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

Friday, 9 July 2010

A bucolic lunch

One of my favourite Touraine villages is Crissay-sur-Manse. It therefore goes without saying that I absolutely wanted to show it to my friends. I had booked a table at ‘Aux coups de coeur’ also known as the ‘Auberge de Crissay’. On the phone the lady had told me that there would be a group of over 30 ‘randoneurs’ having lunch at the same time. This slightly worried me, as the acoustics inside the tavern aren’t optimal, which makes the place rather noisy when crowded.

However, luck was on our side, because as soon as we walked up to the ‘auberge’, after leaving the car in a car park at the foot of the ruins of former castle, we saw this large group of people sitting at a long table that had been set up on the lawn across the street from the tavern. They were merrily drinking their aperitif while the landlady and landlord were taking orders at the three tables on the sidewalk terrace near the entrance.

The 'randoneurs' enjoying their aperitf.

I walked up to the landlady and informed her that I had booked a table for a party of three. Upon which she showed us to the last remaining table on the terrace. It was perfect, pleasantly set in the shade of a large red parasol and with a breathtaking view of the hilly countryside. The chatter of the group across the road filled the air but wasn’t disturbing at all.

While drinking our aperitif – a chilled Vouvray bubbly – we studied the menu card. Although it was rather succinct, it perfectly fit the occasion. By then the group had finished their drinks. A few minutes later the landlady and landlord emerged from the kitchen carrying large plates of food. At first we thought that each plate was meant to serve three or four people. However, when they set one in front of each guest, we realized that this was the tavern’s version of a full meal salad.

A Mediterranean salad!

The three of us ordered the ‘Mediterranean’ salad: lettuce, shredded smoked chicken, dried dates and raisins, grilled pinecone pips, diced gingerbread, goat’s cheese, cherry tomatoes, parmesan shavings and a delicious vinaigrette dressing. The salad, the weather and the bucolic settings called for a light and refreshing wine. So I suggested the same Chinon rosĂ© my friend and I had at the auberge when we were there in 2007.

The 'Auberge de Crissay'

For dessert B. had a rhubarb crumble, J.L. chose the ‘nougat glacĂ©’ and I enjoyed the homemade rhubarb pie … Impossible to say who made the best choice because all three desserts were to die for!

Crissay also turned out to be the perfect place to ‘walk off’ this delicious lunch, as you will discover tomorrow …



Carolyn said...

This looks like a wonderful meal in that very pretty village.

Ken Broadhurst said...

That salad does look good. Gives me ideas for tomorrow's lunch.

ladybird said...

Carolyn, It was a great meal and the setting was perfect!

Ken, It makes an excellent lunch, especially with this hot weather.