When Simon had left, B., J.F. and I got ready to go to the ‘Le Bon Laboreur’ also in Chenonceau to have lunch. ‘Le Bon Laboreur’ is accredited as one of the best restaurants in the area. It’s also a four star hotel and very popular with British and American tourists.
There are two dining rooms and a lovely terrace. Although the weather was relatively warm and sunny, the tables on the terrace weren’t dressed, and we were given a corner table in one of the elegant dining rooms. The restaurant does a weekly 3 course menu at 30 euro per person, which is good value for a gastronomic restaurant. It included a choice of two starters, two main courses and two desserts. You could either have the full menu (three courses at 30 euro) or two courses (starters and main or main and dessert) at 23 euro.
B. had a vélouté d’asparges (creamy asparagus soup). J.F. and I decided to take the ‘light’ version, including a main course and a dessert. As a main course, my friends had fish with quinoa and a light curry sauce, while I had a ‘Poulet Basquaise’ (chicken in a spicy red paprika and tomato sauce), also served with quinoa rice.
For dessert we all decided on fresh strawberries with sugar. Coffee came with a trolley of ‘mignardises’. The assortment consisted of chocolate truffles, little cakes, cherries preserved in alcohol (very powerful stuff!), and nougat. I had never seen this kind of ‘mignardise’ presentation, as they usually come with the coffee, served on a small individual plate. The waiter didn’t mind me taking a photo and kindly explained that they served the mignardises this way to avoid waste. Very often people only eat one or two bits that are served with their coffee and leave the other. What’s left is usually thrown away as the restaurant owner can’t tell which items have been touched or not. And the national health inspection has very strict rules regarding theses issues.
A tantalizing trolley of 'mignardises' !
We spent the rest of the afternoon looking at photos of B. and J.F.’s grandchildren. Afterwards we had a nice walk in their immense garden. When my friends in their vintage car arrived to pick me up at 4.30 p.m., B. invited them in and we all had another glass of bubbly. We left Francueil at half past six. By seven we were back in Vouvray, where we all had a beer on the terrace of the village bar: le Bouchon, before Simon and Susan drove back to Preuilly-sur-Claise where they live. Our first full day was almost drawing to an end ...!