Saturday, July 26, 2014


One night at the Auberge de Chassignolles  in a tiny, beautiful village in Auvergne, on the way to Ardeche. The weather en route from Paris was inclement to say the least, and we were starving by the time we unfolded ourselves from the car after a 7? 8? hour drive, complete with a running out of petrol in the middle of nowhere in driving rain/fog as it started to get dark nightmare scenario.

We were greeted with smiles, a proffered umbrella, a simple, perfect room. A reviving meal quite swiftly appeared: radishes, butter/salt and sardines to start - a bottle of Catherine and Pierre Breton's Nuits d'Ivresse (translation: drunken nights!) finally chosen after a lot of indecision. Beets with soft cheese, half a chicken with vegetables from the garden followed - and a break in the rain was our chance to do a quick tour of Chassignolles at dusk - actually maybe that was after the salad course and before the cheese (St. Nectaire, Bleu d'Auvergne and Cantal I think - we were in their 'hood) or between the cheese and dessert of raspberry tart.

The breakfast was as inviting as any I've seen. Homemade yoghurt, fruit, freshly squeezed juice, eggs, bread, homemade jams, coffee, tiny pots of flowers on the table.

Very reviving in between all the driving.