Our journey west through France’s parched Centre continues. I learn the following day that it’s not my imagination: France is experiencing a drought, with much of the Centre on read alert for water consumption.
We’re driving through the heart of those areas. Houses are shuttered against a relentless sun, village life slowed to a crawl. We pass one after the other with little sign of activity, despite it being a weekday. Completely thwarted in our attempts to find a boulangerie amongst them. Most unusual for France.
In the midst of the dry, vineyards battle the drought – these will be interesting vintages, the lack of water intensifying flavour.
Lunch time arrives, sans baugette, but I do spy a rather fine alternative.
For a snap decision on the fly, it ends up being utterly delightful. We settle in with local wine and it’s clear from the start it’s a special place. Tomato watermelon gazpacho and salmon nibbles tease our palates.
A layered heirloom tomato and goats cheese salad, dressed with pistou follows.
For mains, Himself has chicken on a bed of lentils,
while I have veal with autumnal vegetables, enriched with wild mushrooms. Utterly delicious
Dessert is a little slice of chocolate heaven
Our meal ends with coffee and an unexpected final treat: tiny ile flottante, charmingly presented.
The food is flawless, the sort of restaurant I’ve dreamt of finding in Paris but never managed. Truly one of the best meals I’ve had in France. Les Saisons Gormandes in Saint Pierre-de-Jards . If you have the opportunity to go, don’t miss it.
Tummies considerable happier we hit the road again, Montresor bound. It’s another Les Plus Beaux Village, one we visited last year*, touring the Chateau
and spending a happy afternoon photographing reflections in the river that runs through it. Our plan for the afternoon differs little, it’s too hot to do much else.
The river walk is a peaceful respite from the heat, even if the reflections are refusing to co-operate.
* Last year’s blog post on Montresor can be found via the search bar in the blog – just type “Montresor” into it – much more detail in that one!