We spent the next two nights in the town of Grignan, Rhone Valley. It is probably off the beaten track for the majority of tourists, unless you are interested in the Renaissance chateau that Madame de Sevigne made famous. It seemed a good stopover for us enroute to Lyon, as we needed to return our car into the centre of Lyon by 11am. (Valence is also worthy if you want to eat at Anne Sophie Pic.) Grignan turned out to be an interesting town, with much to offer in the immediate area.
After touring the castle-chateau, the vineyards of the Cotes du Rhone-Villages are close by (Sablet, Seguret, Visan, Valreas, Rasteau) and made for a pleasant afternoon tour. The second day we went to nearby Nyons for their market day. We bought a freshly roasted coquilette, two delicious caillettes - the flat sausages cooked in pig's caul, some Nyon olives, levain bread, some fruit, and then drove on to Vaison-la-Romaine where we had a picnic along the river, just below the old town. After lunch we hiked up to the top of the old town.
We ate very well in Grignan, both nights we ate at Le Restaurant Gastronomique at Le Clair de la Plume, a 4 star, where we also stayed.
This historic hotel next to the castle, has recently enlarged and upgraded their restaurant, and earlier this year brought on board a new Chef de Cuisine - Julien ALLANO (ex-La Mirande/Avignon & Ajaccio/Palm Beach Corsica) and a Pastry Chef of excellence - Philippe RIQUIER (ex Pierre Kauffman /Frederic Poisson/Guy Savoy/Marc Veyrat.)
LE CLAIR DE LA PLUME
Classic French gastronomical; regional ingredients
3 courses (2 choices for each course) for 45 euros
Great selection of local wines, and a terrific sommelier
Special note * the pastry chef is a knock-out|
His Pastis soufflé with olive oil ice cream, and his chocolate ganache and raspberry in a chocolate sugar robe are highly recommended.
Dinner for two with wine and bottled water 140 euros
If you are in Grignan, a worthy meal!
Next, on to Lyon and Troisgros