Our first visit the Poitou-Charente area was in early January 2016. Our aim that long weekend was to find somewhere we could rent. We immediately fell in love with the Charente and the property we now live in and all other viewings were mostly cancelled or were very quick.
That gave us some time to explore the area further. A quick look on the viamichelin.com website and we found a Michelin starred restaurant situated near Jarnac and, more importantly for me, close to what is now our nearest golf course at Golf du Cognac.
We had a lovely that day lunch at La Ribaudière. It was a foul day and like the UK the area had had a huge amount of rainfall in the previous weeks. The banks of the Charente were close to breaking point but it didn’t interrupt our meal.
Fast forward nine months later and we decided one Friday to have a lunch date. La Ribauldière felt like the obvious choice.
It’s a gorgeous drive through the heart of Cognac’s vineyards. We skirted the area of Segonzac, which apparently grow the most prestigious grapes of the Cognac area. “The Grand Champagne” which is used in the finest Cognacs and nothing to do with fizzy wine production!
As you can see from the photos below the weather was very different than back in January, with a couple of small cruising boats pulling up on the bank for lunch.
The nibbles we had with our aperitifs and the amuse bouche and set the tone for a lovely meal using ingredients from the chef’s own garden and local suppliers.
Here are a few photos of our seven-course tasting menu, the highlight being the langoustine ravioli in lobster sauce.
Foie Gras with Smoked Eel & Asparagus
Langoustine Ravioli with a Creamy Lobster Sauce
Spicy Lamb with a date sauce
Roasted Cod with Saffron Risotto
A fantastic “chariot de fromage” was served, followed by two sublime desserts
On the way home we had a little diversion through Jarnac past the Courvoisier Cognac House.
I cant recommend La Ribauldière enough. It’s seriously good value for a michelin starred restaurant. Compared to the UK, prices are 20% cheaper and thats before you take into account that every french restaurant must include service charge in their advertised price, which saves another 10%-12.5%
La Ribaudiere http://www.laribaudiere.com
Bon Appetit et A bientôt