Last month I enjoyed my first holiday to France; looking forward to a culinary adventure I couldn’t be more excited to be heading to La Croix Du Vieux Pont, a quaint and sleepy town 40 minutes outside of Paris – our base for exploring wine country and a lesson in French cuisine.
Having recovered from the 4am wakeup call the day before and full-on pain au chocolat, croissants and fresh coffee we headed to Pierrefonds on the southeast edge of the Forest of Compiègne, which lies north east of Paris, between Villers-Cotterêts and Compiègne. The traditional French town is overlooked by Chateau de Pierrefonds – fans of the BBC Merlin series may recognise it as Camelot!
The main square is a mixture of bustling restaurants and independent bakeries, butchers, delis, patisseries – if you ever visit you are in for a treat! After a morning exploring vintage shops and the chateau, we headed to Le Commerce – a restaurant in the square where customers could enjoy some welcome shade and eat alfresco. One thing we learnt in France very quickly is that you’ll pay more for a soft drink than a glass of wine, a glass of champagne costing just €5.50! Happy beans in deed, which softened the blow of the restaurant’s famed seafood platters – a wallet busting €90 per person!
Determined not to miss out on some traditional French fayre we opted for moules frite and Croque Madame and we weren’t disappointed. Cooked in a light white wine sauce we were presented with the biggest bowl of fresh mussels and crispy French fries and the Croque Madame a cheesy, creamy sensation of ham, crispy cheese and egg topped with Béchamel sauce – sometimes the best dishes are the simplest and this couldn’t have been more true! After lunch we headed to the shops to sample the freshly sourced and local delicacies…pates, macaroons, saucissons, our favourites French cheese – brie, emmental and of course champagne!
I’d recommend Pierrefonds to anyone who enjoys wandering around beautiful architecture while sampling the local delights – my favourite type of holiday! Just be prepared to sacrifice your waistline in the process!
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