Your Favourite Places in France

Your Favourite Places in France

Restaurant La Grange aux Oies,
Château de Nieuil, 16270 Nieuil
Restaurant La Grange aux Oies

Set in the stunning grounds of Le Château de Nieuil, a 4 star hotel in the heart of the beautiful Charente countryside, the Restaurant La Grange aux Oies is an absolute gem. It is well known throughout the surrounding area for its superb cuisine – and it has a separate menu dedicated to vegetarians!

This is the Menu Découverte Autour du Potager. You don’t need to remember this – just ask for the carte végétarienne.

Weather permitting, you are welcomed by the friendly staff onto the terrace overlooking the gardens with a choice of apéritifs – local Charentais Pineau, Kir, Pétillant de Raisin or Cognac tonic. Whilst deciding which of the delicacies on offer you are going to savour, you can gaze upon the splendour of the Renaissance facade of the Château, a favourite of François I.

After your leisurely drink, you are then led into the restaurant itself – the old stable block which has been tastefully renovated using an imaginative mix of old and contemporary styles.

To start, there is a choice of three entrées:

Velouté de légumes du jardin, petits craquants végétariens,

Tatin de pomme de terre de l’Ile de Ré et tomates, légumes nouveaux aux cristes-marines,

Tartare de légumes printaniers au basilic, salade aux noisettes grillées

Then the main course also consists of a choice of three:

La grande assiette des légumes au fil des saisons, brouillade aux herbes,

Gratinée de pommes de terre au chèvre “Kalidaan”, fèves et pois gourmands à la tomate confite,

Le blé tendre servi comme un risotto, carottes fondantes à la coriandre

This is followed by an excellent Salade et fromages du moment, and, if that is not enough, there is then a heaving sweet trolley that is truly amazing, and of course coffee.

One word of caution – in the past we have seen fish on the vegetarian menu, but this does not seem to have happened in recent times. We suspect that they may now be aware that this is mistaken. Also, some vegan guests of ours were once served cheese. However, as we were not present at the time and as their French was virtually nil, we cannot be sure if the staff were made fully aware of their requirements.

La Grange aux Oies is undeniably a place for special occasions, but it also provides value for money – its combination of food, ambiance and location provides an experience of utmost quality, yet only costs 45 €uros per head, all inclusive. This also includes a bottle of wine – either L’Orée du Bosquet (Vin blanc de Pays Charentais), Clairet de Graman (Bordeaux Clairet), Château Grand Maison(Côtes de Bourg) or Coteaux du Lyonnais (Henry Fessy).

We feel very lucky to live within close proximity of this establishment, and over the years have never tired of its charm and elegance. The setting, the restaurant itself, the staff and of course, not forgetting the well presented delicious food, make a visit to La Grange aux Oies a memorable event. It is a very successful enterprise – you invariably have to book well in advance – but it does not rest on its laurels. The menu is constantly changing, with subtle improvements being introduced little by little.

If you ever get the chance, treat yourself to an experience not to be forgotten!

Trevor and Jocelyn Bridge, 16450 St Claud

Do you have a favourite place in France where vegetarians are well catered for? If so, let us know and we will add it to this article. Please attach a photo, provide details of the food on offer and other relevant information to Trevor Bridge

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