Nature is like jam: the more you have, the better it tastes! The proof can be found sevenfold in this former village train station hotel, given a fabulous makeover by Arthur Jarreau, Marion Meurnier, Corentin Vincent, Ludovic Camba, chefs Mario Sultan and Lucie Vailler (all of whom used to work at Bieristan in Villeurbanne), and chef Thomas Brunol (ex-Ravigote and Têtedoie in Lyon and Radicelle in Annonay), who share a dedication to local and sustainable practices. Auberge de Boffres wears many hats: it’s a cool, organic restaurant, natural wine shop, fine foods shop, rural co-working space, post office and soon-to-be bed & breakfast all at once, and it’s rekindling the embers of locavore cuisine! Straight from the wood-fired kitchen the day we went for lunch: plump potato cream topped with a chard and smoked lardon salad; chunky roasted beets with fresh goat cheese, mizuna shoots, oyster mushrooms and pickled red meat radishes; pork loin from pigs raised ethically by Monsieur Boyrel, paired with golden ball turnips, spinach and crushed hazelnuts, all simmered in a miso-infused jus de volaille; before a roasted pear paired with an incredible salted caramel and miso streusel. We recommend returning on a Sunday evening for pizza at the former covered market that has been transformed into the Auberge’s personal terrace, with spectacular views of the valley below. // Irma Trochet
FEELING THIRSTY? There’s ultra-natural wine from their terroir-centric collection: a Rhone white from the Domaine de Lumian (€2.50 a glass), a Tarn white from the young Grégoire Aubrun (€23 a bottle) and a red blend from Laurent Battist (€21), which you can grab directly from the cellar. Unless you’d rather something with a bit more of a frothy foam, like a blonde ale on tap from La Machine (€2.80 for a half-pint) or a passion fruit Berliner Weisse from the neighboring Haarddrëch brewery (€6.50 for 330 ml).
PRICE: Set menus €15-19, sandwiches starting at €5 (weekdays at lunch), tapas starting at €5 (weeknights at dinner), à la carte €27.50 to €31.50 (Saturday and Sunday at lunch), pizzas €12 (€10 to go on Sunday nights).