This central region of France is crowned by the majestic mountain range of the Puy-de-Dome. This is 'la France profonde', a landscape of hills and valleys, forgotten villages, and high, windswept plateaux. It is also the home of the delicious Puy lentil, perfect in salads with roasted vegetables in summer, or with rich, succulent salt pork to warm the heart when the weather is chilly. The violet mustard, made in Brive, might be a rather surprising colour, but that really shouldn't put you off. And the fresh walnuts of the Auvergne Limousin region are, unquestionably, without rival.