Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A Super Sunday

On Sunday it was my birthday and to celebrate we went out to lunch. We'd driven past the Auberge de Montpoupon but never eaten there. It is a pretty place which huddles by the roadside at the foot of the chateau.
Chateau de Montpoupon
A year or so ago it had come under new ownership and there'd been a write up in the paper which was positive. The Auberge's website was checked and reviews on TripAdvisor consulted. The menu looked good and the reviews were favourable so we booked for lunch.
Auberge de Montpoupon
The weather was ok; sunny but pretty blowy so tables had not been laid outside when we arrived at 1pm. We went indoors and were shown to a table by the door. There was a choice of menus and we chose the 3 course one [€29]. Looking at the dishes on offer on the a la carte section the chef obviously likes cooking with fish and seafood. The amuse bouche was a beautifully intense bisque of poisson de roche [little mediterranean fishes you can catch along the shore line]. White fish and Niall do not agree [allergy] so he opted for the goat's cheese starter which was really lovely - I had a tiny taste. I opted for the crab ravioli. We both had duck filets for our main course and desert was a fabulous chocolate fondant with a sharp raspberry puree. At the end of the meal we sat outside with our coffee, as the wind had died down for a little.
sign we saw just before arriving at the auberge; thankfully not on the menu!
The wine list was small, but what was especially nice was the fact that many on the list could be ordered by the glass or by the 1/4 pichet; so we were able to have a white [Touraine Sauvignon] with the starters and then decided to have a rose [Pineau d'Aunis] with our main [both Domaine Laurent le Bihan]. I'm not normally a great fan of sauvignon, but really enjoyed this one. When there are only two of you and one is driving, it can be a real pain if the wine list offers hardly any choice by the glass/pichet.
chateau view from "attention viperes tree"
Full of good food and wine the idea had been to have a look around the interior of the chateau, but we were too replete and drove home. It had been a lovely birthday treat!
birthday flowers 'picked' by Katinka & Shadow

.

24 comments:

Leon and Sue Sims said...

We remember taking a drive - a roundabout trip to Loches and turning a corner - behold, there it was - Montpoupon. An experience never forgotten by a couple of Aussies on their second trip to France.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Leon & Sue - we had the same experience years ago on one of our holiday visits. Saw it on our way from Chambord to Loches. You almost fall upon it and then looking back think: wow!

the fly in the web said...

Sounds as though you had a super birthday...and the opportunity to order wine by the glass or pichet is an idea more restaurants should follow.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Fly - it was a lovely treat :-). Normally if we go out to lunch we eat at the little local places [white van man stops] where you get a pichet of local vin thrown in with your 3 course set lunch.
We do find though that often in places which are a little more 'posh' the choice of wine by the glass/pichet is really limited; many of the wines on the list won't be available by the glass/pichet. When one pays more for one's food one would also like to have more of a choice of one's wine.

Jean said...

Happy birthday (belated!!) !!

Glad you had a nice time and a lovely meal. It looks like another one to add to our list to try one day !!

I am a bit wary of TripAdvisor. Our local favourite restaurant (in derbyshire) was subjected to blakmail by someone trying to get a free meal, pretending it was not up to scratch and threatening to leave a bad review if he was charged for it - which he was, and told not to bother coming back and sure enough, he left a bad review.

ladybird said...

Happy belated birthday Antoinette and many, many happy returns of the day. That lunch sounds lovely. YumYum. Sorry you missed the castle tour because it's really worth the detour. Btw, I can't get over the fact that you have such talented cats! :) You must spend a lot of time training them. Do they do the dishes too? Martine

GaynorB said...

Hi Antoinette,
Happy Birthday for Sunday. It certainly looks like you had a wonderful meal, fitting for a special day.
I don't ever recall visiting Montpoupon but will do on the strength of the recommendations in your comments.
Can't see from the photograph but has the terrace been finished?

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jean - thanks!
How sad that someone would stoop to that. The French reviews we read were straightforward; but of course you never know do you?
The auberge does a €24 3 course lunch Mon-Fri but the mains is indicated fish of the day which is a NO GO for Niall.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Martine - thanks! It was a good meal and the setting is lovely; certainly if you can sit out on the terrace which is on the chateau side. It looks to be a new-ish addition.
Talented aren't they ;-) but we have a dishwasher as, sadly, they refuse [and so do we!].

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - thanks :-). Its setting is lovely. terrace in the process of being done but not finished yet. Weather means it really is a case of do a bit/ wait days/do a bit. Hopefully quite a bit if not most can get done in the next few days if the forecast is right.
The problem is that as it is sunken you can't tarp it against the rain...the water would still get in to get to the drain.

MorningAJ said...

That auberge looks heavenly. I've just checked out the menus on their website. I'll have the raviole d'homard, l’agneau du Quercy and the cube de chocolat noir au caramel de beurre salĂ©, s'il vous plait!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@AJ - an excellent choice madame! ;-)

Susan said...

Happy birthday. I'm glad to hear that the Auberge is as good as the reviews indicate (I was fairly sure it would be - everything I've heard has been positive).

The Attention Viperes sign is wishful thinking, btw. Viperes are extinct in the Loire Valley, sadly.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Susan - ah so that's why they weren't on the menu!
It was good; standout dishes: the amuse bouche, goat's cheese fantasie starter and the chocolate fondant. Chef was a bit heavy with the pasta on the crab ravioli, but the duck was fine.

Ron Ron said...

So glad you had a most satisfactory birthday. Many happy returns of the day! Pauline

wcs said...

Happy birthday! I've not eaten at the Auberge but now I'm tempted by it. It's very close to us. Montpoupon is always good for a drive-by.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Pauline - thanks :-)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Walt - thanks! Think that one of Montpoupon's strengths is the way you come across it so suddenly on the road. It's location makes a real impact.

Carolyn said...

Happy birthday. There's no better way to celebrate the big day* than with a really good meal.

*Or any day, really.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Carolyn - thanks :-)
Absolutely!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

A belated Happy Birthday, it sounds like you had a good day, with definitely good food.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@LindyLou - it was a great day, thanks.

Leon and Sue Sims said...

First and so far last to comment - happy belated birthday from us.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Leon & Sue - thanks for the b'day wishes. :-)