In beautiful weather, Sunday is the perfect day for an excellent lunch in France. It’s a tradition, and who are we to break with tradition?
So off we went to the tiny hamlet of Anglars-Juillac, and a perfect little resort called Hostellerie Clau del Loup. This is a little more than 40 kilometres from Daglan, and is reached by driving along winding roads through field and forest, through the village of Cazals, past the turn-off to Les Arques — home of the wonderful restaurant La Récreation — and finally along the valley of the Lot River. It’s the start of the vineyards of the Cahors region (known for its deep purple, almost inky red wines), and it’s beautiful. Here is how it looks from the parking lot of the Hostellerie:
The Hostellerie has small but well-kept grounds, with a nice-sized covered swimming pool, an outdoor terrace, and a tasteful restaurant. Here is how it looks from the grounds in the rear:
The lunch was excellent, from the service to the food to the visit with M. Le Chef afterwards. We began with the almost inevitable kirs, and proceeded to the entrées — escargots on a bed of leeks for my wife, and a trio of seafood in a rich langoustine sauce for me (a scallop, a piece of monkfish, a small filet of sea bass). Then another seafood course for me — three large shrimp that had been sauteed in a touch of Scotch. Delicious.
As main courses, my wife had pieces of monkfish cooked in a provencal style, while I had a filet of cod with orange segments. Throughout all this, we enjoyed an excellent bottle of Sancerre. And then for dessert, a simple bowl of sherbet for my wife, and a “surprise” dessert for me — layers of black truffle ice cream with shortbread cookies (also studded with truffle bits) plus a touch of whipped cream and a fruit coulis. It looked like this:
After all this, we decided it would be pleasant — not to mention wise — to have a snooze outside in the sunshine, by the pool, before driving home. And so we did.