La Maison d’à Côté. Photo credit: © ViaMichelin 2017

Five foodie favourites that you need to know about

At Belle France we believe that a holiday is not a holiday without a food and wine dimension. After some gentle walking or a little leisurely cycling and perhaps taking in a chateau or two… you can relax with a tempting menu combined with a tantalising wine list. It is the perfect way to round off the day’s adventures.

And where better to do this than the Loire Valley, synonymous with some of the world’s finest produce and top notch wines. Here’s our Top Five foodie hotspots – not necessarily offering the finest Michelin-style experience but simply outstandingly good food.

La Maison d’à Côté – Montlivault

Bedecked with Michelin stars, this restaurant is not far from the vast estate of Chambord. Amid well thought out but relatively plain surroundings, it offers an enticing blend of contemporary dishes based on traditional principles – local provenance, seasonality and a focus on, well, the food.

Try the Carpe de Loire ‘à la Chambord’ with truffles, shrimps and Cheverny wine sauce.

L’Aigle d’Or. Photo credit © L’Aigle d’Or

L’Aigle d’Or – Azay-le-Rideau

Contemporary French cooking, confidently presented with real flair and an artistic touch. The atmosphere inside is warm and inviting, while outside is a gravelled terrace in an attractive garden with plenty of tables for eating en plein air. The menu prix-fixe is worth investigating, with some tempting combinations at very good prices.

Try the roasted sea bass fillet with Tourraine saffron and wild rice.

Casse-Cailloux. Photo credit © Casse-Cailloux

Casse-Cailloux – Tours

Describing itself as a ‘bistrot gourmand’, this is a fair description and you get what you would expect: an informal, friendly ambience, casual surroundings, excellent value. This may be one of the most popular restaurants in Tours but don’t expect old school French cuisine here. No linen table cloths, no imperious sommeliers. The menu here changes regularly, governed by the availability of local produce and season.

Try the roasted duckling with sesame and sweet potato purée.

Auberge du Cheval Rouge. Photo © Auberge du Cheval Rouge

Auberge du Cheval Rouge – Chisseaux

This is high class French cuisine at fair prices. Not far from Chenonceaux, it has to compete and does so convincingly, offering innovative dishes and combinations of flavours that are a delight. Décor is pleasant, low-key and welcoming while outside is a garden with tables set on raised decking under plenty of lush shade.

Try the filet mignon de Roi Rose (local pork) with courgettes stuffed with marrow bone and garlic cream.

Les Années Trente. Photo © ViaMichelin 2017

Les Années Trente – Chinon

Within the 16th century building, culinary alchemy is achieved. This is the epitome of a regional French restaurant of real quality: a handsome building, inviting menu and food served with flair. It’s tucked away beneath its imposing neighbour, the Château Chinon and offers good value fixed price menus.

Try the escalope de foie gras chaud et filet de pigeon roti avec Marsala et raisins au miel.

With a swirl and a sniff

Choose from crisp zingy whites: Sauvignons like Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, or a softer Chenin Blanc Anjou or Vouvray. Reds come in all weights from the gutsy, chunky Bourgeuil to the Cabernet Franc wines like Saumur Champigny, often served slightly chilled.

We offer seven walking and cycling holidays in the Loire region.

And for a limited time, you can discover the Loire for less. SAVE £100 per person when you book any of our Loire holidays when you book before April 30th.

Terms and conditions apply, visit our website.

The authentic French holiday specialist since 1986

Belle France specialises in providing authentic walking and cycling holidays in France and has done for over 30 years. Stay in the best hotels, eat in the best restaurants and explore the best of France.

• Easy going itineraries
• Travel at your own pace
• Tailor your holiday to suit you – visit any of the featured restaurants, add extra nights or bespoke routes.
• Character hotels with a warm welcome, excellent food and a comfy bed
• Regional menu with local dishes
• Luggage transferred between hotels for you

For more information visit: bellefrance.com or call us on +44(0)1580 214 010

You can request a postal brochure or you can download an online version.

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