Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

A night in the Alsace

During our 2007 and 2008 annual autumn break in the French Alsace, we stayed at ‘Le Clos de La Garenne’ on the outskirts of the town of Saverne. It’s a lovely hotel built in the typical ‘chalet’-like regional style. It has only 15 bedrooms and is run by a charming couple with three small children. The husband, who’s a nephew of the Michelin-star holding restaurant ‘Le Soldat de l’An 2’ in the nearby town of Phalsbourg, is a very talented chef too.

September 2007: Clos de la Garenne, Saverne

On both occasions we had booked a room called ‘Forêt Noire’ (Black forest) located in a small outer building that accommodated only two rooms. It was a beautiful and very comfortable room, with rough wooden panelling and a large flat screen TV. The bathroom had a bath tub as well as a gigantic walk-in shower with a powerful shower head.

On our first night at the hotel in 2007 the room next door was occupied by three young people who were attending an international fair in the nearby city of Strasbourg. We had gone to bed around 11 p.m. after a delicious dinner prepared by the young chef.

My friend, who’s very fond of roasted pigeon, had ordered a ‘Pigeon Voyageur’ (A Roaming or Travelling Pigeon). It was served in the most original way, as it was brought to the table in a large brown envelope with the name of our room written on it. It was even stamped. The chef himself cut open the envelope using a large pair of scissors. Inside was the roasted pigeon, steaming hot and vacuum packed, floating in a rich dark brown sauce. I had a generous slice of pan-fried goose liver which was served on a piece of slate. With it came delicately roasted potatoes and a crisp green salad with slices of black truffle. We topped of our meal with a varied choice of cheeses from the impressive cheese platter.

By two in the morning we were awoken by our neighbours who came in from an apparently wild ‘night on the town’. They were pretty drunk and laughed and babbled till four, when they finally quieted down and went to sleep. At breakfast we told the landlady about the nightly bacchanal and she promised she would urge our young neighbours to be less noisy the following night.

Which they did … but then we were awoken by another noise … something we couldn’t identify …

(to be continued)



Nadege said...

hmmm! Pigeons on the roof top? A bird stuck in the attic trying to find his way out?

chm said...

That unidentifiable noise waking you up in the middle of the night was perhaps the sound of an earthquake!

ladybird said...

Nadege, It wasn't human or mineral ...

Chm, An earthquake in the Alsace? That would have been a first! :)