Les Jardins de la Matz? Take the second left after the fortified tower, and when you see the old freestone farmhouse transformed into a guest house, surrounded by a permaculture vegetable garden overlooking the wheat fields… you’re there! All that was missing to complete this Eden on the banks of the Rance? A restaurant, dreamt up by Caroline Causse, a former Parisian PR turned chef/market gardener. In the kitchen, she effortlessly whips up things like gently blistered cherry tomatoes lounging in a lemony yogurt, or a summer vegetable carpaccio with samphire and pickled rhubarb. What else? Perfectly seared octopus served with beets, new potatoes and black rice with a bit of bite, bathing in an astonishing mussel jus, before ending with some delicate buckwheat, honey and buttermilk ice cream, with a cookie and summer berries from the orchard on top. And after that, fill your totes with herbal teas and honey produced at the farm, or, even better, stay the night on site! // Catherine Jamon
FEELING THIRSTY? Nature at its finest: sparkling elderflower from artisanal lemonade makers Médithévin (€5 for 330 ml), a Touraine Chenin from Jennifer Bariou and Thibaut Bodet (€29 a bottle) or a southern red from Marc Castan at the Domaine Mamaruta (€35), as well as wine by the glass (€5.50 to €8).
PRICE: Menu €39 (four courses), cheese + €4.
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