Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Recommended eating places in Eastern Touraine (part 2)

Mareuil-sur-Cher and Bléré

Ferme Auberge de la Lionnière
This lovely ferme auberge offers a warm welcome, simple good food, great value and is particularly recommended.

Run by Frédéric and Françoise Bouland the cost of the menu varies between €19 and €23 depending upon what main courses are available on the day. This brings you a salad to start, an entrée, main course, cheese and dessert. On public holidays the menu is €24. Since they are producers of goats’ cheese, goat and their cheese features on the menu. Since they are producers of goats’ cheese, goat and their cheese features on the menu. Their repetoire includes chèvres braisées au sauvignon, chevreau ail et moutard, canard aux rutabagas, agneau en côtes ou en gigots, navarin d'agneau aux petits legumes, poulet grand-mère aux champignons de Mareuil and coq au Sauvignon.

Three local wine producers – Clos Roche Blanche, Domaine de la Mechinière and Jean-Christophe Mandard – feature on the short wine list. They have two chambres d’hôtes and you can also buy their delicious goats’ cheese to take away with you. Booking advised as this restaurant is deservedly popular.

La Lionnière is open every day in July and August. During the winter only Saturday and Sunday lunchtime, otherwise during the ‘middle season’ open every day except for Sunday night and Monday. Open for groups every day throughout the year. Access is off the road from Cére-le-Ronde and St Aignan. Be warned that they don’t take credit cards, payment by cheque or cash – the nearest ATM machine is in Saint-Aignan around five miles away.

1 Rue de la Lionnière, 41110 Mareuil-sur-Cher
Tel: 02.54 75.24.99; fax:

Carnival time in Bléré April 2007: musicians
in front of the Cheval Blanc

Le Cheval Blanc, Bléré
This hotel/restaurant has recently changed hands with the long-serving Blériots retiring. The rooms are reasonably priced and the cooking has always been good (Michelin star) but Mme Blériot’s habitual glacial welcome deterred me from going back. No matter how many times we went it was always as though it was our first visit. I’m not looking for a fawning welcome but some recognition that you have already eaten in the restaurant and welcome when you arrive is surely part of being a restaurateur. Also the service wasn’t up to a Michelin star standard.

Now, under the new owners, (Hélène et Fabrice Tavernier) smiles are back and the service is much more efficient. During the week (Tuesday to Friday) two courses (entrée and main dish) are €22 with a €7 supplement for dessert.

Place de l'Eglise - 37150 Bléré

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