Montsoreau sits on the banks of the River Loire – Image by Flickr user © Daniel Jolivet
Whenever I take my family to visit France, I introduce them to many foods and cuisines, which I feel a great fondness for, having grown up in France. While the cities
of France offer plenty of fabulous restaurants and brasseries to choose from, sometimes the best cuisine can be found in the smaller, more traditional French
towns and villages. This time, I’m looking at the village of Montsoreau.
People often say that French villages feel like hidden gems, but with Montsoreau, this really is the case. I’ve visited here a number of times, often when exploring the nearby town of Saumur, and Montsoreau’s charms draw me back time and time again. Nestled on the banks of the Loire River, for such a small village, Montsoreau has a lot to offer visitors. The main sightseeing spot in town is the 15th century castle. It’s a stunning structure, and once you’ve had a good stroll around the village and castle grounds, you’ll need something to fuel your stomach!
Montsoreau’s buildings are all built using iconic limestone bricks – Image by Flickr user © Daniel Jolivet
Restaurant Diane de Meridor
This restaurant is perhaps the most popular in town. Just 50 metres from the castle, Restaurant Diane de Meridor offers up gourmet cuisine in a creative and classic setting. The locally-sourced dishes are made using fresh ingredients, and with a private room available to hire, this restaurant is ideal if you’re celebrating a special occasion.
Enjoy sweeping views over the river, with friendly, attentive staff and delicious dishes such as risotto with ham, locally-caught fish, tender veal and sweet strawberry sorbet. The wine list is packed with superb wines, which is what you would expect given the famous Saumur vineyards nearby.
The stunning Loire River supports a whole host of local produce – Image by Flickr user © Christophe Delaere
Le P’tit Bar
For a more casual experience, Montsoreau’s local brasserie, Le P’tit Bar, is located in the heart of town and has wonderful, friendly staff who are always on hand to help. The atmosphere is incredibly welcoming, so if you’ve just arrived in town and are looking for a place to enjoy lunch, this is the spot. With a spacious outdoor area, Le P’tit Bar provides a lovely spot for al fresco dining, which can get busy during lunchtime, so remember to book if you can.
Dine on delicious chicken and steak from the restaurant’s grill, served with fresh local vegetables. I love taking my family here as the food is hearty and it’s a great example of classic French countryside cuisine. Simple and done well.
If you’re looking for a place to eat with views that are unmatched, take a stroll to Le Montsorelli. The restaurant overlooks Montsoreau Château and many return simply to enjoy the scenery. I love to visit Le Montsorelli to grab a coffee and enjoy the views, but it’s a popular spot for lunch and dinner, too.
Serving up simple and authentic French cuisine, I have to recommend trying the Magret (duck breast), which is incredibly tender and flavoursome. Veal is served in a rich mushroom and cream sauce, which is mouth-watering! The ambience is pleasant, especially at lunchtime, when you can hear children playing in the gardens below the restaurant balcony.
Remember to check back and find out which destination we will choose for our next instalment of ‘local eats in…’ With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, you can get from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes, and from there, culinary delights await!