Les Jardins de la Chartreuse du Colombier in Paunat

26 April 2017

For a truly ‘Dordogne’ experience visit the beautiful gardens at Paunat. We stumbled across these in April, after a good lunch at the Bistro en Face at Tremolat (4 kms from Paunat).

Over the past couple of years, Les Jardins de la Chartreuse du Colombier in Paunat have been growing in popularity and now we know why. In these gardens you are immersed in romanticism! The enchanting house and its gardens exude charm and romance at every turn; dovecotes, potagers, fountains, roses, statues and arbours all on an intimate and very personal scale; a magical place!

Les Jardins de la Chartreuse du Colombier in Paunat

The gardens have only recently started to open at this time of year. The owner, Bernard Hautefort, is keen for visitors to experience the gardens in the spring. In April, there are a large variety of bulbs in full bloom.

Les Jardins de la Chartreuse du Colombier in Paunat

The garden is constantly developing and changing. Relatively recent additions have included the installation of vine plants to link different gardens together and the introduction of a small experimental garden of permaculture. There are also thousands of box trees which help to give the gardens a classical feel. (For more information on opening hours, email lesjardinsducolombier@orange.fr.)

The village of Paunat

However, there is more to Paunat than the romantic gardens. This small, picturesque village has an imposing church which dates back in parts to the 12th century. Legend has it that this church was built on the spot at which a pilgrim’s staff took root. Take an amble up the hill next to the church and admire the views. Look across to the other side of the valley and look down at the roofs of the house built in ochre stone.

Paunat village and church

Paunat village

Back at street level there is an old rectory, the original communal washing area (the lavoir) and a lovely little bridge over a small stream.

The village of Paunat and Les Jardins de la Chartreuse du Colombier are what the Dordogne is all about; beautiful, peaceful and a pleasure to experience.

Find out more about the gardens at Marqueyssac.

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