‘Tis the season to make merry here in the UK now, and all the restaurants are doing brisk business. The good ones are well booked up with discerning diners and the not so good ones are cramming them in for drunken office parties. I’ve been to a few of those over the years and have reached the age where I prefer my food to be well cooked and nicely served rather than to just race through it to get to the disco and the free booze !!
One of the things that we didn’t expect when we first spent Christmas and New Year in Le Grand-Pressigny is the popularity of fish, especially shellfish, at this time of year. The huge party-sized platters of oysters, prawns and other shellfish looked beautiful as people carried them very carefully from the supermarket to their cars.
I was thinking about this the other day as I perused yet another dreary pub menu, predictably offering turkey with all the trimmings and Christmas pud !! It reminded me of one of our favourite restaurants in the Loire which is a fish restaurant.
The Restaurant “Au Gardon Frit” at Pouzay is well worth a visit if you like your fish. We had lunch there on one of the few nice sunny days during our October holiday. It was a Monday, which is not traditionally a good day to eat out as many restaurants are closed and certainly not a good day for fish.
But we had eaten there a couple of times before, knew they would be open and knew the fish was good so off we went. We were not disappointed.
The interior is not posh at all, rustic and homely in fact, but the food is very good and the service is excellent too. In summer we have eaten outside in the courtyard, which is lovely and well shaded.
Each place is set with a rather scary selection of what looks like medieval surgical instruments! When you see the huge plateaux de fruits de mer coming out of the kitchen it’s clear to see why you might need all of them. We have yet to pluck up courage to try one for ourselves, not being entirely sure what might be what and indeed whether it is still alive. One day perhaps !!
We opted for the 23€ menu which was much more conservative and perfectly delicious. A fishy amuse bouche followed by a smoked salmon starter, and a hearty main course.
After coffee we strolled past the restaurant down to the river for a leg stretch and to admire the view of the Vienne, which was pretty full. Little did we know it would be even fuller a week later – it rained and rained and rained for most of our two-week holiday.
So if you fancy treating yourself to a nice fishy lunch this Christmas, I would recommend the Au Gardon Frit. Or at least, click on the link to their website here to experience the wonderful sound of seagulls and waves crashing over the rocks – this brought Lulu rushing to press her nose against the computer screen, eyes wide and ears up !! I wonder if she thought it was cats ??