in rochecorbon, on the north bank of the loire, about 3 1/2 miles from tours unique. make sure to reserve one of the large, finely appointed rooms carved right into the limestone cliffs, each with a great view of the river. the honey-colored walls are rough-hewn natural rock.

in mareuil-sur-cher
la lionniere

1 rue lionniere
011-33-2-54-75-24-99
for a truly different experience, french hospitality and farmhouse cooking with all ingredients (lamb, goat, cheese, and vegetables) raised or produced outside the kitchen window. in the vineyards, about a half-hour picturesque country-road ride from amboise. call mme. bouland for reservations and directions ("turn at the bakery and follow the arrows").

in avignon
hotel d`europe

12 place, crillon
011-33-4-90-14-76-76 www.heurope.com
all of the rooms here are nice, but the older part of the building is more classic.

restaurant la fourchette
17 rue racine
011-33-4-90-85-20-93
restaurant.la.fourchette@wanadoo.fr. this is a small, friendly place favored by locals, just a street away from place de l'horloge.

restaurant l'isle sonnante
7 rue racine
011-33-4-90-82-56-01
somewhat more upscale, this refined kitchen features local specialties.

in bordeaux
patisserie antoine

19 cours portal 333000 bordeaux
011-33-5-56-81-43-19
stop here for classic canelés and other similar "road food." open seven days a week.

maison du vins de bordeaux
1 cours 30 juillet
011-33-5-56-00-22-88
this wine cooperative will guide you throughout the region. the bordeaux tourist office is right next door.

in st. emilion
hostellerie de plaisance

place du clocher 33330
011-33-5-57-55-07-55 hostellerie.plaisance@wanadoo.fr
a luxury hotel in the middle of town with a great view of the surrounding vineyards.