After our tour of Chateau d’Yquem we were ready for some lunch so we made the short drive over to the village of Sauternes.
We arrived in the village just as a bus full of people pulled up and headed towards the restaurant we were looking at – not wanting to get tangled up with a large group we wandered on and soon came across Auberge les Vignes
The restaurant was empty as it had just opened when we arrived, but we were welcomed by a roaring fire and a friendly host, and 15 minutes later most of the tables were occupied. We didn’t have a reservation but I image you would need one in peak season
As it was lunchtime, we opted for a demi (half) bottle of white wine – just enough for a glass each
A huge bowl of olives was brought to the table whilst we perused the menu
As is the norm in France, there were three different ‘formules’ or set menus to choose from, along with the a la carte. Each of the set menus had a short list of dishes to choose from and the one we fancied the most was the mid-priced formule consisting of starter, main & dessert.
For starters we both chose the fois gras which came with a warm skewer of grapes marinated in Sauternes wine. The grapes served as a sort of ‘chutney’ element and provided a nice fruity contrast to the fois gras, preventing it from feeling too heavy. The slices of fois gras were so smooth and deliciously rich, and really quite big – too big for the single piece of bread we were given at first – so we asked for a little more bread and it was swiftly brought to the table
For mains the husband went for the entrecote steak which was perfectly cooked ‘a point’ (medium rare) over the hot coals of the open fire, and served with salty crunchy fries
I chose the ‘souris d’Agneau confite’, which was a gorgeous confit lamb shank. I’ve had confit duck many times but never lamb and it was a lovely change. The flavour was really deep and intense and the meat just fell off the bone
The accompanying autumn vegetable curry was hearty despite the sauce being quite thin. It had a good selection of chunky fresh vegetables including carrotts, broccoli, cabbage & potato, and had a lovely mellow curry flavour with a hint of cinnamon – a perfect dish for a cold gloomy day
Dessert was an individual fig tart with vanilla ice cream – the lightest flaky pastry was topped with fine slices of fresh sweet fig, drizzled with syrup, sprinkled with chopped nuts and dusted with icing sugar – perfection! A glass of Sauternes was the perfect choice to accompany dessert – nearly every other diner in the restaurant seemed to be drinking Sauternes with their entire meal, something I’m not sure I’d be able to do due to it’s sweetness
We finished the meal with an espresso and set off on the short journey to check into our hotel
Auberge les Vignes was the perfect choice for a cold autumn day lunch, but they also have outdoor seating so I imagine a summer lunch in the sunshine would be just as lovely!
If you’re in the area it’s definitely worh a stop off
Link to their website is here