Chassignolles, France

Secret Village Lost at a head-clearing elevation of 3,000 feet in the Livradois-Forez, France’s largest national park, 100 miles southwest of Lyons, Chassignolles invites long, extravagantly lazy days spent communing with cows, admiring the accidental land art created by a farmer with some hay bales, and stopping to smell the rockroses that fringe the lanes. There is only one place to stay: Auberge de Chassignolles (doubles from $52; dinner for two $58). The eight rooms are basic, but the views are ravishing, whether of the village’s 12th-century church or the surrounding wildflower meadows. The chef, Peter Taylor, sources from local farms, markets, and the surrounding forests. His menu board pairs Salers beef and yellow lentils, veal tartare and river trout with biodynamic wines. If Chassignolles isn’t heaven on earth, it will have to do.


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