By on September 28, 2014
Helen Mirren

La Duranties historical château and Dame Helen Mirren make the perfect combination in a heart warming film, set to propel the Tarn Region into the worlds media spotlight.



‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ – ‘A Dreamworks’ film In UK Cinemas from 5th September 2014

The Hundred-Foot Journey has taken many hours of creative love and painstaking crafsmanship to complete. But the result, is an uplifting and feel-good cultural feast full of Indian spices, French sophistication and British wit. Another masterpiece from Dame Helen Mirren and with no small contribution from Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Juliet Blake, the film’s producers. It’s directed by Oscar nominee Lasse Hallström (Director of Chocolat).

 The Tarn region of France is a credible setting for the film relating to top quality food, as the region has retained a strong connection to the land through farming. Local cuisine here is renowned for its rich cassoulet, foie gras, Lautrec pink garlic and Toulouse sausage as well as its premier Gaillac wines. La Durantie, the historical belle époque style château in The Tarn, has been used as the film set for a Michelin-starred French restaurant. Many other scenes were shot in India.

Based on the best-selling novel by Richard C. Morais, Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. When Hassan and his family, led by Papa (Om Puri), move to a quaint village in the South of France with the grand plan of opening an Indian restaurant in the picturesque countryside, they are undeterred by the fact only 100 feet opposite, stands a Michelin starred classical French eatery.

However upon encountering the icy proprietress, Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), the Kadam family realise they may have bitten off more than they can chew. Outraged by the new arrivals, Madame Mallory is determined to have their business shut down. As cultures clash and food flies, a heated battle escalates between the two establishments – until, that is, Hassan’s passion and talent for French cuisine begin to enchant Madame Mallory, and even she can’t deny this young chef could have what it takes to garner even more acclaim for her beloved restaurant.

This, along with his new-found friendship with her beautiful sous chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), starts to weave a magic between the two cultures and, despite different tastes, they discover an unlikely recipe for success surprising them all.
Jeanne Boden, Director of La Durantie has been a resident in The Tarn for seventeen years and agreed to the château being used for filming. She told us: “The Artistic Director was quick to appreciate its charm and cast La Durantie as home to Madame Mallory’s Michelin starred restaurant. It was eye-opening to work as an ‘extra’ on set here and see the château come to life once again. The local community is delighted the esteemed actress, Helen Mirren will star as the French restaurateur and the exposure should bring more international visitors.

“The two sisters that built the château had a lot of success in economic farming, and were the owners of the first car in the town. Later, the resident nuns brought calmness to the building and now it seems apt that such a renowned actress should play the role of an aristocratic lady running a top-notch restaurant here.”

The Tarn is a quintessentially French rural region which is not as well-known as nearby Provence, but is much loved by a number of British expats who have stumbled upon it and never left! The elegant belle époque château is one of the region’s prized architectural possessions; it lies just 50 minutes north of Toulouse and close to the village of Castelnau-de-Montmiral in a landscape of rolling hills, vineyards and ancient hill-top towns. It has seen several owners throughout its lifetime but significantly, the Schwarzkopf family, famed for perfumes and beauty products, bought the château in the 1980’s and held lively parties whilst farming the 800 acre plot. In the inter-war period the vineyard estate was run by nuns and their peaceful influence can still be sensed when entering the château gates today.



Lasse Hallström’s entry in La Durantie’s visitor’s book says:

“What a beautiful place in the world. A very special place and thanks for allowing us to film in it.”

 For those wishing to live the film set lifestyle, the château is also currently being renovated and transformed into a Country Club and Spa for a new development of vernacular holiday homes on the estate.


La Durantie

Phase one consists of 57 vernacular designed single and two storey one to five bedroom detached homes, together with two styles of apartments with either two or three bedrooms. All properties have individually designed landscaped rear gardens and most have a private pool. Completion is anticipated for spring 2015. Prices of residences in the leaseback scheme benefiting from a 20 per cent tax refund, start from €333,250 for two bedrooms rising to €782,600 for a five bedroom home.

From a 100 foot journey to the whole nine yards.
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