25 May 2012

Montrichard for lunch

Yesterday, summer started. We were lucky. We had a nice lunch in Montrichard, at the invitation of our friends Susan and Simon of Days on the Claise. It turned that we were 8 à table, because we were joined not only by Susan's sister and brother-in-law, but also by Sue and Leon of Melbourne — Our Home on the Bay. Sue and Leon are traveling around France right now, and blogging about it.

The bridge across the Cher River at Montrichard

Walt and I were the only Americans present — the only non-Australians, really. Australians are great travelers. We've met many people from Down Under over the past few years, and I happen to know that some Australians have now bought a house in Saint-Aignan. Others have a house, I believe, in our village, but we haven't met them.

We were lucky to be able to have lunch
outdoors yesterday, here.

Montrichard is the next town down the Cher River from Saint-Aignan, and it's a 15-minute drive from our house. Walt and I seriously considered buying a house there back in 2003, but we decided on Saint-Aignan instead, for a number of reasons. It's a lively little town with a pretty riverfront, a busy Friday morning market, a medieval chateau, and plenty of attractive shops. Montrichard is also close to Amboise and Chenonceaux, two of the areas main attractions.

The restaurant, La Villa, has several "menus" at lunchtime,
priced from 11 to 24 euros per person.

Being virtual "locals", we all chose the restaurant's special of the day, the lowest-priced menu and the one the restaurant focuses its efforts on daily. That was the 11-euro menu — a menu in France is what we call a prix fixe meal in good English. What we call the menu is la carte in French, and you are free to order your meal à la carte instead of taking a menu — but you'll pay more.

The view in Montrichard just down the street
from the restaurant La Villa.

Our menu included an appetizer of cooked lentils and white asparagus with a vinaigrette dressing as the starter course, and then a sauté de veau à la provençale — braised veal with tomato and garlic — as the main course. Dessert was an apple crumble. We washed it all down with rosé wine served in half-liter carafes — rosé is the wine you drink in France when the weather turns warm — and finished off the meal with a little cup of espresso coffee. It was all very pleasant, and we spent nearly three hours at the table, tasting and talking.


  1. It looks like you had great weather for the party !!
    It's such a shame that we missed Leon and Sue this time round. As you say, they are great travellers so there's hope for another year.

    The "weather channel" forecast for next week looks good, so we'll go with that one !!

  2. You took more photos than me :-) It was nice to be able to toast the newlyweds and to catch up with Leon and Sue.

  3. glad to see pics of montrichard....we actually met with a real estate man there & he showed us a couple of places....i know he thought we werent really serious about buying.....but au contraire, if he'd found something just right we might have been ur neighbors!....the area was just what & where we wanted

  4. Glad your weather improved and so that you were able to enjoy such a nice meal. I really really like the first photo with the long bridge.

  5. Being recent "montréalais d'adoption", I'm surprised you and Walt didn't choose the magret de canard au sirop d'érable.

  6. Do you do that thing where your spouse orders one thing and you order something different, and then you each get to try the other's choice? It doubles the pleasure of restaurant dining.

  7. Dean France, LOL. But no, we didn't try the magret with sirop d'érable. Maybe we'll do that at home one day soon.

    Judy, it was fun.

    Evelyn, that's a nice old bridge, isn't it? The weather is fantastic. We're invited out to dinner tonight by some English people who live right down on the river, on the opposite side from us. It's going to be fun, I know.

    Melinda, sorry we aren't neighbors. We looked at a couple of very nice houses in Montrichard back in 2003, but they were subject to flooding so we passed.

    Carolyn, good idea but we haven't advanced to that stage yet. This time, anyway, we had the same food at lunch.

    Susan, it was a very nice lunch. Thanks again. See you soon...

    Jean, I hear you are having a trip over soon. Hope you enjoy it. And I hope the weather stays nice for the duration.

  8. The lunch and company with the weather on the day will hold fond memories of our travels for some time to come.

  9. I saw a couple of the pictures before I read any of the narrative and thought, that looks a lot like Europe.

  10. Funny
    Last Monday we went to a French bistrot in Bethesda MD and they had magret with sirop d'érable also .

    A yr ago we were enjoying the warm weather on your terrace also on a 24th of May . Time flies :-) ( too fast for me)

  11. Bonjour Cousine,

    Just back in Paris after a few days in the countryside.

    Was "Mon ami Gabby" the French restaurant you went to in Bethesda? I went there a few times and I liked it.

    Time sure flies!

  12. A wonderful aprés celebration for your wedding, no doubt! I was wondering which prix-fixe meal you guys chose - I, too, normally choose the least expensive meal. Your explanation is greatly appreciated since you are a local and know the ins and outs of dining there! Hoo-ray that you had sunshine and had the entire 3 hours to sit and chat under the sun.

    Mary in Oregon

  13. Bonjour Cousin

    Was surprised to see it full on a rainy Monday evening. Good thing my sister made the reservation - otherwise we would have had to wait


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?