For chef Michel Trama, dining out is like theater. That may explain why Paris designer Jacques Garcia, in redoing Trama's hotel and restaurant in Puymirol, between Toulouse and Bordeaux, gave the 13th-century dining room red and gold velvet curtains hung from stone arches, thronelike seating, and surreal sconces—white plaster arms jutting out of the walls, electric candle in each hand—copied from Cocteau's film Beauty and the Beast. Just as dramatic: the new cloister in the courtyard of the luxurious, very contemporary hotel. A reference to the village's history as a pilgrimage-route stop, the cloister is an enchanting place to dine amid antique columns, olive trees, and a fountain. Trama teaches the secrets of his gorgeous food—columns of whipped potatoes with Osetra caviar; a fresh foie gras "hamburger" with cèpes; a paper-thin green-apple cristalline—in cooking classes November through January. Dinner, $180. Rooms, $150-$240. Classes, $305 per day per person with room and meals. At 52 Rue Royale, Puymirol; 33-5-53-95-31-46; fax 33-5-53-95-33-80; www.aubergade.com.
From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.
Most Read In Travel
A Beloved Landmark Gets a New Life
The Columns Hotel in New Orleans keeps its old soul in a spectacular unveiling.
A Path Less Traveled
Photographer Alex T. Thomas explores the hidden treasures of Japan’s Wakayama Prefecture.
A first-time traveler to Africa examines the complicated relationship between safari tourism and conservation.
A Sustainable Future
Three luxury properties provide insight and inspiration for environmentally conscious travelers.
How to Start Rock Climbing
A roving writer reflects on a trip to Greece that unlocked a life-changing passion.
A Cinematic Stay at Blancaneaux Lodge and Turtle Inn
Visionary director Francis Ford Coppola’s Belizean mountain retreat and seaside escape.
Most Read Stories
Everything I Now Want After Attending the Masters
From cars to clothes to bourbon, covetable things abound at the most prestigious golf event in the world.
The Deep Dive
A light conversation with David Lynch on Transcendental Meditation, the unified field, and what happens after we die.