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  • Writer's picturePenny

Our Top Ten Restaurants (so far!)

French food

The south west of France is well known for its high quality food and wine. In this area of Gironde there are simply too many good restaurants to choose from, and more Michelin starred restaurants than your appetite (and wallet) can keep up with. To help our guests, as well as all fellow food lovers in the area, we’ve picked out our top ten restaurant recommendations. From local cosy cooking to extravagant eats, in no particular order, dig in and bon appétit!

*We recommend checking the opening times and booking ahead to avoid disappointment - you can find the links to each restaurant by hovering over and clicking on the restaurant name.

**Any prices mentioned are prices advertised online at the time of writing (July 2022).

1) Au Four de la Rive, Mouliets-et-Villemartin

Au Four de la Rive, located in a quiet spot on the banks of the Dordogne, has such a cool ambience that you will be tempted to stay all day to relax and watch the river views. The restaurant is open every day for lunch and dinner but we highly recommend going on a Thursday evening when they play live piano music. Throughout the summer they also host various events - check their instagram for more info.

Aside from the great vibes, the food is delicious, with a good range of vegetarian dishes, as well as fish and meat - try the Côte de Boeuf between two for a special treat.

Au Four de la Rive is located in Mouliets-et-Villemartin, just a short 15 minutes drive from Cousserat. A three-course menu is around 24-32€.

2) Café du Midi, Soussac

Locally owned and locally run by the very friendly Stéphane and his wife, Sandrine. Lunchtimes are usually packed out with local office and manual workers - a sure sign of good grub! They offer a menu de jour only menu, so there isn’t a choice other than what’s cooking on the day, but this makes it all the more fun! Whatever is on the menu though, you are guaranteed some superbly authentic French home cooking.

Café du Midi is only 1 mile from Cousserat Holiday Homes, so you can take a leisurely stroll back home, taking in the wonderful vineyard views. This ‘café’/bar is only open on certain days and evenings (see their website for more details). A three-course lunch menu is just 14€, with Saturdays and evenings priced at a little extra.

3) Château de Sanse, Sainte-Radegonde

This restaurant/hotel sits on a hillside and has a terrace that overlooks the surrounding countryside and vineyards. You can soak up the amazing views with a relaxing lunch, where the dishes are as beautiful as the vineyard views.

Château de Sanse is open in the evenings but lunch service is Thursdays - Sundays only. It is a short 5-10 minute drive from Cousserat, so a great option if you want to stay local to your holiday gîte.

4) L’Atelier de Candale, Saint Émilion

Nestled in the Château Candale vineyards with beautiful views from the terrace, L’Atelier de Candale serves with a focus on locally and seasonally produced food. Their three-course lunch menu is from 28€ - 38€ and there are special offers on wine tasting tours, followed by a meal at the restaurant.

It’s about 20 minutes from Cousserat Holiday Homes and 5 minutes from Saint Émilion - a great choice if you are having a day out in Saint Émilion.

5) XIII Clochers, Monteton

We love this restaurant, mainly for the amazing views from the terrace (notice a theme? - the beautiful landscapes of South West France must be soaked up with good French food and wine!) We also love XIII Clochers for the fantastic food and ultimately, for the owner who is friendly with a fun sense of humour to add to the occasion.

A three-course menu du jour with a choice of two starters, two mains and two desserts will cost about 15€. The restaurant is located in the village of Monteton and is around 25-30 minute drive from Cousserat. It is not far from Duras and Eymet, so it is a perfect place to stop for lunch after visiting one of the markets.

A fabulous Michelin starred restaurant set in the charming Château des Vigiers hotel and golf venue. Les Fresques, with chef Dider Casaguana, has held its star since 2014 and takes great pride in celebrating the best of local produce. There is a 3-course set lunch menu for 55€, or go for something special and try one of the chef’s tastings from 77€ - 117€.

For something a little more laid-back, Château des Vigiers also hosts ‘The Pub’ Le Bistrot des Vigiers which serves a lunch menu from 28€.

Château des Vigiers is about 30 minutes from Cousserat and a further 30 minutes to Bergerac - so why not take the scenic route to town, or stop off for lunch after some wine tasting in the Bergerac region?

7) L’Ardoise, Pessac-sur-Dordogne

We’ve only been once (we must change this soon!) but were very impressed indeed. L’Ardoise is in a lovely situation next to the Dordogne River with seating inside and out - the inside is fully air conditioned too, perfect for when the weather is extreme.

The lunch menu is from 39€, with an ample selection. As always, the dishes are beautifully and creatively presented. Superb!

8) Côté Bastide, Sainte-Foy-La-Grande

This little and unassuming restaurant is well worth the visit. It has received the Bib Gourmand for good quality and good value - so good in fact that one of our guests went twice in one week! It’s a great way to spend a lunch time after visiting the Saturday morning market at Sainte-Foy-La-Grande.

Côté Bastide is located in the centre of Sainte-Foy-La-Grande which is around 25 minutes from us. It’s closed on Sundays, Mondays and Bank Holidays.

9) L’Auberge Saint Jean, Saint Jean de Blaignac

This is another exceptional restaurant on the banks of the Dordogne River in a spectacular setting. We came here for a 5-course taster lunch with wine just before the first lockdown for Mike’s birthday treat. We were really well looked after and the team are so passionate about their work. The chef’s name, Thomas L’Hérrison means ‘hedgehog’ in French and it was really special to see him put his name on his dishes with the delicious hedgehog dessert.

Obviously, the cost was at Michelin star level but well worth it (75€ for the 5 courses, the lunch menu is 40€). L’Auberge Saint Jean is around 20 minutes from Cousserat on the scenic route towards Saint Émilion. It’s also not too far from Rauzan which is a little village, known for its brocante and vide-greniers.

10) Le Grand Barrail, Saint Émilion

Delicately presented plates certainly match the surroundings of Le Grand Barrail, which hosts a truly magnificent interior featuring art deco glass windows. The food is as tasty as it looks too and you can enjoy it all with a superb lunch menu for 38€.

Le Grand Barrail is in Saint Émilion, about 25 minutes from our holiday homes, so another great choice if you are planning a day trip to Saint Émilion.

So, until your stay with us here at Cousserat, here is a little something to whet your appetite…

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