Posts Tagged France

La Bergerie, Villard-Reculas, France

It was our last night in the chalet at Villard-Reculas. We’d cleaned out most of the food and wine at the chalet and no-one was in the mood to cook so we’d booked in at La Bergerie, a restaurant on the mountain behind the chalet. It was our chance to unwind with one final meal together before we all went our seperate ways.

La Bergerie has a large outside deck and a smaller inside seating area. The weather was beautiful in July and our table on the deck gave is a great view of the setting sun as it slipped below the French Alps. It did get a little cool once the sun went down.

The menu was French through and through and a number of us opted for Coq au Vin which came out in communal earthenware containers. Also included was a never ending supply of very good potato gratin. And as always the french bread to dunk in the sauce was to die for.

A majority of us opted for home made ice cream for dessert.

The wine list was great and we demolished a number of very good bottles.

It wasn’t cheap but for the quality of the food and wine, and the spectacular views it was worth the price.

If you’re in the area make sure you pop in, even if you don’t eat here.

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O’Conway’s Pub, Gare Lyon Part Dieu, Lyon, France

With the week at the chalet in Villard Reculas over we were all heading in our seperate directions all over Europe. I hitched a ride with the birthday boy and his family to Lyon where I would jump on a TGV to Brussels while they were heading off to Paris.

We got to Gare Lyon Part Dieu early so we wouldn’t have to rush to our trains without having lunch. As we had all our luggage with us we wanted somewhere with some space. As we were walking through the station we say the word PUB and went for it.

The PUB is O’Conway’s and its in the station building. Surprisingly, at lunchtime it wasn’t too busy and easily got a table for 4 with space for our luggage. There’s also an outside area for the smokers.

The menu wasn’t overly inspiring but the burgers sounded OK so we all ordered one. I get the feeling that some of the food is pre-cooked as the burger that I’d ordered (nothing special) they had run out of (it was only 12:30 in the afternoon hmmm), so I had to chose another.

They had a reasonable selection of beers though and we chose 1664.

It was an OK place to pass through and I wouldn’t go out of my way to go back unless I had to because a future train journey took be through Lyon station.

The place could certainly be improved, but given the itinerant cliental, many of which will never return anyway, why would they bother.

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L’Alaska, L’Alpe-d’Huez, France

L’Alaska is a very relaxed restaurant / bar with a large open deck looking onto Route d’Huez so you can watch and cheer the cyclists as they finish their ascent of the mountain and sprint for the finish line.

It’s just a couple of doors up from La Cremaillere.

We came up to L’Alpe-d’Huez on our first morning to have a look around and to hit the tourist office to get the lay of the land while several of our group rode up the mountain.

The cyclists’ estimated arrival time came and went so we chose to find somewhere for lunch where we could watch out for them. A walk down the road had us looking at the menu at L’Alaska.

The menu is extensive and much like you’d get at any cafe around the world but with quintessentially French dishes such as steak hache (raw chopped steak).

The serving sizes were very generous for the salads and the burgers that we ordered and a decent range of drinks were also on offer.

By no means was this fine dining like I would say La Cremaillere was. But for a casual meal it was a good choice.

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La Cremaillere, L’Alpe-d’Huez, France

The insane cyclists decided to ride up the mountain so a couple of us were left to our own devices waiting for them. We’d been pointed to La Cremaillere the day before so thought we’d give it a try.

NOTE: Google Maps has the restaurant in the wrong location. It is on Route d’Huez.

La Cremaillere offers excellent French Cuisine, with some Italian dishes thrown in for good measure, from a hand written blackboard menu of the fare of the day. There are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes on offer.

I ended up having lunch here twice with 7 of us having an enjoyable late lunch a couple of days later.

Old favourite dishes such as

  • French onion soup
  • Chicken skewers
  • Duck breast
  • Lasagne
  • Penne with olive oil

were on the menu. Along with Pana Cotta and Cafe Gourmand for desert.

All washed down with the obligatory half litre of house red wine.

Highly recommended!


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Caffe Leffe, Grenoble, France

About an hours drive from Villard Reculas is Grenoble at the base of the spectacular French Alps.

We arrived in Grenoble around 11am which gave us enough time to explore the historic centre of the city before finding somewhere for lunch to shelter us from the blistering midday sun.

Grenoble is compact and quite flat in the city centre so it was an easy walk. Great architecture and nice parks make it a pleasant walk – just watch out for the trams!

There’s a town square of sorts called Place Grenette close to the Jardin de Ville (Town Garden) which has dozens of restaurants around the square with several of the larger ones having tents in the square itself for you to sit under while you dine.

One of the larger establishments with a good menu that suited all 3 of us was Cafe Leffe so we decided to eat here under the tent. Some of the tents have water mist sprinklers to keep you cool, unfortunately not Cafe Leffe but we did get some relief from the adjacent cafe when the breeze was right.

Cafe Leffe is a chain of cafes across France and Belgium and the menu is standard across the chain.

As you can guess Leffe brand beers are prominent on the menu, as well as a number of other beers if Trappist beer isn’t your thing.

I chose a Leffe Ruby to rehydrate with.

For my meal I ordered a double Leffe Burger (around 300g of meat all up!) with cheese that came with a serving of chips. It was absolutely HUGE and a struggle to finish.

For a pub meal it was decent and not overly expensive given the tourist area that we were in.

After lunch we caught the cable car upto La Bastille which is definitely worth a visit for an hour or so. You can see the world famous Mont Blanc in the distance.

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