24 May 2015


During my brother’s stay we had to make a trip to Ikea in Tours to be able to progress some of the kitchen work.  (More bits were needed for the worktop lighting.)  So we suggested that we all go, have lunch, leave him in the city centre to explore while we did our shopping, then regroup for a beer before going home.  It worked perfectly and gave us the excuse to go to one of our favourite lunchtime restaurants.


It’s called “Il Mostro”, in Place du Grand Marché.  I don’t have a picture of the front of it but it’s almost directly opposite this statue:



There was much studying of the menu but I knew already what I wanted to eat – exactly the same as on our two previous visits – turkey risotto followed by tiramisu.  The menu du jour looked good and most other people seemed to be ordering it – but I had set my heart on the risotto!



Definitely the most delicious and creamy risotto ever!


My brother had a nice pizza followed by a salted caramel parfait.

Tours9d    Tours9f

Nick had the same as me, followed by tarte tatin, and we all shared a nice side salad.

We operated our usual “arrive by 12.15pm” policy and were the first to sit down indoors.  It was a warm, sunny day (thanks, dear brother!) but we sat indoors because a lot of the outdoors tables were already occupied.

By 12.30 the staff were declaring the “terrace” – the dozen or so of their tables on the pavement - “complète” and prospective diners were heading elsewhere for an outdoor table.  I don’t blame them for wanting to make the most of the sunshine, but by not coming indoors they were missing out on a jolly good lunch!

After our shopping trip to Ikea we met up in Place Plumereau, the beautiful square in the middle of old Tours and after a beer headed back to the car.  On the way I rediscovered my old love of old doors (and windows and other curious architectural features).

Tours2 Tours3 Tours4 Tours5 Tours6 Tours7 Tours8 

There’s something about doors and windows that fascinates me.  I take every opportunity to sneak a look inside – hoping for a peep at their furniture or maybe a table set for lunch – a glimpse into the lives of the occupants.  It’s an endless source of entertainment, especially in France where the outside of a building can be totally misleading in terms of what to expect on the inside.  Depressingly squalid living rooms can often be found behind lavish stone exteriors, yet chic and modern kitchens can be found in crumbling and dilapidated old buildings.  You never know what you will find behind closed doors!


  1. I rather like your passion for old doors! I also love a good risotto. I'm trying to remember what Turkey is in French - dinde? That ones looks luscious - very creamy. You've reminded me that I haven't made a risotto for about a month so I must add it to this weeks planned menu.

  2. All sounds jolly good. Hope you saved some turkey for that cat of yours and for LulLu! I have been doing a lot of detailed blogging on my food blog since I came back from Bordeaux last Wednesday. Surprisingly it all about my French market and food adventures. Do check it out if you have time. Would love to hear your opinions. I feel very inspired. Phil xxxx

  3. I love unusual or old architectural details like these doors and windows and Tours does appear to be full of them. I'm looking forward to getting back to France to start enjoying the markets and restaurants again.