15 April 2011


After all the talk about food hygiene I thought it was time to remind myself of one of the main reasons why we love the Loire region so much.

The wonderful food.

Lisle 10

Last summer, Nick and Alex went for a day’s fishing down by the river at L’Île Bouchard. Nicole and I had a girls’ day shopping and joined them for lunch at L’Auberge de L’Île.

We found the restaurant in a booklet we got from L’Office de Tourisme in Le Grand-Pressigny a couple of years ago and it featured lots of really nice restaurants in Touraine. We were gradually working our way through them when we realised we had either lost or given away our last copy of the booklet and they had stopped producing them. Quel dommage !!

The restaurant looks nice but ordinary on the outside but once inside you immediately have the impression that this is going to be a good experience, and it was.

It was a warm day so we opted to sit indoors. We were the only people indoors that lunchtime. To begin with we wondered if we had made a mistake but as more and more people passed our table to sit outside overlooking the river we decided we were ok where we were. Outside was getting busy and noisy under the umbrellas and we were all cool and calm in the restaurant.

We went for the “Formule Plaisir” at 35€ each for three courses. The slightly cheaper menu included either starter or dessert and as we love our puddings we thought it was good value to go for the full monty.

Lisle 1

The most spectacular starter was the prawns in a slightly curried sauce.

For mains some chose fish, others duck. Everything was beautifully presented and served perfectly with just the right amount of discreet attention from the restaurant staff.

Lisle 2

Lisle 3

The desserts were worth the modest extra cost. The chocolate fondants looked fabulous but I chose the rice pudding – a beautiful light and creamy rice with strawberries on top.

Lisle 4Lisle 5

All in all, it was a great lunch. Eating at lunchtime is a very good way of sampling what is on offer at a good restaurant if you are unsure about lashing out on a pricey meal in the evening. Personally I often prefer to eat something absolutely delicious but lighter at lunchtime than have a rich and heavy meal in the evening.

Afterwards, Nick and Alex went back to their fishing while Nicole and I carried on with our shopping. We will be visiting the restaurant again for lunch some time this year, for sure.


  1. That lunch looks spectacular. €35 seems reasonable for such a high end meal. The prawns look fabulous!

  2. Craig - usually we would only spend half of that on lunch but we like to spoil ourselves occasionally. Good food is always worth the money and this was a bargain.
    We are very lucky in our region to have lots of places to eat really well, and often quite cheaply.

  3. What a stunning lunch Jean, and like you say it is nice to treat yourself to a special meal once in a while.
    Steve (MR TK)

  4. Is that the restaurant in the village square, with a terrace over the river? If it is, we had drinks on the sidewalk terrace of the bar across the square.
    Like you, we prefer a nice, light lunch to a heavy dinner, which prevents you from having a good night's sleep. :)

  5. We ate there a couple of years ago and it was super...the presentation looks different so perhaps it has changed hands since...but obviously still super!

    And we prefer to eat at lunchtime, too.

  6. Such an amazing meal. Good choice of restaurant.

  7. Read your blog after a day so busy that it was baguettes for lunch, and a quick smear of jam on another piece of baquette for supper. Felt quite full up until I saw your photos, and now really fancy a slap up meal now!

  8. Well this post brought back some memories - back in 2008 we stayed in Chinon for several days and I would do an early morning ride to L'Ile Bouchard on one side of the river and return on the other.
    We will be back to Chinon May 2012 and will certainly try the resturaunt - care to join us?
    The slate plates are something uses for entree here at home.
    Leon and Sue

  9. Steve - it was a real treat

    Martine - yes, that's the one.

    FITW - it was our first visit - but not the last.

    Bear - it was super.

    Vera - no wonder you're so slim !!

    Leon - great idea - let's see if we can co-ordinate our holidays.

  10. You know, I feel enthused enough to just go out for a meal for a change from work. LESS than a week to go for our French visit. We are so ready!