We checked into the hotel, confirmed our reservation for dinner, then asked if there was anywhere we could eat get dinner locally that evening. The owner of the four-star hotel told us that their restaurant was closed for the evening, but that there would certainly be a restaurant open in the square.
Sauveterre-de-Rouergue is a Bastide, build in the 13th century in the land of 100 valleys. It sits on top of a hill, and as a Bastide, is a small rectangular village built around a central courtyard - the 'square'. It was after 7pm and we were hungry.
Unfortunately, all the restaurants in the square were closed. We wandered around and found a small epicerie (grocery store) that was open, but whose shelves were largely empty. We spoke with the owner, who assured us that at least one restaurant was always open. The different restaurant owners coordinated the days they closed. The owner of the epicerie walked us over to each restaurant and was surprised that they were all closed. She called the owners who told her that since the high season had ended the day before, they had all decided to close for that one evening.
She took us back into her store to try to find something for us to eat. We ended up with olives, crackers, cheese, dark chocolate bars, and a 3 euro bottle of wine. She apologized for being out of wine and called the wine seller around the corner, but he, too, was closed. She lent us a corkscrew and we went back to our hotel room where we sat out on the balcony and watched a spectacular sunset as we ate our dinner. Surprisingly, the wine was quite drinkable.
The course itself was lush and green, but all of the open meadows had been recently mowed. Many of the holes ran along the creek and with a few, you have to throw across the creek. Officially, the creek is not out-of-bounds.
Karen had recently bought a Vulcan Blizzard, and its flotation proved nice but challenging as at one point, I had to chase the disc down the creek. It floated too well.
He beamed with pride as he told us that he was the head of recreation for the area, that he designed the course, and that he did all the course maintenance. While he didn't play himself, he'd done extensive research on disc golf an had hosted the French national tour there.
He joined us for a drink and told us stories about the area.
That night, Karen and I had one of the best dinners of our lives at Le Senechal. Michel Truchon, the chef, introduced himself and personally explained the preparation of each dish. It was fall, so cepes (a remarkable mushroom), and chestnuts were in season and showed up prominently in most of our dishes that evening.
The next morning, we played another great round of disc golf on this very special course then returned for a sumptuous breakfast (again prepared with local ingredients by Michel Truchon) before continuing our anniversary trip as we headed south and east in search of Templar treasure. But that's another story.