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Wednesday, 23 August 2017


I have been in customer service roles for more years than I care to remember and I think I know a thing or two about customer service. As a retail manager and as a customer, I have seen service from excellent to absolutely awful. Excellent service is very rare, average service is the norm and there is too much awful service around.

This year my wife and I stayed at La Maison Forte, Montaut and I can say without any doubt that we experienced the best holiday hospitality ever in all our years travelling.

The link above will tell you all about it.

The house is owned and run by Paul and Reinoud, two wonderful hosts, warm and welcoming from the outset and nothing was too much trouble during our stay. Our room was beautifully furnished and maintained to a very high standard. Outside on the communal terrace, we had breakfast every morning and what a wonderful buffet of food - delicious breads, fruit,, cereal, ham, salami, cheese and wonderful coffee. The terrace was also a place to chill out after day trips and the views down the valley were stunning.

On our first night, along with all the other guests (approximately 20 of us), we opted to have dinner at La Maison and the tables were prepared on the terrace. Reinoud was the 'head chef' and he prepared a magnificent buffet for us all. Paul, described himself as the sous-chef and washer of dishes. We suspected he was a lot more than that. They both did a great job preparing, serving, chatting and looking after us extremely well. And here they are, with some of the delicious buffet, Reinoud left, Paul right........

On another evening, we were served a starter of lamb's lettuce, thinly sliced courgette and a brilliant dressing, following by the most beautiful dinner of sliced duck breast, garlic potatoes, apple and a sauce, escargot we were told but I'm not sure if we were being kidded. A lovely dessert and cheese rounded things off. Oh, and a bottle of rose was in their as well. It was a friendly and relaxed evening. 

A most extraordinary gesture from our two hosts was this. We were going to a wedding about 15 minutes away from our location. Paul helped us to research taxis to and from the wedding venue. He said the best he could find was €60 one way. But he more or less said that we were not to pay that much. Instead, he said he or Reinoud would drive us to the wedding and then collect us later in the night, which is what Reinoud did! Extraordinary generosity. Unforgettable. Amazing. Nice, nice, genuine people.

The third member of La Maison Forte's team was this fella. (I can't remember if he called Maub or Maup.) I'm not a dog lover but he was as good as gold and very friendly. The photo gives you an idea of the terrace.

La Maison Forte is a wonderful base to enjoy the Bergerac area and we plan to return at some point in the future. 

Thank you Paul and Reinoud, amazing people and an amazing location.

p.s. Reinoud said I reminded him of Inspector Morse. This is me first thing in a morning. What do you think? Nah!

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