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

Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Lion d’Or revisited - Part 1

Remember last year, when I had lunch with Mats and Vera at the Lion d’Or in Amboise?

Le Lion d'Or in June 2012.

The food was excellent, service very friendly and the room cosy, inviting and comfortable. While preparing this year’s trip, I thought it would be nice to share this memorable experience with my friends B. and J.L. . As they had kindly invited me to stay with them in their new holiday home, without charging me for room and board (we did share the bills for food, car fuel, entrance fees, etc.), I decided to buy them lunch in this extraordinary restaurant. I had taken the precaution of booking a table well in advance, specifying that I preferred to be seated in the ‘old’, traditional dining room.

The restaurant was almost full by the time we arrived and the waitresses were dashing around, carrying large plates of delicious looking food and serving wine. Despite the intense activity we were immediately and efficiently shown to a beautiful corner table by the window. I was surprised by the new décor of the room. Last year’s dark turquoise and deep brown colour scheme had been replaced by an elegant combination of clear grey and soft fuchsia. 

The same Lion d'Or in June 2013.

We later learned from the landlady that the refurbishing had taken place in February. It had been done very tastefully, respecting the authentic features of the room: the grand fireplace, the wooden panelling and the majestic doors and windows. Yet, it looked fresh and contemporary, in line with the modern décor of the lounge room near the entrance.

I'm sure you have your own opinion about the transformation. Would you like to share it with me and my readers? In exchange I'll post some tantalizing food photos soon !


Susan said...

Before I even realised what the topic of your blog really was, I had looked at that first picture and thought 'Heavens, it's so old fashioned looking...'. The new decor is a great improvement.

chm said...

I really cannot tell which decoration I like best. They're so different. When we had lunch there, several years ago, if I remember well the decoration was brown and yellow, just like in your 2012 photo.

Niall & Antoinette said...

I like the new colour scheme, it makes the diningroom look much larger. Not so sure about the upholstery though.

Rhodesia said...

The lighter ceiling makes such a difference. We still have so much to see in the Loire, in fact still so much to see in France! Have a good week, Diane

GaynorB said...

On balance i probably prefer the lightness of the new decor although I also love the richnss of the original. I love old wood.

However, I'm sure the food tasted delicious whatever the decor.

VirginiaC said...

I like the new decor better. It has not only transformed the room but also brightened it up as well.
The guy in the photo with his arms on the table made me smile.

Carolyn said...

To me it looks better in lighter colors.

Nadege said...

I like the new colors but the room looks colder compare to the warmer tones of the first photo. I would have a better opinion looking at it in person of course. I cannot makeup my mind which one I like better. Sorry!

Craig said...

I much prefer the new colours Martine. I've always been fond of contemporary style in a traditional setting.

ladybird said...

Susan, When I started writing this post, I didn't know I was going to compare the old and new decoration. It came naturally when I put the two photos together :)

Chm, My first visit was in 2012. So I have no idea what the place looked like before. The 2012 version didn't look very old though.

N&A, Funny that should mention the upholstery, because the landlady told us that it was the first thing she's picked and the rest of the colour scheme was chosen to match it.

Diane, I think one could spend a lifetime discovering everything France has to offer.

Gaynor, The food was great on both occasions. But the new decoration really brightened up the place.

Virginia, I noticed the man too. He and his wife hardly spoke to each other during lunch. He obviously was not happy to be there.

Carolyn, Same here ;)

Nadege, Maybe the old one is more in line with the style of the building. While the new one is more in line with the contemporary look of the lounge at the entrance.

Craig, Old and new can work very well together and it doesn't always take a professional decorator to create little gems!