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Le Canard a trois pattes ( the duck has three legs), Dordogne, France

Le canard a trois pattes is situated 16 km from the historic town of Sarla, in the heart of the Perigord Noir, Languedoc. This very unique project is the inspiration of Belgian brother and sister Helgi and Greet Decreus and artist Armand Van Lierde. They bought this 15th century “Perigourdine” in 2000, and working with architect Eddy Francois, completely restored the main house, fitting it with every comfort and convenience. The objective was to achieve a symbiosis of contemporary architecture, design and art, while retaining the historic character of the manoir. The result is a lyrical melding of beauty and tranquility, forming an ideal for setting a break from it all.  In the kitchen the dishes that Greet Decreus creates from her retro Smeg fridge and butter- yellow Aga stove are no less simple : Grilled eggplant involtini piped with fresh goat cheese, cherry- tomato risotto, a cinnamon apple tart.

Le Castanet, Tamnies, Dordogne, France.www.troispattes.com

L’hotel-Restaurant Bras, Laguiole, France

Ten minutes up the road from Laguiole, a mountainous town in the sparsely populated department of Aveyron, is Hotel-restaurant Bras, a large , luminous, and sparely portioned property with sculptural  beige wicker armchairs and huge beds covered in sheets that are indescribably fine. The main attraction is the three-starred restaurant Bras, a very futuristic metal-and-glass structure poised on an immense carpet of vegetation. Father-son team Michel and Sebastien Bras prepare signature dishes: a first course of gargouillou, a sauteed medley of more than 50 vegetables that contrasts a complex preparation with an exquisitely simple presentation. At lunch, light fills the restaurant, which is cantilevered over the plateau of Aubrac, giving diners the impression they are in a spaceship hovering above the all countryside.

Rte de L’Aubrac, Laguiole, France; michel-bras.fr

L’Ange et l’Elephant, Maussane Les Alpilles, France.

6762 360333_1211142247008452416_STD Hotel4 Michel_Bras_entree TroisPattesHistorically, Provincial Maisons D’Hotes are a lot of things – deliciously louche, poignantly decrepit- but rarely are they scenes-y . L’Ange et L’Elephant is the exception, an all-in-one inn restaurant, tea-salon, and boutique. The guesthouse, in a massive 18th-century staging post, is a nice three-minute walk from the town’s main square. Inside, two-room Franco-Indo-Arabic inn is decorated with a mix of disparate transporting elements : tole cacti, cedar panels of lacy latticed moucharaby, and vintage Coca-Cola picnic coolers. The 750 -square-foot suite has a salon that drifts into an open kitchen, and a terrace overlooking the courtyard below.

9, rue de la Reine Jeanne, Maussane les Alpilles, France; elephange.com

Gather a group of 9 friends and spend a free week in Provence for Thanksgiving, 2014.

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