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

Thursday, 7 August 2014

The answer is blowing in the wind – and more …

The mystery photo was one of a canopy we recently sat under while having lunch at a ‘new’ restaurant. Here you see it in its full-size glory.

Looks really exotic, doesn't it?

The restaurant isn’t exactly ‘new’ in the real sense of the word, because it opened about three years ago. We knew about it, of course, but we had never been in, until a few weeks ago. It was an impromptu visit, due the fact that on that particular day, all our other favourite restaurants in the area had simultaneously decided to take the day off.

The ‘Carnivore’ – because that’s the name of the place – was therefore our last resort. It was either that, improvising a meal ourselves, or skipping lunch altogether. When we arrived, there were several cars in the car park of the large thatched house. The house has been there for as long as I can remember (1960-ies built, I guess). Initially it was a private villa. The owners must have been very wealthy, because the place is huge and must have cost a fortune at the time of its construction.

When it was sold, more than a decade ago, the new owner turned it into some kind of jazzy cocktail bar, which soon gained a doubtful reputation due to some ‘night time’ activities. The early day patrons who were just after a nice cocktail – without the nightly trimmings – soon avoided the place. After that, it didn’t take long before the house was back on the market. The current owner gave the interior a good makeover, turning it into a classy restaurant.

Sunbathing turtles

The restaurant’s best feature though is the terrace, where you can enjoy a meal alfresco. The tables are set on a wooden deck. On each side of the deck, there is a small artificial pond hosting multi-coloured koi capers. The larger of the two ponds, holds a rock formation on which a score of water turtles is sunbathing. Most of the time, they are completely motionless, pointing their little noses towards to sun, with their eyes firmly closed. But every now and then, you hear a discrete ‘splash’ when one of the turtles plunges of the rock into the water, where it joined by a curious koi. After frolicking for a short while the turtle precariously heaves itself on the rocks again, where it re-assumes its sunbathing stance.

Frolicking with a koi.

The turtles and koi provide an amusing piece of entertainment; something the couple at the table next to ours desperately needed. During the whole meal they barely spoke. They were clearly bored with each other.

A close-up!

As for the food: the name of the restaurant says it all … meat! Mainly beef (steaks), pork, lamb … roasted or grilled, and a vast assortment of home-made sauces (béarnaise, Roquefort, pepper, etc.). For those who don’t like meat, there is steamed fillet of fish or a salmon tartar. I chose the latter. It was delicious. My friend had the grilled trio of meat with ‘frites’. For dessert we both had vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Hungry yet?


chm said...

Reading your post back from my weekly visit to my neighborhood Japanese restaurant I don't feel too hungry. However, I can appreciate what you say about this, new for you, restaurant. It looks pretty good, and the decor is unusual. I love those small turtles.

When you have a chance, please give my best regards to C.

Bob said...

Thanks for making us hungry!!! You always find a great restaurant.

Rhodesia said...

Sounds like a great place to me. Have a good day Diane

ladybird said...

Chm, Great minds think alike ... on the day you wrote your comment, C. came over for lunch! He sends his best regards!

Bob, Other people have told me that. I must have a special gift when it comes to finding restaurants (lol)!

Diane, I think you would enjoy it too. Have a nice WE.