Sitting down to eat in France, whether
it be alfresco dining in the garden, a
formal dinner at home or eating out at a
restaurant, can be a most pleasurable
While visiting the
we suggest you should have the 'French restaurant' experience at least once
-- or more if your budget can stand it!
you are celebrating something special
and want a
dining experience then you can dine
at the 'Michelin Star'
La Promenade in the nearby village
of Le Petit Pressigny,
Booking is necessary here
Don't be put off with the idea of
snails, frog's legs or tete de veau, all of which we feel you should try at
least once, well perhaps not the tete de veau!
There are so many dishes to get your taste-buds excited that even with the
debate as to whether French cooking is still the best in the world or not,
you will, for the most part, be delighted.
Your choice of restaurant may of course depend on which part of this lovely
area you are visiting. If you have decided on a major tourist
destination, Tours or Chinon for example, then do not expect every
restaurant to be a gastronomic experience -- you'll be disappointed! Seek
out a restaurant aimed at French customers -- lack of English translation on
the menu is normally a good sign. That said, we have eaten in many
restaurants aimed at tourists and been perfectly happy with the
quality of the food. If you have children with you are more likely to find
something to keep them happy in the larger towns -- though try and get them
to try something different -- it will enhance their holiday
experience, ("that'll work", we here you say!)
By choosing a
village house like 'Le Bourg' in Barrou you have the advantage of having a
bar and restaurant on your doorstep without the need to drive - a distinct
advantage now the French have adopted a 'zero tolerance' to drink driving
Restaurants serving the local community like 'Les
Tilleuls' here in Barrou are vital to these rural villages.
Many of these restaurants serve very good lunches daily, though many are
closed on Monday -- normally from a fixed menu and/or buffet. Evening meals
can be less predictable depending on where you are and how much they are
supported by locals and tourists alike. It is best not to assume they will
be open every evening - so check first and always book
ahead, even though you may end up dining alone if off- season or in a
more remote destination. Again if you have kids more and more villages are
being visited one night per week by the enterprising 'travelling pizza-man'
and (sadly perhaps) the golden arch of Macdonald's has found its way into
the larger towns.
It is always cheaper to eat at lunchtime (12.00/2.30) and if you find a
quality restaurant this could be the time to try it. Try and be seated by at
least 1.00pm. Even for standard restaurants midweek is best as they
can sometimes increase their prices at the weekends. Always book evening
meals where you can and don't expect to be served before 7.30 pm. Weekend
lunchtimes are also best booked in advance.
What to choose?
You do not have to take the 'à la
carte' option as most of what's on it will normally be found on the fixed
price ( prix fixe) menu. In large towns or cities you will
normally be shown the 'menu touristique' but again you are not obliged to
take it. Although these can sometimes be good value for money you will not
come away with a feeling of having had a gastronomic experience! Most
restaurants have English translations but those that don't are happy to talk
you through the menu --remember
This is very much a personal choice but in
many restaurants this will be where a large part of their profit is
generated. Don't be surprised to see familiar wines on the menu with a very
inflated prices. Choice can be very much dependant on your budget but
opting for a carafe of house red or white wine is normally a good option.
If buying a bottle why not take the opportunity to try one from the region
or town you are visiting Chinon, Vouvray, Bourgueil, Touraine etc.. Many
village restaurants offer free wine (Barrou and Mairie do) with their
excellent value lunchtime menus.
Where, when and whatever you eat and drink
we wish you