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Auberge des Baronnies

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In 2016, Julie Marchand and William Morin, a training consultant and chef of an anonymous Lille bistro respectively, left the Hauts-de-France for the Hautes-Alpes. You’ll now find them along the highway in a communal inn with a normcore look (plastic tables, Formica bar, bay windows in the versatile dining room), where the escapees welcome in the crowds with cuisine that has plenty of character. Just take the small lunch menu for €19, which that day included: a cream of sun-dried tomatoes, intensified by strips of anchovies from Collioure and topped with a burrata and sage mousse – or a fresh pea cream and asparagus sorbet; tender Sisteron lamb sweetbreads in a Parmesan sauce, paired with smoked new potatoes and zucchini sautéed with shallots; before a warm guanaja chocolate tartelette, with almond cream and chocolate ice cream. At night, things get taken up a notch: an œuf parfait with lavender mousse; Ospital punta de lomo smoked over juniper; a trompe-l’oeil lemon dessert… To drink, there are a few good finds: a Coteaux-des-Baronnies white from Le Mas Sylvia (€3.50), a Cairanne from Rabasse-Charavin (€28 a bottle) or a rare Mollard from the Domaine du Petit Août in the Hautes-Alpes (€23). Set menus €15-19 (weekday lunch except in July and August), à la carte €25-35. Rooms starting at €90 a night. // G.D.

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