Tag Archives: Le Logis de la Cadène

Wine and dine your way through the Bordeaux vines.

In 2016 I posted about the Chateaux in Bordeaux opening restaurants to better showcase their wines. Given their success, and the increased sophistication of wine tourism in Bordeaux, more properties have since joined the party so here are a few updates of not-to-miss dining opportunities on your next Bordeaux wine tour.

Château Troplong Mondot opened the Les Belles Perdrix restaurant in 2012 when the chateau started offering casual dining for guests staying in their guest rooms. Chef David Charrier was awarded his first Michelin star in 2016. Under new ownership and management since 2017, the cellars and the restaurant are undergoing a complete renovation and will reopen the stunning terrace with some of the best views in the region, in 2021. In the meantime, you can sample Charrier’s cuisine if you book a tour of the vineyards. The sommelière, Celine, will take you on a tour through the vines in their Landrover to finish with a tasting of five wines accompanied by delicious ‘amuses bouches’ created by the chef.

Troplong defender

Rather than create a restaurant at the property,  Chateau Angelus, purchased  Le Logis de La Cadène in 2013, one of Saint Emilion’s oldest restaurants in the heart of the medieval town.  They won a Michelin star in 2017 thanks to the skill of chef Alexandre Baumard. It too, has a wonderful shady terrace for sunny days but a word of warning – wear sensible shoes, as it’s half way down a very steep slope!   You can also sample their cuisine on the go, this June they opened Les Paniers du Logis, a fast food outlet with a difference. All the meals are home-made; from local products and served in reusable glass bocaux (big jam jars), including delicious desserts, pates jams and of course bottles of wine.

Paniers du logis

Sauternes has now joined the party. This year saw the opening of the Lalique Hotel in Chateau Lafaurie Peyraguey. Under the new ownership of Sylvio Denz, the hotel opened in June this year – a 400th birthday present to the estate.

Jérôme Schilling, the former executive chef of Villa René Lalique, (two Michelin stars) runs the restaurant. Given the quality of both the cuisine and the service a Michelin star must surely be on its way. The rooms are beautiful too, so don’t worry about driving home; have that last glass of Sauternes!

Château-Lafaurie-Peyraguey-©Deepix-4-1920x1018

The foodie revolution in Sauternes started at the beginning of the year  with the opening of La Chapelle, a restaurant in the beautiful old chapel of Chateau Guiraud. As well as Château Guiraud by the glass, they have a really good selection of half bottles of Sauternes and Barsac on the wine list, a great way to taste your way across the appellation.

Malrome

Just across the Garonne is the Entre deux Mers, sadly overlooked by wine tourists, but the restaurant at Chateau Malromé might just be the thing to get them there. Chateau Malromé is famous for the previous owners; the family of Toulouse Lautrec. The impressive 16th century chateau has been completely renovated by the Huynh family and continues to welcome visitors to discover the home of the artist as well as the wines. The contemporary restaurant Adele by Darroze in partnership with neighboring Langon institution Maison Claude Darroze.  Opened in the chateau earlier this year it has a beautiful terrace off the main courtyard (we do like alfresco dining in Bordeaux!). Managed by Jean-Charles Darroze with Chef Sébastien Piniello the modern setting is perfect for a cuisine that reflects both local and Asian influences of the two families.

From here you can head back towards Bordeaux through the Cadillac region. This area, known for it’s sweet white wines, has vineyards that roll down steep slopes on the right bank of the Garonne River. At the top of one of these slopes look out for La Cabane dans les Vignes; a lovely wooden chalet dominating the most spectacular view of the Garonne valley amongst the organic vines of Chateau Bessan. Sibelle and Mathieu Verdier built this cabane so guests could taste their wines and enjoy the sunset – you can too now. Book ahead on Friday and Saturday evenings to taste their wines alongside tasting plates and enjoy the breath-taking views.

Cabane

Then there is the Medoc. I have previously mentioned Michelin starred Cordeillan Bages and the more relaxed brasserie Café Lavinal in the villages of Bages but if you want a light lunch in a unique setting you should call in to Chateau Marquis d’Alesme in Margaux. This classified growth, right at the heart of the village of Margaux, was purchased by the Perrodo family in 2006 who already owned Chateau Labegorce. Or at least they purchased the vines, the original chateau remaining in the hands of the previous owners. Starting from scratch to build a functional but beautiful winery, again inspired by their dual Chinese and French heritage, they decided to share their passion not just through the cellars and wine but also through a relaxed restaurant. Tucked away in the Hameau of la Folie d’Alesme, light plates of local specialities accompany a by-the-glass and by-the-bottle selection of the property’s wines including a not-to-be-missed chocolate and wine pairing.

Chocolate ar Marquis d'alesme

If you are passing through Bordeaux and can’t make it to the vines (shame on you) the vines can come to you. Chateau Lestrille, a family vineyard in the Entre Deux Mers region, has its own wine bar in the heart of old Bordeaux. The dynamic owner, Estelle Rummage, opened the chateau to tourism years ago and now she has opened the wine bar Un Château en Ville’ to serve and sell her wines to the city dwellers and visitors. She produces a complete range from white and red to rose and also bag in box – there’s plenty to choose from, accompanied by tasting plates from oyster to cold cuts, toasties and cheese plates.

Chtx en ville

If you prefer grand cuisine there is La Grand Maison; the hotel and restaurant that really is a chateau in the city belonging to wine magnate Bernard Magrez. The excellent cuisine of this two Michelin star restaurant is created by Jean-Denis Le Bras under the watchful eye of Pierre Gagnaire.

London friends, if you can’t make it to Bordeaux, Bordeaux can come to you. Clarette opened in the spring of 2017, in a beautiful half timbered Marylebone townhouse, Clarette is the project of a young generation of wine lovers with deep Bordeaux roots: Alexandra Petit, of the Château Margaux family and restaurateur Natsuko Perromat du Marais (the Perromat family are from the Graves) are in partnership with Thibault Pontallier, son of the much missed director of Château Margaux, Paul Pontallier. Go for its relaxed, fun atmosphere and stay for the excellent by-the-glass wine list.

Clarette outside

Clarette by night

Another Bordeaux first growth in London is Château Latour. The smart private club; Ten Trinity Square has a Château Latour Discovery Room and dining room allowing punters to taste a unique collection of Chateau Latour by the glass as well as by the bottle, all accompanied by the cuisine of Anne-Sophie Pic who also has her La Dame de Pic  restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel in the building.

Thanks to a recent tweet from fellow Bordeaux insider Jane Anson I have just learned there’s another one to add to the list: Boyds Grill and Wine Bar linked with Château Boyd Cantenac in Margaux. More research needs to be done – who’s with me?

 

 

 

 

 

All change in and around Bordeaux in the restaurant line up.

The Michelin star accolades that arrive in February each year are a sign of the times, none more so than in and around Bordeaux, where there were a few surprises this year. So if you plan your wine tourism around places to eat (which sounds like plan to me) here’s a quick update.

It’s been a game of musical chairs in the Bordeaux gastro scene. On the move this spring is the Michelin stared chef Nicolas Frion, who has presided over the kitchens of Le Chapon Fin for the last 11 years. The iconic Chapon Fin is a Bordeaux Institution (and probably still my favourite smart place to dine in Bordeaux city). It first opened its doors in 1825 and has kept its Michelin star in this year’s ratings along with Le Septième Péché, Le Gabriel and Le Pavillon des Boulevards in Bordeaux, and in the oustskirts of Bordeaux, Le Saint-James
in Bouillac, La Cape in Cenon and Jean-Marie Amat
 in Lormont.

Although the restaurant retains his name, Jean-Marie Amat re-opened in March under the young chef Vivien Durant, big shoes to fill but he was hand picked by the maestro so I’m optimistic.

Le Pressoir d’Argent at The Grand Hotel de Bordeaux lost its star with the departure of Pascal Nibaudeau for the Pinasse Café en Cap Ferret. Stéphane Carrade from la Guérinière in Arcachon has taken his place (told you it was musical chairs!) although Stéphane previous held 2 Michelin stars at Chez Ruffet in Jurançon.

Chef Stephane Carrade from Le Pressoir d'Argent at Le Grand Hotel

Chef Stephane Carrade from Le Pressoir d’Argent at Le Grand Hotel

Outside of the city La Grande Vigne Restaurant at Les Sources de Caudalie kept their star and the hotel is adding to their gastro offer this summer with a new ‘epicierie-bar’, alongside 12 new suites all built, Arcachon style, on stilts.

Further south, in Sauternes country, the fourth generation of the Darroze family kept their star at  Claude Darroze in Langon whereas in and around Saint Emilion is also a hotbed of changes. After the departure of Philippe Etchebest from l’Hostellerie de Plaisance, it was no great surprise that they lost both their Michelin stars. Philippe, despite his recent TV stardom, is hopefully not lost to the region as rumour has it he is opening his own restaurant in Bordeaux. After 10 years working with the Perse family, who are also the owners of the recently promoted 1st growth Château Pavie, and gaining 2 stars, he has been replaced by a fellow Basque Cédric Béchade, who was launched onto the Bordeaux scene at the start of this primeur week with a gala dinner at Château Pavie.

Not to be outdone in the gastro stakes, Château Angelus has also announced their purchase of Saint Emilion institution Le Logis de la Cadène. This picturesque restaurant is one of the favourite haunts of locals, despite being on one of the most treacherously slippery slopes of the medieval town. Christophe Gaudi now manages it and the kitchen has been taken over by the young Alexander Baard. Come and test his talents out this summer before they close for a complete renovation of the guests rooms this winter.

On the outskirts of Saint Emilion the little known but increasing popular Cafe Cuisine, on the banks of the Dordogne River in Branne, has renovated their dining room to become a trendy spot for locals. Further upstream, The Auberge Saint Jean in Saint Jean de Blaignac has won its first Michelin star after continued improvement since 2010 when it was taken over by Manuela and Thomas L’Hérisson.

Head out even further east into the Dordogne to the beautiful golf and country club, Chateau des Vigiers, where chef Didier Casaguana of Les Fresques Restaurant has just won his first Michelin star too.

The beautiful Chateau des Vigiers

The beautiful Chateau des Vigiers

Now even the most seasoned visitors to the region have plenty of new places and chefs to try this season.