Situated in the historic region of Aquitaine in the south west of France; the Chateau de Monteton is a twelfth century castle within a village, perched on a hill overlooking the beautiful Valleé du Dropt. The village has about 50 inhabitants, a bar and a famous restaurant, "The Treize Clochers" or "Thirteen Bell-Towers" (all of which can be seen from Monteton). It also boasts an unrivalled view of the valley of the River Dropt. It is about one hour from Bordeaux on the autoroute; half an hour from Bergerac, with it's new airport and direct flights from Gatwick; Stansted; Luton; Southampton, Bristol; Exeter, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, and EMA; and twenty minutes from Marmande, the "Capital of Tomatoes". see the map

Le Takinerie

Within the Chateau is an open-air (but covered) bar "Le Takinerie", named after the local plum based brandy "Takin". Here coffee is served after meals and during breaks in tuition. In the evening a complete range of wines, beers and spirits are available. On special nights the great open-air fire is used to cook giant paellas or vast slabs of meat. At other times the chef cooks in a large baker's oven where home made pizza, bread and even coffee is roasted.


At 6pm every evening, in the "Le Takinerie" bar, the students take part in an organised jam session playing the music they have worked on during the day. Students are free to bring their own material and often the jam continues after dinner until late in the evening. You can try out your French language skills during a session of "Kinito", the local dice game.

La Tour

Rehearsal space is within the main tower and it is here that the majority of classes are held. Below is the Cave where late-night jam sessions go on until the last man (or woman) standing can go on no longer. These are officially unsupervised sessions where students are expected to sort themselves out. Tutors often join in just for a blow however; Jonathan holding the staff record of 5.00am. The student record is yet to be confirmed.


is in a series of out buildings surrounding the central courtyard. Some rooms are in the passage way above the restaurant. Others in the houses behind "The Ear". Rooms have either two single beds or a double bed for couples. Bunk beds, where they exist, will be used for storage only unless you choose otherwise.Most rooms are ensuite with shower room and toilet facilities behind a discreet door. Those that share a bathroom do so with only one other room. Some rooms have spectacular views over the surrounding countryside. others are tucked away from the central square for a quieter night. Many rooms have been recently renovated as the Chateau is undergoing constant improvement.


The Chateau has free broadband Wi-Fi if you wish to bring laptops and other wifi gadgets. ( Signal can be a bit variable )

Locality - Useful Information

This brief guide to local activities and facilities has been produced for non-participating husbands, wives, partners and friends. We know that you would really prefer to be playing along but we do realise, albeit reluctantly, that there is a life outside jazz. This then, is for you !


There is a small supermarket in the main square at Duras but if your needs are a little more ambitious visit Shopi. It is situated on the D708 just north of Duras town centre and has a petrol station and carwash.

ATMs are to be found in Duras at Banque Populaire in the main square or Credit Agricole at the top of Rue Paul Persil, (and in Eymet on the route national.)

The same street accommodates La Maison de La Presse where English newspapers are on sale. A cycle hire shop and an ironmonger are a couple of doors away. Opposite in the small adjacent square is a laundrette. Pressing Duraquois near Hostelerie des Ducs will also do laundry as well as dry cleaning and pressing. There are two good pharmacies in Duras where you can top up your medication or simply stock up on anti-sun or treatments for insect bites.

Places to Visit

The frescos in the church at Allemans-du-Dropt are an absolute ‘must see’.
Don’t miss the ancient Moulin de Cocussotte at St Pierre du Dropt (near Monteton) 06 74 16 46 82.
La Maison des Vins at Duras to learn about what you love to drink.
Jardin de Boissonna for those into things horticultural 05 53 83 81 43.
The Chais et Rasade in Duras, run by Francis Blancheton of Château Molhière, offers fine champagnes, cognacs and wines as well as a bit of tapas in the evenings.If you’re a chocoholic or want to buy a few presents to take home then Guinguet 05 53 83 72 47 is a must. You can find it to the left off the Monségur Road past La Maison des Vins. Marmande (south on the D708) is the largest local town. It is a good shopping centre and also the site of the nearest hospital and railway station. If you feel like blowing a few extra euros Bordeaux is about an hour or so down the A62 and as well as being an absolutely beautiful city boasts the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe.


If you’re having a bad hair day or simply want a quick blow dry then you need Coiffure Eric Bouchot in Marmande (near the market square). His telephone number is 05 53 20 79 96.

Nursery and Baby Needs

Sterilizing units, baby car seats, toys and baby foods are available for hire or purchase from Julie Shepherd on 06 37 50 23 20. Julie will be happy to deliver (equipment, that is!) and can also arrange babysitting.

Local Markets

These are well worth a visit. Buy fresh fruit and vegetables, cooked and preserved meats, saucisson and cheese, or simply experience this essential and unique aspect of French rural life. By the way, it is worth noting that they pack up at 12 o’clock midday.
Monday Duras and Miramont
Tuesday Monségur Summer Market
Wednesday Duras Summer Market
Thursday Eymet
Friday Monségur, Seyches and Miramont
Saturday Sainte Foy la Grande and Marmande

Marché Nocturnes

If you’re really fed up with listening to all that jazz then there are several Marché Nocturnes (night markets) where one can buy food and wine to consume on the spot in a truly French street party atmosphere.
Tuesday Eymet
Wednesday Monségur
Thursday Duras
Friday Lévignac de Guyenne
The same is available Sunday lunchtime at Soumensac (near Eymet)

Music Shops

We’re not talking CDs here. Reeds, strings, sticks and skins… these are the things musicians need.

Musico Case
05 53 20 68 04
Rue de la République
(just off the market square)

Paolin Musique
05 53 20 97 36
Route de Bordeaux
(the main Route Nationale north of town)



XIII Clochers
05 53 94 32 75
Contemporary gastro pub style restaurant on the doorstep – set menus with good-humoured service and a very smart outside eatery with an incredible view of the Vallée du Dropt. All food here is prepared using local produce.


Restaurant La Terrasse
05 53 84 29 62
A small restaurant situated opposite the château with friendly service on the veranda. It offers set menus and always an interesting and well presented plat du jour. Advisable to book.

Pizzeria Don Camillo
05 53 83 76 00 Exactly what it says on the tin… good pizzas and huge salads. Typically French style eating in a small tree covered square. No need to book except weekends.

Hostelerie des Ducs
05 53 83 74 58
A more formal hotel restaurant for evening dining for those with a healthy appetite. A good variety of set menus with an amazing selection of cheeses. Advisable to book.
Dordogne Jazz Summer School

Auriac sur Dropt

Le Camelia
05 53 20 24 62
This tiny family-run restaurant is best at lunchtime (get there before 12 o’clock) when you can eat a simple four course plat du jour alongside real French truckers. Unlimited carafe wine is usually included. The evening menu is a little different but nevertheless good value for money.

La Sauvetat du Dropt

Restaurant Ma Maison
05 53 94 33 42
Formal dining under chrome yellow parasols set in a beautiful courtyard (weather permitting) where English is freely spoken. Fixed à la carte menu. Advisable to book.

Allemans sur Dropt

L’Etape Gasconne
05 53 20 23 59
Good value for money eating at this hotel (also good for low-cost accommodation and good pool). There is always a hugely impressive buffet… beware – it’s so good that it can ruin your appetite !


Pizzeria Ristorante des Arcades
05 53 23 90 05
Unexpectedly buzzing Italian restaurant right in the centre of town with all the drama of impatient fast-moving Italian-looking waiters with French accents! Good reasonably priced pizzas, salads and pasta. It is worth noting the Italian fine wine list… absolutely mouth-watering for those in the Neapolitan know. No bookings accepted… it’s first come, first served.

La Cour d’Eymet
05 53 22 72 83
Situated in Eymet on the main route to Bergerac this has to be the most accomplished restaurant in the area. The quiet atmosphere is formal but friendly where the chef de cuisine discusses his Michelin recognised menus with each table of diners. The wine list is as stunning as the food. Advisable to book.

Eymet Tandoori
05 53 58 65 35
Yes… a curry shop in south west France! This restaurant serves all the usual Bengali dishes that one can see on menus from Bristol to Bradford. The naan breads are particularly good. Oh, and there’s a takeaway service just like home. The opening hours have been known to be extremely erratic… best to ‘phone.

Villeneuve de Duras

Le Jardin
05 53 79 26 62
You can’t miss this friendly informal restaurant when you enter the town on the D708 north of Duras. Good set menus with à la carte options are changed regularly. English spoken by the English owners as well as fluent French. Advisable to book.

Sainte Foy la Grande

Au Fil de l’Eau
05 53 24 72 60
Situated on the north bank of the Dordogne at Port-Sainte-Foy-et-Ponchapt this tastefully decorated restaurant specialises in fish. The sophisticated grey and glass interior overlooks the river towards the south where the view at sunset resembles a post-impressionist painting. Advisable to book.
Dordogne Jazz Summer School


No guide to this area would be complete without a mention of the local appellation… Côtes de Duras. The best way to explore this wine is to visit La Maison des Vins de Duras 05 53 94 13 48 where there is an exhibition of the local viniculture as well as an opportunity to buy wine from over fifty regional domains. Also the local cooperative, Berticot 05 53 83 75 47, has a good retail outlet just north of Duras on the D708…you can’t miss this huge winery. If you wish to explore a little further then Domain Chater is the place to visit at St Sernin de Duras. This small organic winery is owned and run by an English family who will be delighted to show you around and enthusiastically explain how their wine, one of the best examples of Côtes de Duras, is made. Be sure to call 05 53 64 67 14 to arrange your visit.

Sporting Activities

Pony riding is available at Savignatte de Duras Tuesday to Sunday
05 53 20 28 33 and at Ecuries du Dropt, St Pierre sur Dropt 05 53 83 84 14.

Hot Air Ballooning
Entre Ciel et Terre at St Jean de Duras  05 53 89 01 25.

Laurent Sambarrey at Saint Sernin offers 4-wheel excitement at all levels   05 53 94 18 68.

Tennis & Badminton
There are facilities at most local Halles de Sport. It is best to checkout these at Duras tourist information office 05 53 83 63 06.

Canoes can be hired at Allemans sur Dropt.

There is a municipal pool and a waterpark at Bergerac, route to Bordeaux, just past the Leclerc supermarket.
Dordogne Jazz Summer School

Useful Contacts

There are good tourist information centres in Duras 05 53 83 63 06 and Eymet as well as a really good websites at and You can checkout the weather at

Doctors at Duras
Dr Chauvineau 05 53 20 56 75
Dr Abiven 05 53 20 56 70
Dr Pénicaud 05 53 83 70 14

Dentists at Duras
Dr Lalauze  05 53 83 70 54

Marmande 05 53 20 30 40
Sainte Foy la Grande 05 57 41 96 96


Pompiers (these guys cope with just about everything) dial 18 or 112 on a mobile. Gendarmes dial 17

If you find anything of interest that we’ve missed or wish to comment on our information please do not hesitate to let us know at
The restaurants mentioned here have been tried and tested by us… there are many others – your input would be welcome.

Compiled and produced by the late great Gus Hunnybun   mob +44 79 4192 7257