For far too long, Daglan has had no café or bar — a place where bicycle riders and other tourists, not to mention villagers, could order a drink without having to buy food. We have two restaurants, but they are required to provide meals with any alcoholic drinks that customers order. But the situation is about to change.
In the past, Daglan had Le Thé Vert at the south end of the village (in the direction of St. Pompon), which offered meals but also a terrace where you could order a coffee or cold drink or ice cream. But the tea room closed when owners Judith and Paul moved to Scotland; their large renovated home is now, once again, a home.
When Jan and I bought our Daglan home in 2004, L’Auberge de Céou (almost straight across the road from Le Thé Vert) was still operating as a hotel, restaurant and bar; but it soon closed. Then there was a succession of owners, none very successful. At its peak, the Café de la Fleur (as it came to be called) served not-very-good food but at least offered a terrace where people could gather and enjoy an afternoon drink. The building has been vacant for quite some time — a particular shame, since it’s one of the first things you see as you enter Daglan on the main road that crosses the Céou River.
Now comes Fabrice Lemonnier, the chef whose La Cantine operates in the very centre of the village, just metres from the Mayor’s office. I last wrote about the restaurant on April 5, in the posting “A nice surprise at Daglan’s La Cantine.”
Planned to open this week is Chef Lemonnier’s new venture, L’Annexe. It’s located roughly in-between the locations of Le Thé Vert and Café de la Fleur, in a disused building.
The plan is for L’Annexe to offer a completely casual eating and drinking experience. L’Annexe has been granted a Licence IV, which means it can offer bar service, so that customers will not need to order food. But there will be food on offer — easy dishes like tapas, burgers, pizzas, and ice cream.
Here’s a look at the front of the café, on the main road that eventually leads to St. Pompon:
At the back of the café is a large area fitted with picnic tables, some on gravel, and some on grass. The idea is that customers can carry their refreshments out of the café and plunk down at a table. In the sunshine (which we’re getting a lot of), this should be fairly delightful. Fingers are crossed that all goes well.
In other food news: Loyal readers of Radio Free Daglan will know at least two things about me: I spent most of my life in Toronto, and my wife and I love fine dining. In fact, the word “Michelin” may be one of the most common company names in all my postings.
And now we’ve learned that the Michelin guide is being launched in Canada for the first time, with a guide to the restaurants of Toronto. The official announcement is planned for Tuesday, with celebrity chef Daniel Boulud (owner of a starred restaurant) taking part in the ceremony. My friend Dave in Toronto has predicted that two of his favourite restaurants, Alo and George, are well positioned to be given a star. We shall see!