Last weekend I headed to a part of the Dordogne that I wasn’t familiar with, Neuvic sur l’Isle and Sourzac.

Neuvic is a small, quiet town situated on the D44 east of Mussidan. The town has a few bars and a church in the centre and a chateau on the outskirts. The river itself is beautifully clean with a restaurant, large picnic area and cable boat that takes you across the river to the public swimming pool with water slides during the summer. We saw some very big fish so it looks like a good fishing spot too. Next time!

Neuvic used to be a prosperous town due to its shoe and slipper industry which began as early 1892. During the second world war, Bata took over Marbot shoes in Neuvic and Marbot-Bata became a world leader in the shoe industry. The industry employed an enormous amount of people: 400 in 1940, 1000 in 1950 and 1800 in 1974. Other factories grew up nearby but following the loss of business with the army, these factories closed around 2000.

At Neuvic today you can find a different sort of industry, that of caviar. Caviar de Neuvic is a fish farm dedicated to the breeding of sturgeons for the production of what has become a world-famous caviar.

Neuvic also has an impressive château that is over 500 years old. The castle is only open one weekend a month from September to June, for guided visits only, and you have to reserve in advance.

Not far from Neuvic on the D3 is a sleepy little village called Douzillac where we found a superb restaurant opposite the church, La Douzième Heure. This is the best lunch I have had for a long time and for the quality, presentation and service offered, I found it really good value for money. I chose a main course, Thon Rossini, which was fresh tuna with a slice of foie gras and presented on a crusty, grated potato cake. It was absolutely delicious. There was also a set menu which was completely mouth-watering and excellent too. All the micro greens came from a local farm, a touch that I really liked.

On the way back towards Mussidan, we stopped at the small, riverside village of Sourzac on the D6089. This is a good place to stop for a picnic and also has an attractive church and natural spring as. There is a restaurant that opens up again on the 13 October.

Mussidan was our last stop as I wanted to visit the cèpe market that takes place at 16h every day during the mushroom season. Unfortunately, due to glorious weather and lack of rain, there was no market that day.è