12 addresses off the beaten track
Friends of the good life, the following lines should certainly sow a seed in your mind, with a view to hatching the idea of a gourmet “road trip” along the paths of the Loire Valley in the coming months.
Most often, vacationers who choose the Loire Valley have in mind the visit of the great Loire castles, to which they add the discovery of towns and villages, the visit of wine estates, a bike or boat ride, or even a starred restaurant.
For once, why not change habits and make gastronomy the main theme of a stay in Touraine? And while we’re at it, why not put the spotlight on beautiful addresses a little far from the cities, and thus discover a rural and authentic environment? You guessed it, we didn’t find any answers to these two questions. So… here we go to discover the countryside, as good travelers. The desires being multiple, the roads lead you to restaurants of about thirty seats, following prestigious establishments. The pleasure of flavors unites them.
L’Auberge de Montpoupon – Céré La Ronde
At the foot of the Montpoupon castle, Christophe and Sophie Lunais put to good use all their experience acquired at Les Closeaux (Vallières les Grandes, Loir-et-Cher) with the help of young Chef Erwan Brochard. The refined dishes of the inn offer an excellent quality/price ratio: perfect for a start!
La Boulaye – Athée-sur-Cher
Cyclists on the Coeur de France à Vélo itinerary will find here, along the Cher river and near the Nitray wine castle, a beautiful gourmet stopover, in a very pleasant landscape environment. The warm decor of the restaurant La Boulaye creates an atmosphere conducive to the discovery of the tasty cuisine of Maryline Caron, former disciple of Pascal Bouvier (Le coin des Halles, in Langeais).
The Aubinière – Saint-Ouen-les-Vignes
On the way to this gastronomic stay, you will find at L’Aubinière a very tempting spa, contemporary rooms, and… the table of Jacques Arrayet, who takes as much pleasure in revisiting land and sea recipes as in honoring the seasons of the vegetable garden. As a sommelier, his wife Odile elaborates a rich and varied wine list, which of course honors the wines of the Loire Valley.
Le Liberté – Neuillé-le-Lierre
Created in 2021, this gastronomic and sustainable restaurant has not been slow to build a fine reputation for itself, using Touraine products, such as the pink king of Touraine, black truffles, or tapered pear liqueur. At Le Liberté, everything is homemade, and a small grocery store allows you to extend the experience with 100% local products.
Vincent Cuisinier de Campagne – Les Coteaux-sur-Loire
In the middle of the Bourgueil vineyard, the green star of the Michelin guide came to pay tribute to Vincent Simon and his “0 kilometer” approach. And yes, the short circuits impose themselves more and more in the local gastronomic landscape, and when we see the plates well prepared by the Chef, we can only think… that it is a very good thing. Note that you can opt for a take-away basket (upon reservation) to have lunch in the picnic barrel of Mont Sigou, in connection with the Lamé Delisle Boucard wine estate.
The Castle of Rochecotte – Les Coteaux-sur-Loire
It is in Touraine that the tradition of castle hotels was born. The castle of Rochecotte honors this beautiful tradition. If you stay there (in addition to the hotel, the establishment also offers a large cottage with a capacity of 11 people, and a swimming pool), two restaurants are at your disposal, Le Dorothée and La Verrière, but also in fine weather the large terrace under the wisteria. Note that beyond the dessert, the sweet treats of the pastry chef Franck Joly can easily be enjoyed as a snack, from 2 to 6 pm.
Château de Beauvois, restaurant le Louis XIII – Saint-Etienne de Chigny
Like its predecessor, this castle hotel perfectly reflects an elegant way of life. The beautiful stones of the 15th century building are set in an elegant 25 hectare park. Your gastronomic stay here will be like living in a castle. Master Chef Régis Guilpain magnifies seasonal products at the Louis XIII through his creations that blend flavors and textures.
The sailor’s hut – Bréhémont
From fish to plate, there is only one step, or rather… a small boat ride. Professional fisherman on the Loire, Romain Gadais supplies directly his own restaurant where the globe-cooker Ambroise Voreux regales with his associations of taste. If you add to that the view on the Loire, you might as well say that the Cabane à Matelot is not empty, especially since it is located on the route of La Loire à Vélo.
The castle of Artigny, restaurant l’Origan – Montbazon
One last château hotel for the road! The Château d’Artigny is the former home of the great perfumer François Coty, with a superb vaulted spa. In the restaurant, your plate will reflect all the culinary inventiveness of Hervé Guttin, all in a prestigious setting, with a view of the Indre valley. An example of a dish? Quasi of veal, brioche viennese with parmesan, pearl barley risotto, glazed mini vegetables, veal juice with sage.
The XIIth century Inn – Saché
There are at least two good reasons to go to Saché: if the castle is home to the Balzac Museum (of Touraine origin, Honoré de Balzac used to take refuge there to escape his creditors!), the XIIth century inn is also a venerable institution… gastronomic, you will have understood. A quick look at the online reviews will show you that in the last few months, the cuisine of the brand new chef Kevin Gardien has been unanimously praised. We would be tempted by the roasted scampi accompanied by a parsnip mousseline with Touraine saffron, and a lemon leaf broth.
L’Auberge de l’Ile – L’Ile Bouchard
This time, we arrive on the banks of the Vienne, not far from Chinon and its royal fortress. Master restaurateur, the work of the Chef of the Auberge de l’Ile (Pierre Koniecko) begins where that of the farmer ends: it consists in making good what is already very beautiful. On sunny days, on the terrace, with the river flowing by, you can savor each spoonful of our citrus vacherin, its candied kumquats and its grapefruit sorbet.
The Secret Garden – Le Château du Rivau
This gastronomic stroll logically ends… with a castle. And what a look this one has! This authentic jewel of medieval heritage stands in the countryside of Richelieu. However, the fairy-tale gardens, the collection of contemporary art and the cuisine of the restaurant Le Jardin secret bring us back to modern times. The produce of the organic garden of the adjoining farm is transformed in a beautiful way in the plates. As the number of seats is limited, it is better to reserve!