The hit film The Hundred-Foot Journey is the latest from the wonderful Helen Mirren – and it has produced a new star whose role may be silent but is utterly compelling. This new star is the French village of St Antonin Noble Val in Tarn-et-Garonne, south western France, which is fast becoming a hot destination for fans of the film from the USA and Europe.
The location was even a major reason for Helen Mirren to take on the role. As she explained in an interview, “I thought it was a charming story and loved the fact it was going to be shot in the South of France. I've always secretly wanted to be a French actress and I thought it would be an opportunity to pretend to be that."
Her role is as Madame Mallory, the haughty proprietor of a Michelin starred classical French restaurant who becomes outraged by competition from a new Indian eatery right opposite her establishment – hence the journey of the title, a short distance but great divide. As cultures clash and food flies, an all-out war escalates between the two establishments – until Hassan's passion and talent for French cuisine begin to enchant Madame Mallory. This, along with his new-found friendship with her beautiful sous chef Marguerite, starts to weave a magic between the two cultures and they discover an unlikely recipe for success that surprises them all.
It’s not surprising that almost everybody who sees this feelgood film wants to visit the location. If you’re among them, check out our lovely countryside villas in stunning settings very close to the village. Le Ségalar is a beautiful stone-built renovated house in a south-facing position overlooking the Aveyron Gorge and the hills to the south, and is just 10 minutes’ drive from St Antonin Noble Val. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a private pool.
A holiday here could really be a foodie delight, as this is one of France's most celebrated culinary regions. It boasts 26 Michelin-starred chefs and a wealth of regional specialties ranging from foie gras and truffles to the Malbec wines of Cahors or Gascony-produced Gaillac wines and golden-colored Armagnac.