town of Neuvic sits on the banks of the huge artificial Lac de la Triouzoune, some 600 metres above sea level, and the golf course is perched high above it, affording wonderful views of the lake, the surrounding forests and the moutains of the Massif Central in the distance. Indeed, as you look down from the top of the course, there's a slight feeling of Switzerland about the place and Neuvic was ranked 6th in France for 'visual impact' by Golf Magazine.

Built in 1982, it cleverly integrates two distinct 9-hole courses, one a full par 35 layout of 2,526 metres, the other a compact or 'executive' par 3 course of 1,173 metres. Both benefit from being a life-size classroom and exam-hall for the local agricultural college, which boasts one of the only two Schools of Greenkeeping in France. As the dynamic Director of Golf Eric Lottiaux, who himself teaches at the college, likes to say, it is unthinkable that his courses are not in excellent condition, and we are happy to confirm that - despite the miserable 2007 summer weather - both of them are. The college also focusses on low environmental impact, particularly important here because of the proximity of the lake, and has a 100% record of placing its students in greenkeeping jobs.

The main course, although not especially long, offers numerous challenges and has a slope rating of 141 off the back tees. Significant changes of elevation and the consequent up-, down- and sidehill lies have a lot to do with this, but don't be put off by this. Taken at a gentle pace, as indeed you should to have time to enjoy the scenery, there is no problem getting round. On the day we visited a fourball of senior citizens were enjoying their daily game, playing and pulling trolleys as if they were half their age!

The spectacular 9th tee at Neuvic

We particularly enjoyed the par 3 5th, with its elevated tee and magnificent forest backdrop, the par 5 6th, with its sweeping fairway overlooking the lake, and the spectacular drive at the 9th (picture right). Big hitters will enjoy the challenges of this course, and especially the shortish par 4 3rd, where the green tempts you to have a go, but calls for a perfect tee shot over a tree right in the middle of the fairway and a carry over a reed-fringed lake in front of the green.

There are plans to extend certain parts of the course, and for a clubhouse beside the Lake, but there's no need to wait for this to enjoy as picturesque and pleasantly challenging a course as you could wish.

For non-golfers, the 450 hectare Lac de Triouzoune and its surrounding area offer a great variety of activities, including sailing and windsurfing, jet- and water-skiing and excellent fishing, as well as cycling and hiking. The English-owned Hôtel-Restaurant du Lac, right on the shore, with views over the lake from every bedroom, makes an excellent base for golf and these other activities.

For more information:
Golf de Neuvic d'Ussel,
Route de la Plage, 19160 Neuvic
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 95 98 89
Website: http://golf.neuvic.com/ [NB: no "www"] - French only at present
Email: contact@golf.neuvic.com

Hôtel-Restaurant du Lac**
La Plage, 19160 Neuvic
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 95 81 43
Email: hoteldulac.neuvic@orange.fr

 

A herd of Limousin cows
Probably the most famous inhabitants of the Limousin - seen between Neuvic and Chammet

Golf du Chammet

'Golf Naturel du Chammet' is what this club likes to be called, and it is difficult not to feel at one with nature when you're out on this charming and not overly difficult course. Close to the Plateau de Millevaches, at an altitude of 850m, it is quite remote - indeed, we had some trouble finding it, and we hope they will improve the local signage following our visit - but the scenic rewards alone are well worth the effort of going there.

The Lac du Chammet, seen from the 2nd fairway. The dam is visible in the distance.

The course sits high above the Lac du Chammet, which paradoxically is an artificial lake created by the French Electricity Board (picture right). Surrounded by densely wooded hills, moors of magnificent purple heather and a riot of wild flowers, you can almost feel the clean air doing you good as you breathe. The air at this altitude is, however, rarified. Your golf ball will travel at least 10% further than usual up here, so allow for it in your club selection!

(Enjoy the views and some of the beautiful flora around this course by clicking on the image gallery here.)

Chammet has only nine holes, but it is no hardship to go round twice, and there is a possibility a second nine will be built around the lake shore. Off the back tees it measures 2700 metres and six of the nine holes feature significant changes of elevation - probably the greatest difficulty round here. But beginners needn't worry - they have their own set of red tees which take out all the carries over trouble, and which reduce the nine holes to a modest 1400m.

Beginning gently, the 1st is a flattish dogleg right, tree-lined, but there's no need to take the big stick here if you're wild off the tee, as the second shot is only a little short iron. At the 2nd, the course's par 5, the really spectacular scenery comes in. An uphill drive to the crest of the hill suddenly reveals a plunge into the valley and the lake below, and it's really quite hard to focus on your second shot as you take in the view. Big hitters can go for the green in two, but it's not a big target and there are severe slopes behind and either side, so be prepared for some tricky upping and downing if you stray.

The tee shot at the par 3 3rd of the Golf du Chammet

The tee shot at the par 3 3rd is definitely for thrill-seekers (picture right). The hole measures 173 metres off the top tees, but the green is also some 50 metres below you, allowing you to fire your drive into the sky, and then watch it descend against a backdrop of trees, the lake and finally the green - unless you top it and it dribbles down the hill, of course. Club selection is hard enough, but the green is small and fronted by three bunkers, and there's a road just behind. If in doubt, play left - there's plenty of room - quite a hole.

The 4th is another flattish par 4 dogleg right, with loads of room out left, avoiding the beautiful expanses of heather and bushes awaiting those who try and cut too much off. You're now at the furthest point from the clubhouse, so the par 4 5th heads back, long and uphill, parallel to the lake shore. Not too difficult, but needs a solid second off an uphill lie. The par 4 6th is shorter, but steeper, and your short iron second will likely be played off an uphill, hanging lie to a small, plateau green.

The 7th is a neat little par 3, only 120 metres, but the green is set high above you, again making club selection very tricky. The view over the lake to the hills behind as you look back from the green are outstanding. The 8th is an excellent long par 4, uphill from the tee and then down- and sidehill to a very small green. The bright purple of the heather on the hills to the right was a delight to see.

And so to the par 4 9th, a short and very sharp dogleg right, tempting you to have a go for the green over the trees between tee and green. But with bunkers front and left and out of bounds behind and right, this is not the percentage shot! An excellent risk/reward finishing hole.

A warm welcome awaits you in the chalet-style clubhouse, reminding you that you are at altitude. Pro Yann Lavictoire and Greenkeeper Olivier Godard are passionate about their club and course, and they have every reason to be. A very pleasant golfing experience.

For more details:
Golf du Chammet
Geneyte, 19240 Peyrelevade
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 94 78 60
Website: www.golf-chammet.fr.cc/ (French only)
Email: asj.chammet@wanadoo.fr

Golf du Coiroux (Aubazine)

The beautiful Lac du Coiroux
The beautiful Lac du Coiroux

Halfway between Brive and Tulle, the two courses at the Golf du Coiroux - a lovely full 18 and a 9 hole "executive" - sit around a beautiful 24 hectare lake which features often in play. The shades of green to be seen in the surrounding vegetation are endless and many holes are cut through dense forest, with a wide variety of trees to delight the eye and frustrate the errant golfer.

At under 6,000 yards (5,349 metres) off the back tees, this is not a long course, but big elevation changes, a lot of doglegs, some very tight drives and the water make it technically challenging. Longer hitters might set themselves up for birdies at the three par 5s, but they are also likely to spend plenty of time admiring the forest from within. Careful shot placement, not power, is the key to good scoring here.

Coiroux starts as it means to go on. The 1st is a sharp dogleg right, with very tall trees and a large pond discouraging attempts to cut the corner. The ideal drive is as far as you dare go without running out of fairway and into more trees; shorter off the tee, and your second must come in over the pond. The 4th is a short par 4, but the driving zone narrows between the trees the further you go. The par 5 9th is long and straight and tempting, but extremely undulating and narrow...

The clubhouse at the beautiful Golf du Coiroux

The course features some very pretty but testing par 3s, with the 15th - one of two signature holes, being a little gem. Set right on the lake, which cuts deep into the hole between tee and green, a bunker guards the front edge. The lake also provides the backdrop to the other signature hole, the par 4, dogleg 14th. After driving down a narrow chute of trees from an elevated tee, taking care to avoid the bunker on the left and running out of fairway into more trees at the bottom, you then turn sharp right and play down the hill to a green that slopes away towards the lake. It only measures just over 300 metres, but what a good hole!

The clubhouse is in a beautifully restored old Limousin farmhouse, whose barn is now the restaurant, complete with a panoramic terrace overlooking the putting green and the 18th. There is also a charming chalet-style two star hotel right beside the course.

For the energetic, would-be Tarzan, the neighbouring park also features an "accrobranch" circuit in the treetops (see photo in the gallery above). We understand it is great fun and perfectly safe, but we stayed on terra firma and took our chances with the golf course instead... Excellent fishing, tennis courts, children's play areas and picnic and camping facilities are also available in the park.

For more details:
Aubazine Golf du Coiroux
19190 Aubazine
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 27 25 66
Website: www.golf-coiroux.com
Email: accueil@golf-coiroux.com


THE CREUSE DÉPARTEMENT

Golf de Bourganeuf

The Tour de Zizim in Bourganeuf

Bourganeuf, 50 kms from Limoges, is a medieval town, home to just over 3,000 people. Among its claims to fame is the 'Tour de Zizim' (picture right), its most striking architectural feature, which played host in the late 1480's to an exiled prince of the Ottoman Empire. More recently, the town was the third in all of France to have electric lighting in its streets, in 1886, and today boasts a 'Museum of Electrification'. Not many people know that.

It is also, however, home to the Golf de Bourganeuf, and this little course is a remarkable success story. In the finest traditions of the original 'golf links', a piece of waste land that nobody wanted on the side of a hill, marshy and covered in brambles, was slowly turned into a golf course in the early 90's by the imagination and perseverance of one man - Jean-Pierre Bret.

At 9 holes, 1,205 metres off the back tees and a par of 28, it is now officially the hardest 'executive course' in France - certified by the French Golf Federation. (The French, by the way, use the much more appropriate term of 'parcours compact' for such a course - indeed, these nine holes fit into just 12 hectares of land, and are no more than a good drive and a five iron from the centre of town.)

The course belongs to a non-profit making Association, which actively encourages people to try their hand at golf, with a special accent on the town's youngsters, and it is clearly succeeding in opening up the game to many people who would otherwise never cross the threshold of a more traditional club. Much of the original construction work was done by volunteers who can now enjoy the course, and it has created three full-time greenkeeping jobs. The upkeep is paid for in part by green fees, but also by the same volunteers who continue to organise various activities in the area to gather funds for the club. It even manages to be self-sufficient in water, tapping into springs which feed the fish ponds dotted around the course.

The Golf de Bourganeuf -  a remarkable success story

Perched on the hillside, every hole affords a wonderful view over the town and valley and if you are a high-handicapper, the course will test most aspects of your game, apart from the driver. There are plenty of ponds, streams, trees and bunkers awaiting the errant shot. And with the exception of the 6th and 7th, you almost always have an uphill, downhill or sidehill lie on any fairway, while the small greens and sharp slopes make for some tricky pitching and chipping. For mid- to low-handicaps, this is an excellent work-out for your short irons and approach play, with accuracy in finding the small greens the key to a good score.

Plans are afoot to acquire a piece of land adjacent to the 3rd, which would allow the extension of several holes into full par 4s, perhaps even a par 5, to create a genuine nine hole course. We can only wish the good members of the Association success in this project - they thoroughly deserve it.

In the clubhouse high above the ninth green you will find a bar and a very good restaurant - Les Diligences (literally 'The Stagecoaches'). But don't go here if you're looking for a 'steack frites'. This is fine French cuisine, and the only chips anywhere near Les Diligences are on the golf course.

For more details:
Golf de Bourganeuf,
28 route de Guéret, 23400 Bourganeuf
Tel: +33 (0)6 75 14 93 19
Email: bourganeuf2000golf@wanadoo.fr
(Note - the green fee at Bourganeuf is a very modest Euros 18 for the whole day)

and for the restaurant:
Les Diligences (M. Patrick Paule)
28 route de Guéret, 23400 Bourganeuf
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 64 87 70
Email: lesdiligences@wanadoo.fr

Golf de la Jonchère - from tea to tee in no time at all

The first tee at La Jonchère, seen from the master bedroom of the blue gîte

If you have ever wished you could just hop out of bed in the morning and straight onto the first tee, now's your chance. This friendly and welcoming course has two delightful self-catering gîtes attached to it, one of which is literally 20 yards from the men's tee at the 1st (see right), although the other is rather further away - at least 150 yards!

Each gîte has its own swimming pool, three bedrooms, kitchen, living and dining rooms, and they are available from only €250 per weekend. Golfers staying in the gîtes also get a 20% discount off their green fees.

Built in 1988 and entirely refurbished in 2003, the golf courses at La Jonchère are designed and maintained to be fun for all levels of golfer. The terrain is less hilly in this part of the Creuse, so walking is easier and the fairways are wide, but there is plenty of water and sand, abundant - and often ancient - trees and luxuriant, very natural, rough in which the wild flowers and grasses are encouraged to grow. The owners and management are proud to be as "bio" as possible, so the course is self-sufficient in water (it boasts an 8 hectare fishing lake which features on several holes) and uses the barest minimum of chemicals for maintenance. Drainage here, 400 metres above sea-level, is excellent and from this height on a clear day the Puy de Dôme and Puy du Sancy can be seen on the horizon from the 12th and 13th holes.

The par 4 6th - take the tiger line across the lake if you dare

The 18 hole course, at just under 6000 metres and par 72, has some very interesting holes, none more so than the par 4 6th, which features both a drive and an approach over the lake. Unless, that is, you attempt the tiger line off the tee across the lake; the green is driveable (picture right - a 210 metre carry), but not for the faint-hearted or those with only a couple of sleeves of golf balls to see out the week! And if you negotiate that and feel pleased with yourself, don't relax too much as you're walking off the green - you have to do it all over again at the par 3 7th, straight across the lake.

The 1st, 4th and 11th all feature drives made progressively tighter over the years by the growth of the trees, and the 8th is a vey tough par 4, 396 metres off the back tees, all uphill and dogleg left. The par 3 12th also calls for accuracy with a longish iron or fairway metal off the tee, with the green surrounded by trees on three sides. But on the whole the course is set up for pleasure, not prowess, and there's a lot to be said for that.

The 9 hole pitch and putt course measures 600 metres for a par of 27, and has been ratified by the French Golf Federation for official competitions, a rare distinction for this type of course. The 5th hole, requiring a pitch entirely over water, and the 6th, onto an island green surrounded by one enormous bunker, will give you a good idea why!

The highly prized black bass, caught in the lake at La Jonchère

The ivy-covered, oak-beamed clubhouse has a proper stand-up bar with a footrail, as well as a dining area, lounge and gamesroom. There is also a practice ground with covered bays, a delightful chipping and putting green, and there are plans for a beginner's course, not to mention excellent game-fishing in the lake for the prized black bass (picture right), all within this charming 120 hectare estate. And, if the gîtes are already taken, more accomodation is available offsite in the Hôtel Moderne in nearby Gouzon, along with the Relais du Golf restaurant.

For further details, or to make a reservation:
Golf-Club de la Jonchère,
Montgrenier, 23230 Gouzon
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 62 76 60
Website: www.golfdelajonchere.com
Email: infos@golfdelajonchere.com

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN LIMOUSIN

Far off-the-beaten tourist track, the Limousin is a well-preserved haven for nature lovers and anyone seeking peace and quiet. With its lush green countryside, rolling hills, forests, heather and ferns, lakes and rivers, breathtaking scenery, imposing châteaux and lovely villages, plus a gentle pace of life that reminds one of France as it used to be before it was 'discovered', the region has a great deal to offer for those who enjoy the simple life.

The local tourist boards will help you find ways to tour the region and discover its many attractions, but here are a few examples that we feel you won't want to miss.

Le Plateau de Millevaches

The Plateau de Millevaches

Straddling the 3 departments and situated between 600m and 1000m above sea level in the 'Massif Central', the Plateau de Millevaches is a protected regional park with huge forests and a vast expanse of hilly, grazing terrain, criss-crossed by rivers and perfect for hiking and fishing. Contrary to what you could easily believe, judging by the name and the number of cows in the area, this is not the 'Plateau of a Thousand Cows" but more likely the corruption of two old words meaning 'thousand springs' and the plateau is the water reserve of Limousin. While in the area, make sure you stop by in Meymac, Felletin and Eymoutiers, all very picturesque towns on the edges of the Plateau.

Meymac and Eymoutiers
The villages of Meymac (left) and Eymoutiers

The Land of a Thousand Lakes

The Limousin is known as 'the land of a thousand lakes', among which the largest are St Pardoux, Bort les Orgues, Lac du Causse and, biggest of all, Vassivière, which covers an area of 1,000 hectares. Most are lakes with sandy beaches and clear water ideal for fishing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, hang-gliding and waterskiing.

Lac de Vassivière
Maison de Vassivière
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 69 76 70
Website: www.vassiviere.fr
Email: maisonvassiviere@orange.fr

If fishing is your thing, you'll find the Limousin is a fisherman's paradise, as in addition to its many lakes, the region also boasts 11,000 kms of rivers and some of the best fishing in Europe for trout, black-bass, carp, salmon, bream and pike, to name but a few.

Canoeing and kayaking lovers will be spoilt for choice as their favourite sport can be enjoyed on several rivers offering different levels of difficulty: the Dordogne, Vienne, Corrèze, Vézère and the lesser-known Diège and Maronne.

SOME PICTURESQUE TOWNS AND VILLAGES OF THE LIMOUSIN

Wonderful as the golf is here, don't miss the rest. If you enjoy driving along country roads, it doesn't get much better. On our travels we sometimes went half an hour without crossing another car, and every lane, every hillptop, brings its visual feast.

A lane in the Corrèze
En route towards Neyvic
Left: A quiet lane in the Corrèze - Right: En route towards Neuvic

There is however a more sombre side; the sparsely populated, densely wooded and hilly terrain of the Limousin made this a bastion of the Résistance during the Second World War - and the region paid a terrible price for it, witnessing two horrendous massacres in Tulle and Oradour-sur-Glane in 1944.

In the Corrèze

Aubazine: On your way to play at the Golf du Coiroux, close to Brive, be sure to visit the delightful town of Aubazine, perched on the side of a hill, with its steep streets, old houses and pretty squares. Be sure too to take the time to stroll round the magnificent abbey and church and have a look at St Etienne's tomb, at a 12th century-old oak church cabinet and a 15th century fresco, but that's not all you'll find here...

Aubazine and the sad story of Coco Chanel

One of the stained glass windows in the church at Aubazine, and the inspiration for the interlocking 'C's of the Chanel logo

On a less religious note, Aubazine and its abbey have close ties with French fashion icon Coco Chanel, who spent much of her very unhappy childhood here. Born Gabrielle, the second illegitimate daughter of travelling salesman Albert Chanel and Jeanne Devolle, she was 12 years old in 1895 when her mother died.

Her father abandoned his young family a short time later to seek his fortune in America, and the young Gabrielle spent seven years in the orphanage of the Catholic monastery of Aubazine, where she learned to be a seamstress. Although she couldn't know it at the time, this would be the foundation of her career.

The abbey terrified her, and if you imagine the 12 year old orphan having to climb the long stone staircase (see photo gallery) of the church in the dark on a freezing morning on her way to service, it is not hard to see why.

She never spoke openly about her life at Aubazine and when asked about this part of her childhood, would simply say that she lived with many aunts that hated her. It made her a rebellious child, and she no doubt suffered more as a consequence. Late in life, Gabrielle stated: "I've been ungrateful toward the odious aunts. I owe them everything. A child in revolt becomes a person with armor and strength." Understandably perhaps, of all the days of the week she hated Sundays the most. And - almost inevitably, she died on a Sunday.

What this period clearly gave her was the basis of her unmistakeable style. The interlocking 'C's of the Chanel logo can be seen repeated hundreds of times in the stained glass windows of the church. Her obsession for black and white, often with a belt, is a clear reminder of the ecclesiastic dress of the monks and nuns and the cross of St Jean-de-Jérusalem figures in much of her jewelry. Even the '5' and '19' of two of her iconic perfumes their origins here: patterns resembling a 5 are to be found in the stones of the corridor leading to her dormitory, and 19 is the official number of the Corrèze département - look at the car number plates when you visit.

The origin of her nickname 'Coco' is uncertain. Some say that it was acquired at La Rotonde, a cafe frequented by members of a French cavalry regiment and many artists who flocked to Paris' Montparnasse section at the turn of the 20th century. It was here that Gabrielle, then a cabaret singer, performed a song called "Qui qu'a vu Coco?" (Who has seen Coco?), and the name stuck.

The Salon Coco Chanel in the Hotel Restaurant le Saint Etienne

Should you want to learn more about her, why not drop into the charming Hotel Restaurant le Saint Etienne, just a few steps from the church and formerly part of the abbey, and have lunch? If you're lucky the owner, Mr Sol, will be on hand to dispense his vast knowledge. If you're really lucky, he might invite you to climb a wonderfully worn stone staircase to visit two exquisite little rooms, formerly monks' cells, in his hotel, one of which now bears the name 'Salon Coco Chanel'. You can even organise a candlelit dinner for two in there...

Hotel Restaurant le Saint Etienne **
Le Bourg, 19190 Aubazine
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 25 71 01
Fax: +33 (0)5 55 25 71 37
Email: hotel.saint-etienne@netcourrier.com
Website: http://www.lesaintetienne.com

Aubusson (Creuse)

The historic town of Aubusson, built along the valley of the Creuse River near the "Plateau de Millevaches" northeast of Limoges, has been famous worldwide for its tapestries and carpets since the 14th Century. The Aubusson Tapestry trade is still thriving today, with about twenty workshops preserving a range of traditional skills -designing, spinning and dyeing, and the Tapestry Museum has permanent exhibitions.

The village of Aubusson and the Maison du Tapissier

Musée Départemental de la Tapisserie (Tapestry Museum)
Avenue des Lissiers - BP 89
23200 Aubusson
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 83 08 30
Email: musee-tapisserie@cg23.fr

La Maison du Tapissier
Rue Vieille
23200 Aubusson
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 5 66 32 12
Fax: +33 (0)5 55 83 84 51
Email: tourisme.aubusson@wanadoo.fr
Open all year round.

Collonges-la-Rouge: This village, which owes its name to its strikingly beautiful red-sandstone buildings, is another of the seven "most beautiful villages in France" to be found in the Limousin. It is situated 23 kilometres southeast of Brive close to two other beautiful villages - Curemonte and Turenne. You will love exploring the winding narrow streets and alleys and turreted grand houses, and you could finish off by a visit to the 11th century Roman church.

The aptly named Collonges-la-Rouge
The medieval village of Curemonte
Left: The aptly named Collonges-la-Rouge - Right: The medieval village of Curemonte

Curemonte: Curemonte is a mediaeval village near Brive. It is situated in a strategic historical position on a ridge overlooking a valley and boasts three châteaux, a 12th century church, a wheat market (halle à grains), la noble demeure de la Johannie and houses decorated with turrets and shields. It is listed as "one of the most beautiful villages in France".

The small market town of La Souterraine

La Souterraine (Creuse)

The small market town of La Souterraine is located in the north of Limousin, not far from Limoges and its airport. It is is well worth a visit for its medieval ramparts, its two 11th and 13th century churches, delightful old houses and above all, for a taste of unspoiled rural France.

Mortemart (Haute Vienne)

Situated 40km north of Limoges and close to the Charente, Mortemart is a pretty mediaeval village officially listed as "one of the most beautiful villages in France" and built around its 10th century castle. The Château des Ducs was the birth place of the Marquise de Montespan, a famous mistress of Louis XIV of France.

The village of Mortemart and the Château des Ducs
The village of Mortemart and the Château des Ducs

Uzerche: The picturesque mediaeval town of Uzerche has been dubbed "the pearl of Limousin". Its grey slated roofs which are typical of the area, its turrets, beautiful carved doors make a it a charming town not to be missed when you have a round of golf at the nearby Golf d'Aubazine (28km). It is perched on a rock high above the river Vézère and played a significant role as a fortified town in the history of the area.

LIMOGES AND ITS FINE PORCELAIN

You cannot be near Limoges and ignore what brought it its world renown: fine porcelain. The manufacture of hard-paste Limoges porcelain - similar to Chinese porcelain - dates back to the 18th century when the key ingredients used for its production, kaolin and petuntse, were discovered at Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche, near Limoges, in an economically distressed area, and began to be quarried in 1768. It soon expanded, mainly to meet the demand of European courts.

Porcelaine de Limoges
Porcelaine de Limoges from three centuries (l to r): Water jug and basin, Comte d’Artois factory, Limoges, post-1785, Turkish Horseman Clock, Michel et Valin factory, Limoges 1839, Soleil couchant (Sunset) plate, Haviland factory, 1876, Hexagonal vase , Limousin porcelain factory, 1925

After the Revolution a number of private factories were established at Limoges, the chief of which was and remains Haviland. Thus "Limoges porcelain", still acknowledged as the finest in France, is a generic term for porcelain produced in Limoges rather than the production of a specific factory, and is much sought after by collectors worldwide. Some of its masterpieces can be viewed at the "Musée de la Porcelaine de Limoges".

WHERE TO STAY AND WHERE TO EAT?

Around Limoges

If you decide to play golf at La Porcelaine near Limoges and spend some time exploring the area, you must stay at Domaine de Forest, situated just 500m from the course.

The Domaine de Forest, just a couple of minutes from the Golf de La Porcelaine

We can vouch for the comfort and charm of this elegant and peaceful 18th century manor house and its huge grounds with beautiful panoramic views of the Vienne Valley. We can also recommend the comfort of its three rooms, two suites (with four-poster beds!) and four delightful self-catering gîtes, the excellent breakfast spread (included in the room price) and above all the friendly welcome and personal attention of owners Terry and Jane Brunton.

The Gîte du Pigeonnnier at Domaine de Forest

You can make Domaine de Forest your base to explore the many attractions of the area, play golf at la Porcelaine (where you will get a preferential green free rate) or decide to stay at home and make the most of the many on-site facilities, which include a large (17 m) salt water swimming pool (with a fully licensed bar serving alcoholic and soft drinks and refreshments- the building also houses a shower room and WC for the convenience of swimming pool users), a well-appointed gym with a wide variety of professional quality fitness equipment, changing room, shower and toilet, as well as a sauna and jacuzzi, tennis, basketball, badminton, table tennis and a trampoline. There is even fishing in the Domain's small but well stocked lake, and fishing rods are available.

For guests in the chambres d’hôtes, there is also billiards and a guest lounge with library and large screen satellite TV with DVD, CD and video cassette player, while those who like to stay "connected" will find complimentary high speed WiFi Internet access. And if you really must come to such a lovely place and work, a full-equipped seminar room with kitchen area and bar is available that seats up to 15 people.

Rates are very reasonable, especially in view of the quality and extent of the facilities, and generous off-season (October to March) discounts are available. For more information:

Tel: +33 (0)5 55 31 33 68
Website: www.domainedeforest.com (in English and French)
Email: domainedeforest@wanadoo.fr

The dining room at Domaine de la Gresle

Nearby, a complimentary welcome drink and excellent food await guests of Domaine de Forest at Domaine de la Gresle, one of the most famous gourmet restaurants in the area which is housed in a 17th century farm building. Family-owned and run, the welcome is friendly and the decor, whether in the Louis XIII dining room or out on the shady terrace, is all you would expect from quality French dining. Very good value for money on either the fixed price menus or à la carte, with plenty of emphasis on fresh local produce. Open Monday to Sunday lunch, from Tuesday to Sunday lunch in July and August.

Domaine de la Gresle
La Gresle, 87350 Panazol
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 06 27 82
Website: www.domainedelagresle.com

Around Aubazine

Hôtel Restaurant le Saint Etienne ** (click here for a photo gallery about this hotel)
Place du Bourg, 19190 Aubazine
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 25 71 01
Website: Click here

Around Neuvic

Hôtel-Restaurant du Lac
La Plage, 19160 Neuvic
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 95 81 43
Email: hoteldulac.neuvic@orange.fr

Around Bourganeuf

Restaurant "Les Diligences" (M. Patrick Paule)
28 route de Guéret, 23400 Bourganeuf
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 64 87 70
Fax: +33 (0)5 55 64 79 26
E-mail : contact@restaurantlesdiligences-creuse.com - lesdiligences@wanadoo.fr
Website: http://www.restaurantlesdiligences-creuse.com/
Closed Tuesdays

GASTRONOMY AND LIMOUSIN SPECIALITIES

The Limousin is known for its good, wholesome cooking using local produce such as river fish, pork or beef, and chestnuts or wild mushrooms that are plentiful in such a wooded area. Here are some quite easy recipes to try your hand on:

"Cèpes Farcis" (Stuffed Porcini Mushrooms)

Cèpes - or porcini mushrooms - are gathered throughout the Limousin

A quick and easy starter that can also be made with ordinary large flat mushrooms. Serves 6.

Ingredients: 12 large cèpes, 3 slices of cured ham, 4 chopped shallots, 1 clove garlic, chopped parsley and chives, 2 tbsp oil, 2 knobs butter, salt and pepper.

1. Quickly fry the cleaned cèpes in oil and put the heads upside down in an oven-proof dish.
2. Cut the stalks and ham into small pieces and fry them in butter together with shallots and garlic.
3. Put the mixture onto mushroom heads. Season well and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
4. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with herbs before serving.

Pâté aux pommes de terre

Traditionally this easy and cheap recipe was made with leftover bread dough and was cooked in the bread oven.

Ingredients: 300g sifted flour, 150g butter, 1 egg, a pinch of salt, 20cl water
For the stuffing: 800g firm potatoes, 1 litre milk, 2 onions, 150g fatty bacon, 1 soup spoon butter, 1 soup spoon oil, 2 soup spoons chopped parsley and chives, salt and pepper, 1 egg yolk, 2 soup spoons milk, 20cl cream.

Pâté aux pommes de terre - a cheap and easy, but delicious and filling dish

1. First prepare the pastry: Put the flour in a bowl, add the softened butter, salt, egg and water. Mix with your hands and shape into a ball. Leave to rest for 2 hours.
2. Then prepare the filling: Peel and wash the potatoes, then dry them before cutting them into thin slices. Boil the milk. Remove from heat. Add the potatoes and let them soak for 30 minutes. Next peel and chop onions, cut bacon into cubes.
3. Fry bacon in butter and oil. Replace by onions, do not brown them. Put in a bowl, mix in herbs, strained potatoes and bacon.
4. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Divide the pastry into two, (1/3; 2/3) and roll out to 2mm thickness. Butter and flour a deep tart mould (or crumble dish). Spread half the larger pastry over (letting it hang over the side by 3cm). Pour in the potato mixture. Top with the rest of the pastry and press over the edges. Brush the pastry with the egg yolk mixed with the milk. Cut a hole and put "chimney" in the middle to let steam out.
5. Put the "pâté" in the oven and leave to cook for 45 minutes, check the browning and turn oven down if necessary. Towards the end of cooking time, pour cream in through chimney. Serve at once.

Potée Limousine

This is a very tasty salt pork stew - the local hotpot. Prepare it the day before and it will be even better, and you can make a delicious soup with any leftover vegetables and broth!

Potée Limousine

Ingredients (serves 6 to 8 people): 500 g salt pork, 200 g sliced smoked bacon, 4 chipolatas, 1 cabbage, 250 g carrots, 250 g turnips, 250 g leeks, 2 cloves of garlic, bouquet garni, pepper, 800 g potatoes.

1. First wash the cabbage, cut it in quarters and blanch it in boiling water. Strain it.
2. Then put the meats in a pressure cooker half filled with boiling water. Skim after a few minutes.
3. Add the bouquet garni and all the vegetables except the potatoes. Season with pepper (but no salt).
4. Bring the pressure up and cook for 40 minutes.
5. Let the pressure cooker cool down and add the peeled potatoes.
6. Bring the pressure up again and cook for a further 10 minutes.
7. Now fry the chipolatas.
8. Carve the meat into thick slices and remove the bouquet garni before serving.

La Flognarde

La flognarde - a delicioius sort of clafoutis

This quick and easy recipe is similar to the traditional French dessert called "clafoutis" (fresh cherry flan). It can also be made with pears or, of course, cherries.

Ingredients: 500 g apples, 150 g sugar, 1/2 litre milk, 100 g flour, 1 knob of butter, 1 pinch of salt, vanilla extract, 3 eggs.

1. First preheat oven to 180°C. Peel, quarter and core the apples and cut them into thin slices.
2. Next heat up the milk, butter and vanilla extract in a pan.
3. Then beat the eggs, sugar (keeping some back) and salt in separate bowl to blend.
4. Add hot milk a little at a time and whisk until smooth.
5. Now arrange the slices in bottom of a greased gratin dish (deep rectangular dish will do) and pour the mixture over. Sprinkle on the set-aside powdered sugar.
6. Bake in pre-heated oven until the "flognarde" is set and golden on top.


Chestnut Crêpes

Very popular in the autumn, this "crêpe" recipe incorporates chestnut purée.

Ingredients for the basic "Crêpes" recipe (serves 6-8 people): 250g plain flour, 30g sugar, pinch of salt, 6 eggs, 50cl milk, 25cl cream, 50g melted butter.

Chestnut crêpes

1. First mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Next make a well in the middle and mix in the eggs one at a time.
3. Slowly add the milk whilst beating.
4. Finally, add the melted butter and cream.
5. Leave the batter to rest for an hour.
6. Heat a non-stick pan. Lightly brush pan with butter or oil. Make pancakes the traditional French way.
7. Stack and keep them warm.

Ingredients for 8 large crêpes: 8 dessert spoons of "crème de marron" (tin of sweet chestnut purée), 8 dessert spoons of thick crème fraîche, 2 dessert spoon of rum, 4 oranges, icing sugar, marmalade.

1. First mix together crème de marron, crème fraîche and rum.
2. Then peel oranges and remove the pith and pips.
3. Next spread crème de marron/crème fraîche mixture on each crêpe and put orange (segments) on top.
4. Fold in half and in half again forming triangle four layers thick.
5. Put on warmed serving dish, and decorate with warm marmalade, some icing sugar and orange slices.

HOW TO GET THERE?

By air to Limoges: Daily flights from Stansted as well as flights from Liverpool, Southampton, East Midlands and this year, Newcastle and Manchester. Both Ryanair and Flybe offer flights from the UK to Limoges airport.
Airport website: www.aeroportlimoges.com

By air to Brive:
Airport website: www.aeroport-brive-souillac.com/
Regional French airline for internal flights: www.airlinair.com

By train: From Paris Austerlitz to Limoges and Brive-la-Gaillarde (10 return journeys daily)

By car: Paris-Limoges is only 380 km on the A10/A71/A20 Paris - Vierzon - Châteauroux - Limoges-Brive (the motorway is free from Vierzon to Brive).

For further information on general tourism in the Limousin, please contact:

Comité Régional du Tourisme Limousin
30, cours Gay Lussac CS 50095
87003 Limoges Cedex 1
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 11 05 90
Fax : +33 (0)5 55 05 07 56
Website: www.tourismelimousin.com (currently in French only)
Email: tourisme@crt-limousin.fr

For information about golf in the Limousin, please contact:

Golf en Limousin
Maison Régionale du Tourisme
37, Cours Gay Lussac CS 50095
87003 Limoges Cedex 1
Tel: +33 (0)5 55 11 06 02
Website: www.golfenlimousin.fr
Email: golf-en-limousin@wanadoo.fr


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Click on these links to visit Golf Today's Course Guide and full details of each course:

Click on a course to read our feature and look at the photo galleries in the article above:

 Photo credits: © Golf en Limousin - Musée National Adrien Dubouché - CRT Limousin - GolfToday

 



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