The Big Six: French restaurants with rooms
Saturday 12 February 2011
La Verte Campagne, Normandy
Set in a lush part of northern Normandy, this pretty old auberge is owned by a British couple: André and Lynne Tamba. He hosts, she cooks (four-course menus from €22). This homey place has palpable charm, while the cuisine impresses even the French clientele – some of whom find it difficult to believe that their meal was not prepared by a fellow Gaul. Comfy accommodation is offered in seven bedrooms creaking with venerable beams.
Le Hameau Chevalier, Trelly (00 33 2 33 47 65 33; lavertecampagne.com). Doubles around €60, with breakfast.
La Colombe d'Or, Provence
The 'Golden Dove' is a treasure trove. In the 1920s artists came to eat and stay at this pretty village inn and left paintings in return for their lodging. Picasso came here, Matisse, Miró, Braque and others — and you can see their works on the walls. Today this charming outfit serves unfussy Provençal food with mains from €25. Accommodation is offered in 25 rooms and suites.
Place de General de Gaulle, St-Paul-de-Vence (00 33 4 93 32 80 02; la-colombe-dor.com). Doubles from €250.
Hotel Thoumieux, Paris
In 2009 Brasserie Thoumieux reopened triumphantly after a radical and costly refit. This much loved, restaurant in the 7th arrondisement near the Eiffel Tower had been acquired by Thierry Costes and Jean-Francois Piège. They have devised a winning combination here of reasonable prices (lunchtime salads around €14; dinner mains from €25) and designer-chic décor. Upstairs there are 10 pleasingly kitted-out bedrooms and the exclusive Restaurant Jean-Francois Piège.
79 rue St Dominique (00 33 1 47 05 79 00; thoumieux.fr). Doubles from €151.
Le Jardin des Sens, Montpellier, Languedoc-Roussillon
The flagship of the Pourcel brothers' empire (which now extends to Tokyo), Le Jardin des Sens has two Michelin stars. It serves exquisitely presented fusion food in a glass box of a restaurant set in a garden. The establishment is fronted by a terracotta building hung with contemporary art. And it has 15 airy bedrooms that are furnished in a slightly retro 1950s-style.
11 avenue St-Lazare, Montpellier (00 33 4 99 58 38 38; jardindessens.com). Doubles from €170.
Georges Blanc Restaurant, Bresse
This epicurean institution began as a simple restaurant back in 1872. Four generations later, Georges Blanc, one of France's most renowned chefs, has won the inn three Michelin stars (main dinner courses around €70). There's now also accommodation for guests – a luxury hotel and a slightly less lavish option with 10 rooms.
La Residence des Saules, place du Marché, Vonnas (00 33 4 74 50 90 90; georgesblanc.com). Doubles from €150.
Le Château de la Chèvre d'Or, Côte d'Azur
Just off the glittering Riviera, Eze is one of those glorious hilltop villages that is for the most part accessible only on foot. Le Château is a fabulous establishment with two Michelin stars and 36 beautifully styled bedrooms and suites in properties dotted around the village. At its gourmet dining room, special six-course seasonal menus start at €175.
Rue du Barri, Eze Village (00 33 4 92 10 66 66; chevredor.com). Doubles from €280.
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