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Rupert writes;-

This is my big discovery of the season, have you been there?

Amazing location, best coquillages ever...Back to home

Etablissement Tarbouriech
Lieu dit Montpenedre
34340 Marseillan

Contact@ets-tarbouriech.com

Electric Barge

Ouvert tous les weekend de mai à octobre :

  • vendredi soir 19h30 - 22h00
  • Samedi et dimanche: 
    • 12h00 - 13h30
    • 19h30 - 22h00
http://www.lestbarth.com/

 

Phone:
Florie 06 10 79 49 85
Romain 06 15 47 98 46

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Bouzigues 

 

Situated on the landward side of the giant salt-water lagoon, the Etang (aitang) de Thau, Bouzigues is le Capital des Huitres (the Oyster Capital) of the Herault.  As such, it is a mecca for lovers of shellfish (almost certainly landed that day) with a plethora of restaurants serving oysters, mussels, etc.  Sète, the biggest fishing port on France's Mediterranean coast, is just across the lagoon so fresh fish is also a feature.

Most of the restaurants face the Etang and several are side by side.  My favourite is Restaurant le 29 which is about one hundred yards (towards Meze) from the many cheek-by-jowl choices on the waterfront. The welcome and the service from le patron, Eric Maurin, and his staff is particularly pleasant and then there is the food, as good or better than the rivals.

Obviously, the starters feature a choice of Plateaux de Fruits de Mer (selections of shellfish, from the pleasant to the exotic), and of individual shellfish (oysters, mussels, whelks, prawns, sea-snails, etc.). There are three menus  -   at 14.90 (not on jours fériés), 19 and 26 Euros.  All offer starters of a choice of a Plateau, , a delicious fish soup and, with the 19 and 26, interesting salads.  The main courses vary but always offer tasty shellfish and fish dishes and, perhaps, duck or entrecôte steak. Then there is the pleasant choice of puds.  A pleasant wine list is reasonably priced.

 

Restaurant le 29,              Tel:  04 30 72 33 85

29 Avenue Louis Tudesq,

34140 Bouzigues.

From Peter Kirwan
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Montpellier - the Beehive
“Great place ruined by a thief”

I really like the Beehive. The fish and chips are tasty as is the lamb burger. Other classic British dishes include a pasty and a Ploughman's. All very reasonable at around €10. You don't get a lot of chips but you do get malt vinegar to go on them. They serve a good Abbots Ale and other tasty beers, plus Guinness, and speciality beers in bottles. Happy hour is from 6-8pm when beer is at €4.50 a pint.

Unfortunately there's a thief operating in the pub. The week before I went the friend of a friend had her purse stolen, and when I went there I had my wallet and my Kindle stolen Both were returned to me the next day minus the cash as they were found behind the loo in the ladies.

As a pub I can recommend it but I won't be going back until they sort out the thieving.

Sarah

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ANIANE

Restaurant  l'Affenage,    Place de la Mairie,  Aniane.

                                          04 67 57 31 25  and  06 86 01 62 89 (reservations)

Besides interesting and pleasant food, the Affenage has that which is so often missing in French restauants  - ambience.  Voutéed with warm, coloured walls, its watercolours, brasses and porcelaine all combine to give it warmth and, as winter approaches, there is a log fire to cheer.

And then there is the food !  Graham and Ira Hughes, the owners, are British but all Graham's interesting, delicious and changing menus are based on old French recipés. There are menus at :-

Euros 22   (examples, Moules Provençal,  Confit de cuisse de canard grillée;  Filet de poulet à la sauce Roquefort)

Euros 26   (examples Bouchée à la sauce Roquefort, champignons et lardons;  Rognons de veau à la sauce moutarde, Magret de canard sauce au chocolat) 

Both have a choice of deliciously wicked puds.

They  also offer a menu of generous and tasty salads a la carte.

L'Affenage is not difficult to find but nor is it straightforward.  In the centre of Aniane and about 15O yards on the road towards Gignac is a large, cream building - Bar, PMU, Resto, le Pavilion.    Immediately opposite a wide road drops down to the mediaeval  Chappelle des Penitents.  Park thereabouts and walk up narrow road opposite for 40 yards to small Place de la Mairie (no parking).  L' Affenage is facing you.  If necessary, there is a large "parking" back on main road into town, on left. 

 

NO CREDIT CARDS    but a cash machine nearby.

 

Thanks Peter Kirwan for this review

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MONTAGNAC Cave Gourmande  4 Avenue Pierre Sirven 

 

LA CAVE GOURMOUNDE


Flavours of Italy are a speciality


This is aiming to be an Italian Trattoria

The Patron and cook David Roux aims at a tribute to Italian cuisine

 Welcoming and friendly and specialising in a simple and refined cuisine with high quality ingredients.

Of course Veal is a feature In dishes of variety and flair - escallop, kidney and liver, Risotto with asparagus tips and cooked meats direct from Italy

Carpaccio, fresh pasta with clams, a trilogy of pasta and to finish the meal or the indispensable gorgonzola chili Sardinian pecorino- not to forget the tiramisu or panna cotta to delight gourmands.

 Finally for wine lovers, THE GOURMET CELLAR offers a list of Italian regional wines.


Practical Information

Lunch weekdays, THE CELLAR offers a formule from €12.50 euros plus a la carte

Evenings and weekends, €19 menu and a la carte

Closed Monday and Tuesday

Parking  - easy on Esplanade

The terrace behind is open from 15 May to 15 September

Aircon

 

RESTAURANT LA CAVE GOURMANDE

4 avenue pierre sirven(rn 113)

34530 MONTAGNAC

tel : 04.67.89.67.72

http://www.lacavegourmande-restaurant.com

 

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Colombieres sur Orb - Domaine de Rodié.

 

Dear Sir, madam

After successfully using your site several times to find new dining  experiences  I must share with you one that we have discovered on a recent trip to the area.

After actually getting lost we came across a restaurant in an amazing location in Colombieres sur Orb called Domaine de Rodié.

The food was delicious and fresh, service was extremely friendly and efficient and we were made to feel at home the minute we arrived. The atmosphere was truly amazing.

I highly recommend this restaurant : www.domainederodie.com

Yours

Deena Sims

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BEZIERS

It is easy to scoff at the modernity of the Polygone but now it has bedded in it is a good place to eat with a view, and to shop and park without all that looking for spaces.

 

 

If you like Japanese food - one of the many eating places on the roof of the Polygone might suit you.  A vast choice of menus and just delicious if you want a change.

 

Tokyo Beziers has a nice welcoming feeling and a lovely staff of helpful folk to advise - and many speak good English too.

 

Good quality pichet wine and you will not be stung

 

Also you get a free car park ticket for 3 hours

 

In the summer you can sit on the roof - and if you don't enjoy watching trains the distant views of the countryside are quite something.

074 67 98 45 05



If you have not tried the Polygone - down by the station in Beziers - it is worth a visit.

 

 A good range of up-market shops set around a pleasant atrium.

 

 It also has allowed the designers the chance to try out a few visual jokes and delights

 

An hommage to Riquet - of course

and a nod to the seaside - or the piste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PEZENAS - odd place really because if they are not closed on Monday it might be Tuesday or Wednesday 

So it was that pretty well everything seemed closed on Tuesday - but Rue Conti marches to a different drum.

The Chinese place - empty and the patron seems to look down on customers - not very pleasant so it was  we found Restaurant Le Conti

What a welcome, what warmth and how good to be treated like a customer!

Fine starters and a bit different, Canard a bit tough for the main course but the steak was fine and the pichet wine good.

Try it and tell WoW what you think

 

Le Conti

27 rue Conti, PEZENAS

04 67 98 38 96

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MONTPELLIER Chez Boris

There are two branches of Chez Boris in Montpellier. This is the smaller wine bar bistro with the other on the Esplande near the Musée Fabre having a similar menu but with Aubrac beef as a speciality.
It's revealing that with so much competition around the outside seating soon filled up, despite not offering a set lunch "bargain" menu as so many establishment do in Montpellier. This is basically a wine bar bistro with over a score of well chosen wines for all tastes available by the glass.


To begin we shared Accras de Moreu - deep fried cod balls with potato and parsley and a chilli dip. A good start, plenty of fish content and not a trace of grease. I had a delicious crepinette (sort of large faggot) stuffed with pigs trotter with some well cooked root vegetables. Sue had risotto with sepions (baby cuttlefish) which was a rice dish not a risotto - this is France after all - but otherwise fine.

Note there are plenty of dishes on offer for more mainstream palates. We skipped dessert, the list was uninspiring standard bistro offerings; mousse au chocolate, cremé brulée etc. Service was friendly and efficient. About €55 for two including coffee.

 

Sue and Graham


Chez Boris. 20 Rue d l'Aiguillerie
04 67 02 13 22   http://www.chezboris.com/index_aiguillerie

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SETE - La Coquerie

 

La Coquerie, which means galley, is a restaurant. It could also be the closest thing to having a chef cook in your own home, although few homes have a stunning view of the port of Sete and the Med. The wedge shaped room has as much glass as floor space. There are just four oyster shaped white tables so bookings for two at busy times are going to be a challenge.

Anne Majourel was at the stoves for 20 years at the Ranquet in the Gard (near Anduze) earning a Michelin macaron. After a two year pause she has emerged in Sete and created a layout where she can interact with her diners – behind a long curling bar half the room is the kitchen. Anne cooks and often serves the dishes to personally explain them. 

The menu offers a no choice 5 and a half courses that changes daily according to the ingredients, especially fish, she buys at Les Halles. Plats might include filleted red mullet layered around a slice of hot foie gras or loin of sea bass from a large wild fish with sun tomatoes and basil. For dessert, baked local pear with a verbena sablé and a glace of quince and rosemary. The dishes aren’t over elaborate and rely on herbs for seasoning and to accentuate freshness.

 Husband Jean-Luc acts as sommelier and the wine list, more a pile of cards strung together, appears to be a selection of organic standard wines. There’s a nod to natural un-sulphured wines such as the expressive Foulaquier Pic St Loup Les Tonillières 2010 we enjoyed.

La Coquerie won’t be for everyone, just four tables ensures that. For those seeking a €55 menu experience of the best the region has to offer then add La Coquerie to a pretty short list. 

Open evenings only in season. Out of season dinner Friday and Saturday with lunch, where fewer courses can be taken, Wednesday to Sunday.

La Coquerie

1 chemin du Cimetière Marin 34200 Sete (at the foot of the famous cemetery and near the delightful Musée Paul Valéry)

06 47 06 71 38 http://www.annemajourel.fr

Graham and Sue

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Restaurant de L’Orb  - Cessenon sur Orb

The Restaurant de l’Orb will be known to many as “The British Consulate” in Cessenon Sur Orb, managed by the celebrated  Bill and Ben.

 Bill and Ben have now sold the restaurant – though they still do private catering.

The Restaurant is now under the new management of Patricia and Stephane Charpentier.

Stephane , originally from Nice, has spent the past 17 years in the State of Quebec, Canada, where he was the maitre chef of a very popular French Restaurant.

The location of the Restaurant de l’Orb is excellent. Sit on the terrasse and watch the world go by, with the backdrop of the Church Square 

The décor is bright and cheerful as is the welcome and service….. 

The Menu is priced in the Canadian manner on your main course, and this price ranging from 22 to 27 euro includes your starter and desert..

A varied choice of 5 starters , 7 mains and 6 deserts  await .

The wine List features many local reliables.

English Spoken .

The Restaurant lends itself to the organising of Special Events, being compact and intimate

This excellent solid French Restaurant is well worth a visit.

The pleasant River Walk is nearby should you wish to “reactivate” after a pleasant long lunch or dinner

There is something very Warm about it now .........and all the locals are patronising it

My favourite Starter is Snails in Chou Pastry with a delicious sauce , but that may not be your thing !

 

Phone 04 67 89 43 52 

 

Brian

 

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BEZIERS Restaurant le P'tit Semard

“Charming restaurant, great food, family friendly”

Reviewed July 18, 2011

We reserved a table here after reading recommendations online and it certainly deserved those positive reviews. A la carte and fixed price menus were very reasonably priced and the food was great. The kids also enjoyed their meals and were made to feel very welcome. Good service with special attention from the English speaking chef.

 

 

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Montpeyroux -  La Terrasse du Mimosa

This wine bar, caviste and restaurant is right on the market place of Montpeyroux and in fair weather shaded tables spread around the fountain. It's owned by the Pughs who have run the seasonal special occasion Le Mimosa in nearby St Guiraud since 1984. The lunch formula at 19€ for three courses (Sunday and evening a few €s more for four courses) offers simple unfussy dishes with carefully chosen ingredients.

Pork and charcuterie come from the Domaine des Agriolles at nearby La Boissiere and the cheese selection, taken from the Le Mimosa cheeseboard, is taken seriously. Fish could be a whole baked Dorade and dessert a melting chocolate fondant. Accompanying vegetables receive equal care.

The wine list sticks to local wines from Montpeyroux and the Terrasses du Larzac, arguably home of the finest wines in the Hérault and every style is made. Pricing is simple. Enjoy a glass from 4€ or pay 9€ droit du bouchon on top of the cellar door price which makes a special bottle such as a Mas Jullien exceptional value. Watch out for Sunday evening jazz in season and other special events.

 

04 67 44 49 80 and http://laterrassedumimosa.blogspot.com/

Graham

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Vailhan

L'Auberge du Presbytère

Vailhan is north west of Pézenas and lost in oak forested hills studded with limestone outcrops. This is the special view from the Presbytère, either outside on the creeper shaded terrace or from the intimate modern dining room where we lunched thanks to the strong wind in this exposed location. 

 

Friends mentioned that L'Auberge du Presbytère had new owners for 2012 and they found the cooking had improved, although the menu has crept up to €27 for three courses. We returned in early May and were able to lunch on the terrace that takes in the vista of wooded limestone hills.

We concurred the cooking was better with more attention to flavours and seasoning. Onglet steak served with aubergine presented two ways was an example, as was an elaborate soup like starter of smoked haddock with mango in a sweet potato sauce. A downside is the somewhat pared down wine list, although these are early days. At least the mark ups remain reasonable and it was good to see Mas Gabriel from nearby Caux continues to be listed.


04 67 24 76 49

Graham and Sue

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Gruissan........tested by yours truly – Mrs Trellis

Le Sud, 6 boulevard Victor Hugo in the village.

Modern decor with an internal terrace and a water feature. friendly welcome and good boufe............. a varied menu,  excellent wine and good service

Good atmosphere and value for money 0468435217

Le cambuse du saunier - route de l'Ayrole on the old saltworks has easily the best location for a restaurant - overlooking the salt pans.........pink with algae..............plus they did a deal with the local fishermen to buy and serve only local produce.............cooked on salt!
..... mostly fish and shells and fabulous view 

0484251324


 Mrs Trellis (also from North Wales)

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BEZIERS La Raffinerie 

 

  14 Avenue Joseph Lazare, 

This is a delightful place and sits next to the canal on the “other side” of the rail tracks

Very tasty food, beautifully presented. unusually shaped restaurant.  People who eat here tend to rave about it.
Lovely seats outside along the banks of the Canal Du Midi in the summer.

And the name?  It is where Sulphur was once refined - for a spray for the vines.

·         04 67 76 07 12

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BEZIERS Le Cep d'Or:

Much loved by regulars – always a good sign!

 “Regional top quality”

In the area by the Cathedral and Law Courts – a pleasure to walk there through the old streets. 

Good value “menu” at 17.00$ and not silly prices for the wine.  Has all the ambience of a cafe from a film set.

Really a pleasure to visit. We have been there only a few times but heard similar views from experienced friends “who know”.

Adresse :

2 Impasse de la Notairie 04 67 49 28 09

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Béziers le chameau ivre,  

Huge selection of wine and delicious tapas

At the lower end of the central rambla - with your back to the theatre - aim right passed the fountains and parked cars.  Seems to be a hot place for locals too

Tapas Béziers


15 place jean jaures, 

04 67 80 20 20

 

 


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LAURENS


BAR A VINS /ASSIETTES TAPAS.


LE RESTAURANT VOUS ACCUEILLE DU LUNDI AU VENDREDI- LES MIDIS.
A PARTIR DE CET ETE LE RESTAURANT VOUS ACCUEILLERA LES JEUDI VENDREDI ET SAMEDI SOIRS.
Assiettes tapas: 5€
Formule du midi: 3 assiettes tapas au choix: 13€
Plat du jour: 9.80€3

 WoW reviewers add - "Wine at a sensible price - not the usual rip off".  E.g - Rose sells at €2.5 a glass, €10 for a bottle and €5 if you take it away.  Loos first class too!

WoW recommended

WoW recommended

13, ancienne route de Bédarieux
 LAURENS 

WoW note - how reallyfoolish some places are with 400% markups taking the wine to London prices - plain daft!

  http://www.vignoblesbouchard.com/

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VILLENEUVE LES BEZIERS 

One of the busiest and friendliest restaurants in the Béziers area is 'L'Amirada'.You can find it at Villeneuve les Béziers opposite the car park for the multiplex cinema. The address on their card is : Pôle Mediterranée ( face au cinéma) 34420 Villeneuve les Béziers. 
Phone number is 04 67 93 83 97 

The restaurant is open every day for lunch and dinner except for Sundays, Mondays and Saturday lunchtime. It stays open on Friday and Saturday evenings until 11 o'clock. It is wise to book, especially for Saturday evenings. 

The restaurant is popular with people who work in Béziers and the surrounding area: office workers, managers, salesmen and women, professionals and so on. It is always packed at lunchtimes. 

L'Amirada closes at the height of the tourist season for a few weeks, so the target client groups are the local working population and locals 'in the know' about its quality food and service. It doesn't need the tourist trade to make a living. 

The food is modern, beautifully presented and innovative. The staff are cheerful, welcoming and very attentive. The service is quick and extremely efficient, and we both( husband and I ) love the food and the atmosphere. We often go after the cinema or to celebrate birthdays or simply for the pleasure of being pampered for a couple of hours. 
We have never had a bad or indifferent meal there and, importantly, neither of us has ever had a stomach upset, even a minor one, the morning after. We have been going there ever since my French friends, Sylvie and MarieThé, the rest of the Béziers Blablablah distribution team, introduced me to it more than three years ago. My husband and I go most weeks as well, and we never tire of it. 

There is always a cheerful buzz in the place and it is very popular with a younger crowd, though in typically French fashion, you can often find two or three generations of a family eating there together, and those of us 'en retraite' do not feel out of place. 

It is a large restaurant, and will seat 250 people when all the terraces can be used in the summer. However, because there are several distinct seating areas, there is no sense of being in a barn-like building. It is pleasantly intimate. 

There is the daily menu available at lunch and dinner. Two courses are €13.90 and three are €16.90. There are usually two or three choices for each course on the Formule, and thankfully the puddings are not of the 'Crème Caramel/Ils Flottantes/Chocolate Mousse variety, but much more interesting. The 'Formule' is not usually available on Saturday nights though. 

There is a large main menu at €25 with seven choices of entrée, five fish or meat choices, and eight puddings to choose from. 

Taken singly, entrées are €7.50 , fish or meat dishes €13.50, and puddings €6. 

The children's menu is €8.50 and offers vegetables as an alternative to mashed potato or chips. 

The wine list is largely of Languedoc-Roussillon wines and prices are reasonable; there is not an enormous mark-up. 

There are no pichets, but wine is sold by the generous glass from €2.50 to €4 a glass, and there are plenty of half bottles on the extensive wine list. 

At L'Amirada you feel that you have enjoyed a treat, but not had to pay through the nose for it. It comes highly recommended. 

Carole LeBrun 

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MEZE 

La Rive Gauche 
Quai Baptiste Guitard, on the port 
Tel: 04 67 43 88 50 

You could easily miss this delightful eatery as you walk past the row of bars and restaurants along the Quai. Out of season there’s the usual plastic window-sheeting that defines the terrasse that lies between the road and the restaurant inside. Don’t be fooled by the emptiness of the terrace or the fact that you can’t see through to the restaurant inside unless you take the brave step of entering it and find yourselves in the difficult position of leaving if you don’t find it to your liking. You will! 

La Rive Gauche is advertised on various websites as a ‘snack-restaurant’. It may be essentially a crêperie in the packed summer season, but go now or in the spring for lunch and be regaled. The most amazing thing about the Rive Gauche is that if you’re not there by 12.30pm you’ll be lucky to get a seat. It seems the whole of the working population descends on the restaurant at lunchtime. We went on a Tuesday mid-January (last week) and counted (for the purposes of this review of course!) 48 diners who took up virtually both rooms! As we sat half-facing the port through the restaurant unseen by all ‘foreigners’ inspecting the blackboard outside, we felt sorry for all those who had tried unsuccessfully to peer in and gave up and moved on, thinking – justifiably - that it was empty and devoid of atmosphere. 

We had an auspicious start. Our first visit of 2011 and almost before we sat down Marie-T the joint owner had placed two glasses of champagne on the table. ‘Bonne année!’ - of course. 

The blackboard menu showed a choice of 3 starters: quiche au saumon et poireaux, crudités du marché, charcuterie. We both went – predictably - for the quiche. It came on a large square platter, and included lettuce, fresh grated carrots, cucumber, black olives in herbs and dressing, and chorizo. Quality – and quantity. We were relieved to have arrived at 12.15pm, and never tired of seeing a constant stream of eager diners arriving in fours and sixes from their local jobs as builders, insurance agents, bankers, engineers, estate agents, and the odd retired couple, like us, maybe. If part of your pleasure of living in France is to receive and extend the ‘Bonjour Messieurs/Dames’ 
greeting to everyone who arrived, you couldn’t have been better-placed to practise – and enjoy it. 

The main meal contained 3 choices too. Squid, macaronade or turkey escalope in (home-made) breadcrumbs. Again my wife and I made the same choice. The turkey was a huge fillet, accompanied by the following vegetables: mange-tout, pureed sweet potato, lentils, diced aubergine, courgettes gratinées, a boiled potato, and garnished with lettuce and grated carrots. Everything home-made and cooked with personal relish by Michel and Fred. 

We couldn’t handle a dessert (apple tart, crème brûlée or clafoutis) as we both surreptitiously began to loosen our belts. The 3-course meal was 13.50€; our 2-course meal cost 11.00€. We bought 2 half-litre pichets of good quality wine (5 euros each). As the workers slowly began to drift back to the reality of their desks and chantiers, we delayed our departure to reflect on the buzz of the afternoon’s animated conversations and the workers’ obvious enjoyment. 

Knowing the answer to our question, we asked a fellow-diner on the next table why everyone poured in here in great numbers. ‘On ne manque de rien ici’. No-one would ever go short here. The permanently unanswered question, however, remains: ‘How do people eat so much at lunchtime without falling asleep at their desks or, more frighteningly, in a crane?’ 

This is a family concern with the emphasis on the wider sense of the word ‘family’. Marie-T and her daughter Pascale serve, with Michel (Marie-T’s husband) and Fred (Pascale’s husband) doing the cooking. Christine, a young server employed by the family, completes the restaurant team. Nothing is too much trouble here. The whole family bend over backwards to please and are sensitive to your every need. Their pleasure is your enjoyment of the whole experience. 

We followed up this visit with another a few days later, and although the main meals wouldn’t have been our first choice (e.g. squid and tartare de bœuf), we were offered additional choices of turkey or entrecôte steak! The steak, accompanied by both frites and ratatouille, filled the plate, and was cooked à point to perfection. Quality and quantity. We were reassured - and amused - to see the same workers’ faces from our previous visit, radiating the same heightened sense of expectation. 

Decorated in a modern style, it is clean, warm and clearly has universal appeal. 

One piece of advice: delay your arrival until about 12.10pm to allow the family to finish their own lunch together. It’s all a question of timing in France. 

Open throughout the year: Monday-Friday lunchtimes 12-2. Ring to check for spring and summer opening times before you go. Normalement it’s 7/7 in July and August. 

They would be delighted if a WoW reader told them on arrival that they’d been recommended (No I’m not on commission!). It would give the whole family a justified boost – and guarantee their usual high level of service… 

The Epicurean 

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CAPESTANG 

Le Provence Restaurant 
Place Jean Jaurès 
34310 Capestang 

Tel 04 67 93 36 54 
Fax 04 67 93 52 70 

At the far end of the square in Capestang is this restaurant owned by the people who run Le Bateliere, in the latter the food is good but chairs and tables cheap plastic. 
Evenings and weekends there are a lot of boat people as it’s only a few yards from the moorings. Le Provence is more upmarket, though as with many restaurants in France that is a relative term! 
Internally it’s warm and inviting and has a shaded exterior terrace at the rear. Peak times/season you need to book otherwise pot luck usually does it. 
Pizzas and salads are very good and averagely priced. They do a very good lasagne, though at 13E it isn’t cheap now with exchange rates as they are. Once you’ve finished eating here there are two café/bars at the other end of the square with extensive external seating under the trees with a great view of the church. 
As with many restaurants in Capestang you may find the Brits outnumber locals but on a cold winter evening when so many other restaurants in the locality are closed this one can be a god send! 

John 

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ROQUEBRUN 

Le Petit Nice – Roquebrun 04 67 89 64 27 

This is a pleasant 25 minute drive through part of the Languedoc National Park from our home in Maureilhan to the micro-climate of the Orb Valley. 
Over the bridge and turn right and the restaurant is on the right. In season or on Sundays booking is a must and parking is limited in the village and you may well drop folk off and then find a space! 
Situated on the southern slope the restaurant has great views of the river and bridge. If the weather is kind ask for a table on the terrace or by the windows. 
The menu hardly changes from year to year but has great value salads and pizzas. Their speciality is a range of game birds including grouse and quail in a rich dark sauce with country chips and wild mushrooms – portions are generous and you need to be hungry! Choose a set menu and, if budget isn’t a problem, go for the 7 courses with snails and frog legs! 
You can eat cheaply, 8E for a salad but the set menus start around 19.5E to 35E. The full works including a beer to start, 7 courses, a bottle of wine and coffee will set you back about 50E each including a tip. 
Madame and the waitresses are all helpful, though limited English is spoken (they now have translated menus) and the place has a real buzz. Food is prepared across the road and brought over. On Sunday, arrive 12.30, have the full menu and you won’t leave much before 3.30. Because of the exchange rate we now only go once a month instead of fortnightly but we can thoroughly recommend this restaurant which has a good blend of local French folk and Brits. 

John 

WoW agrees - great place 

Get a good appetite by going to look around the splendid Mediterranean Garden

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MURVIEL-les-BEZIERS 

There's a new kid on the block in Murviel-les-Béziers: 'Le Garde Manger' at 5 Centre Commercial du Pounchou. It's more easily found if you locate the Lidl supermarket on the roundabout out of Murviel, towards Béziers, and the restaurant is on the opposite corner to Lidl. Next door to the restaurant, and attached, is the new boulangerie/patisserie selling excellent bread and cakes. It belongs to the same family but they are two diffent enterprises we were told. 

The welcome is warm there, and the service attentive without being obtrusive. 

The lunchtime menu was very reasonably priced at 17 euros for three courses and 13 euros for two. 
There is a full à la carte menu at 25 euros with several choices on each section. 
Taken singly entrées are 7 euros, main courses 16 euros and desserts 6 euros. 

I had the three courses on the menu du jour and donated the dessert to my husband, who chose the fish soup from the à la carte, so we had two courses each- enough for us at lunchtime. 

I had the country terrine followed by roast lamb served with pommes dauphiné. As is often the case in French restaurants in the 'olive oil belt' the meat is served with potatoes, rice, or pasta but frequently without an accompanying vegetable. The lamb was very nicely cooked and tasty and tender, and the presentation was attractive. The fish soup 
(with the usual accompaniments) was excellent and the bread, from next door, was very good too. 

There is an interesting wine list at Le Garde Manger with a good range of local wines. We had a glass of Viognier each which came from the Cave Cooperative in Puimisson. It was 3 euros a glass. Pichets are available and are 3 euros for 25cls and 6 euros for 50cls. You can also purchase wine by the bottle there to take home. 

Le Garde Manger is open for lunch from 12 noon until two thirty, and from 7.30 in the evening until ten o'clock. They close all day on Mondays and on Tuesday lunchtimes. 

Phone number :04 67 94 09 58 and the staff speak some English. 

We shall certainly go again. 

John and Carole 

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ROUBIA - not in  l'Herault but highly recommended 

La Fourchette Folle at Roubia (on the Canal du Midi) in the Aude, is well worth a visit and would be a good addition to your list of restaurant recommendations on the website. 

Run by a super Dutch couple, Gerard and Sylvia Van-Heest, you'll find excellent food, expertly cooked, good size portions, really good value for money and a warm welcome. 3 - course formule at €16.50 and dish of the day around €9. 

Gerard cooks a mean fish and chips with mushy peas too for those who may be feeling a little nostalgic - around €9 - highly recommended by a Yorkshire friend who used to run a fish and chip shop! 

It's often closed in January and February during the low season so do phone to book before you set off! 0468 32 56 09 

During the summer months it's advisable to phone to reserve a table as it's not a huge restaurant and it gets very busy. Both Sylvia and Gerard speak excellent English, and French, of course! 

Janice 

PS - WoW has not visited but they seem really nice people and the first to ever to thank WoW for their listing! 

3, place du Cadran Solaire 11200 Roubia  Tel : 04 68 49 63 39 - Mob : 06 24 44 76 07 

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MARSEILLAN 

Hôtel Restaurant le Boulevard 

This was highly recommended to us by an English couple we’d bumped into. They’d just been twice in 3 days! We weren’t disappointed. Tucked in away from the port on the rue du Général de Gaulle and next to the Café du Boulevard (no connection strangely), we were greeted warmly by Madame for our first visit. I’d taken the precaution of phoning to book, and a good job we did. It was a Friday evening and the restaurant – with about 50 covers – was full by 8 o’clock. A French group of 8 had to be turned away soon afterwards. 

Three formules were on offer, at 15.50€, 17.50€, and 22.50€. The pichets of wine – red, white and rosé – were ridiculously cheap at 7.00€ a litre, and good quality. We noticed that no-one seemed to be ordering bottles. 

The restaurant’s main attraction is the open feu de bois where the steaks are prepared in full view of all the diners. It certainly helped to create the perfect ambiance. 

We chose the 15.50€ and 17.50€ menus. If the starters were anything to go by, the rest of the meal would be a gastronomic treat. And so it proved. My warm ‘half’ Camembert starter was a meal in itself; my wife’s choice – the duo of pan-fried gambas and crevettes – tasted as delicious as it smelt. 

Our main courses exceeded our expectations. My wife chose the coq au vin soaked in a red wine sauce and accompanied by fresh vegetables – mange-tout and ratatouille. Despite offering a third of it to me to try, she still couldn’t finish it. The huge pieces of chicken melted apart at the slightest touch. My rump steak was cooked – à point – to perfection. Madame asked if I’d prefer half chips and half veg. I made the right choice with the cauliflower cheese. A couple of pichets later we attempted to do justice to the dessert. My wife went for broke with the tarte au citron. I took the discreet route and forced down some small chunks of cheese to go with the remaining dregs of red wine. 

As we got up slowly and reluctantly to leave, we noticed two items on the bottom of the bill: the last pichet and coffee were both offerts 

One little point: even though it’s a hotel, I couldn’t get through to book on the phone until after 6pm. Madame (Christine) and Monsieur le chef (Bernard) told us that they make the sieste a priority. No problem. This is France, after all. 

Tel: 04 67 77 21 11 

The Epicurean 

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CRUZY - Le Terminus 


Le Terminus is situated mid-way between Cruzy and Quarante in the old railway station. 

This restaurant is run by a partnership of two local young French couples that have a gift for hospitality and a pleasure in serving beautifully cooked, simple food, at reasonable prices. Menus change with the seasons and are presented in English and French. Great value lunchtime Menu du Jour from around 12 euros. 

Seating is restricted to the terrace during the summer months. Private function room availabile. Advanced booking strongly recommended on Sundays and bank holidays. 

All dishes are prepared on the premises, using local ingredients 

Phone: +33 (0) 4 67 89 71 26 
Fax: +33 (0) 4 67 89 74 26 
Contact: Sebastien Malaterre 
Website: www.leterminus-cote-gare.fr 

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NEFFIES L’Escampette 

This is the kind of informal bar/restaurant which every village needs-and few seem to have. Set in the heart of Neffies with a cosy, there is a pleasant, recently-updated indoor dining room". and a wide terrace overlooking the vines, it offers a warm welcome and jolly atmosphere throughout the year. 

The menu offers many traditional French dishes, some of which are not often seen these days . All are well seasoned and the chef has a real talent with sauces. At my last visit, the whimpers of delight from my husband and our friend as they tasted their food were reminiscent of the famous scene from “When Harry Met Sally”! 

The lunchtime “formule” is simple and offers good value at 12€. There is no fixed price menu in the evening, but eating a la carte is reasonable and costs very little more than most set menus. A demi- litre pichet of wine costs 4.50€ and a glass is 1.50€. 


Trish Walker 

WoW ate here recently - just excellent - thanks Trish for the recomendation.  Their Tiramasu, home made, was just wonderful.  Hearty recomendation

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MEZE - Les Saveurs de Thau 

We’ve been regular visitors to this restaurant on the quayside (Quai Baptiste Guitard) of the old port since we bought here five years ago. The same owner, Philippe, who speaks good English, and his staff do their utmost to ensure that each customer is made to feel special. With space for 44 covers inside, the rustic brick walls and subdued lighting give it a cosy and intimate feel. It has shaded tables on the quayside for heat-hazy days. 

The food menus are extensive, with 3-course ‘formule’ meals costing between 14.80€ and 34.80€, available both lunchtimes and evenings (12pm-2pm and 7pm till late!). There’s so much choice for each course you don’t need to pay through the nose for an à la carte meal. There’s also a lunchtime menu with 2 courses for 12.80€. The wine list features red, white and rosé wines from the Languedoc and won’t break the bank. The main strengths of the restaurant are the range of food to suit everyone’s taste, and the rapport qualité/prix - value for money. 

Our recent visit was no less special than previous ones. We started, as we always do, with a half-litre pichet of white from the local vineyard the Domaine les Yeuses (6€). Olives arrived at the same time. 

We both ordered food from the 18.80€ menus, though we often plump for the cheaper one, which is equally appetising, with 5 choices of starter and main course, and 4 desserts to choose from. To us, not having something to mop up with your bread in a French restaurant is about as unthinkable as an MP’s valid expenses’ claim. So my wife went for the hot oysters with grated cheese and a leek sauce. (She’s always been good at pretending there are no calories in anything!) Just the sort of thing they trot out every day in Wetherspoons, eh? Can you imagine the sense of anticipation as the smell in the kitchen precedes the grand arrival of these little delights at your table? It took us five minutes just to savour the aroma. If we’d not eaten anything at all, just drooling over it would have kept us going until England won another World Cup soccer match. 

I opted for the feuilleté aux deux saumons smothered in a goat’s cheese sauce– delicious salmon pieces wrapped in flaky pastry. It doesn’t take much to imagine a face enraptured by pleasure. Other choices include the mountainous Camembert chaud. (My wife had this on our previous visit. How she keeps her svelte-like figure is as mysterious as the reason for the popularity of X-Factor and Big Brother.) There’s also a sea-food platter amongst the choice of 9 starters – every one prepared with tender care by one of the chefs – Marie or Marco. 

Unlike some ‘haut de gamme’ establishments, quantity is not sacrificed to presentation. And as another half-litre of wine takes a hammering, we ask for a slight gap before the main course. Philippe’s knowing smile suggests we’re not the only ones to wilt before the main course. Same number of choices - 9 - as the starters. Devotees of symmetry will be impressed. 

How do you go about selecting one from nine? No wonder the French take 3 hours over a meal – half of that tine is spent agonising over a multiplicity of choices. Well it is at Philippe’s anyway. 

Squid, monkfish and whole sea-bass vie with each other for the privilege of being dispatched and laid before a grateful diner. Pork fillet with bacon and grated cheese, steak with shallots, and fillet of kangaroo in a green pepper sauce underline the impossibility of choice. My wife’s steaming sea-bass is accompanied by rice and fresh vegetables. I was once in awe of an old friend whose adeptness in boning a fish was second only to his obvious pleasure in eating it. My wife may not be a champion boner, but, like our friend, the pleasure she took in eating it was no less obvious. My choice, shunned by my wife for the delicate image it conjured up, was a joy. I’d not had kangaroo before moving to France, but now I am converted to it. Someone once said that the true mark of an intellectual was to be able to listen to the William Tell overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger (shows how old I am). Well, I can quite safely say that I can enjoy my kangaroo without being shamed by the thought of that lovely animal hopping about in the Australian outback. And tender? As a first loving kiss. 

By now we were both beginning to feel, as my mate Pete from Yorkshire still says, ‘pogged’. A far more descriptive word than ‘full’. Still, only 6 desserts to select from so not long to go now. You could try to defeat a crème caramel with coconut, or simply sink philosophically under the weight of an avalanche of black and white chocolate with a caramel centre. Or you could take the cowardly route and select the soft option of 3 scoops of ice-cream. Or you could ask for a bit of cheese instead to help you wash down that stubborn last half-litre of red. It would add nothing to this review to admit what we finished with. 

And the service? Often divided between Philippe himself and Pascal, an experienced server and, unlike all those blind Parisian waiters we’ve all met who have a fixation with their boots, Pascal has a keen eye for the diner’s next request and a dry and wicked sense of humour. We love him to bits. 

Whenever we leave to stagger back home about 100 metres away repeating the same old chestnut that it was that last half-litre of wine that did for us, we find ourselves talking yet again about the ‘feel-good-factor’ that the restaurant manages to exude. Or maybe it’s just that warm, comforting glow of self-indulgence! 

One major plus: open 7 evenings and 5 lunchtimes a week all year round. Closed only on Monday and Thursday lunchtimes. Advisable to book in the high season. Free parking just past the restaurant on the port car-park. 

Régalez-vous bien! 

Tel: 04 67 43 53 73 

The Epicurean 

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PEZENAS Le Grain de Riz 

It doesn't look much - just a small house in the corner of the Lydl carpark - but take courage! 
The garden is a little gem of the orient and the interior is crisp modern. 
The set lunch is just €9 and it is excellent - a selection of tasty starters is served with one of the 3 dishes of the day. (The salad was really good and crisp). 
Included in the price is also - a choice of 1/4 litre of drinkable pichet wine (well the Rose was fine) or Green tea or Coffee. 
A steal, as they say. 

An a la carte menu also boasts many favourite dishes and the welcome and service is excellent. 
WC critics might like to know there is an excellent clean loo - disabled friendly with a seat and soap, paper towels and a dryer. 

04 67 39 50 56 


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SALASC 

Sometimes it is just right to head for the hills and Lac Salagou. Sadly there seems nowhere to eat on the Lac itself (correction there is a Hotel/Bar next to Celles but they didn't want to serve the other day - what sort of reception when you arrive at 13.00 and ask if you can eat and the waiter says I will ask in the kitchen and fails to return!) 

BUT there is the fine little bar/restaurant in the square in the lovely village of Salasc. It is true French food, decor and welcome. 
Set meal is €12 and the food was splendid AND had that complete rarity - vegetables! Not just veg but THE most delicious mix of Spinach, Chestnuts and Pluerette mushrooms - a real WoW! 
Good pichet wine at €4 for half a litre 
Also a la carte 

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GRUISSAN - there is yet another new restaurant 
called the garden (le jardin) it's run by Italians, they stay open late, do excellent pasta and it's not expensive and good value for money 
They do at least six different pasta sauces and a selection of interesting inventive tapas. you don't need both as the pasta dishes are "filling" - there are also salads for those on diets 
And it can be washed down with local wine or lambrusco 
Not open at midday but every night until about 0200 
The usual chef is Nico and he is occasionally replaced by his equally tallented brother - they both cook like "mama" back home 

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ANIANE

Peter and Patricia Kirwan strongly recommend 

L’Affenage, Aniane 

Tucked into the North East corner of the Herault Valley, Aniane seems to suffer from “North of Watford (England !)” syndrome in spite of being close to superb wine makers including Daumas Gassac. Originally the home of the Benedictine monks who developed vineyards throughout the area, the town itself is nothing to write home about but ... 

It’s the setting for a gem, the restaurant l’Affenage. Vaulted ceilings, paintings, and an eclectic display of china, & brass ornaments give it great ambience. The main restaurant is cool in the summer, in winter you eat in a smaller one by a cheerful open fire ! 

Owners, Graham and Ira Hughes, are British but Graham’s cooking is based firmly on traditional French recipes up-dated for modern tastes : Duck with chocolate sauce (south west) onion soup (Ile de France), chicken liver soufflé (Lyon), fish casserole (Marseille), lamb Pot au Feu (Languedoc)…Many delicate yet luscious sauces have their origins in Napoleonic times. All are delicious and attractively presented. Ira welcomes and serves and prepares the mouth watering puddings. 

There are menus at €20 and €25, each offering a testing choice of dishes for each of three courses. The €20 offers, amongst others, my favourite starter, Moules gratinées and I struggle to choose between Magret de canard, sauce chocolat (€2 supplement) and Marmite des poisons (fish casserole). For pud the choices include delicious Gateau maison (cheesecake) and Crême au citron. 

The €25 menu’s choices include Salade de foie volaille (chicken livers) au vinaigre de l’Agen, Gambas au beure d’ail (king prawns in garlic butter), Daurade Royale (sea bream) grillé au beure maitre d’hôtel (€2 supplement) and Rognons de veau (calves’ kidneys) à la sauce moutarde. There’s an exotic choice of seriously fattening puds. 

There is also A la Carte and a very simple Menu Touristique at €16. 

Restauant l’Affenage, Place de la Mairie, Aniane. Tel : 04 67 57 31 25 . 
No credit cards. Closed Sunday evenings, and Monday and Tuesday. 

The Place de la Mairie is in the old town and tiny, so no parking but one can usually park around the nearby Chapelle des Pénitents or on the main car park 100 yards away. 


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CAPESTANG 

If watching boats while you eat is your "sort of thing" you could do worse than try "la Bateliere" which is by the Port with all the hire boats. Not only the movement of boats but you can see the Church tower too. 
Not the cheapest but certainly excellent food and generous plats and a good pichet wine for €6.50. 
Best entertainment is watching some dreadful attempts to moor up - if you like that sort of thing. 

04 67 93 42 77 
Owned by the same people who have Le Provence in Place Jean Jaures in Capaestang - a review would be good. 

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ROUJAN 

Lovers of Pizza by David Morgale - 

Just thought I would pass on the news that for all you out there who love pizza, the San Francisco in Roujan has reopened.The owner has been ill for two years but has recovered and is open again, and for my money makes the best pizza in the Herault, but maybe i`m biased.It was the first place we ate after buying a property here. 
You know what they say.Use it or lose it. 

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FAUGERES 

The Bel Air - just off the D909. 3 course menu (€13) plus demi-pichet Rose, pichet de l'eau and coffee/tea - total cost just over €34. Menu was choice of between 2 starters and 2 main course plus dessert. They also offer a l a carte. The food was cooked using local produce and was certainly very tasty. The service was good. To get there take, the D909 from Bedarieux or the D909A from Herepian and just past the Cave Faugeres turn left at the petrol station and just before left turn for Pezenas/Roujan you will see the Bel Air on the left. Similiarly if coming towards Faugeres from Bezier direction - turn right at Petrol Station. 

We then walked the meal off by going to the 16th Century Faugeres Windmills (Trois Tours) - well worth the walk for the panoramic views - just a shame it was cloudy and starting to rain! 

Shirley 

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MARSEILLAN 

La Luna - it is new and rather more 21st century than the others around the port. Not the cheapeast but chic and the food is excellent and beautifully presented. A new team of young people - worth a try. 
Menues of 2 levels and a la carte too - around €15 seems the average. 
Interesting wine list with some Italians - and the pichet of Rose at 5.50 was nice and not a silly price. 
Oh - nice loos too! 
One little niggle - why do so many places charge so much for the coffee - €2 is a bit steep and suddenly the bill leaps. 
Forget that - worth a try and overlooks the port 
04 67 01 73 59 

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BEZIERS - 'La Vigne Gourmande'

There is a new restaurant in Beziers which we have found to be very good. It is 'La Vigne Gourmande' and is a little bit away from the centre at 67, Avenue de President Wilson but is well worth a visit.

They have a menu at 24€ (three courses) and at lunchtime they do two courses for 17€. There are plenty of choices and they are all very well presented.The wine list is also very good.

It is run by a married couple, he cooks and she serves and speaks excellent English. We have been there several times and have never been disappointed. Try it! 

Geoffrey Portwine 

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CLERMONT L'HERAULT 

Peter & Patricia Kirwan recommend : 

TOURNESOL 
Situated above the traffic, next door to the Post Office; tel. 04 67 96 99 22 

In the twelve years since the young owners took over the Tournesol, they have revolutionised it. Now one of our favourite restaurants, we’ve even enjoyed two splendid Christmas day lunches there (they open 7/7). They have recently been awarded two forks by Michelin. 

They have steadily improved the restaurant itself, which is now thoroughly attractive, cheerful and comfortable with great ambience, cool and airy in summer, warm and friendly on grey, cooler days. The two terraces are welcoming too – choose sun or shade ! Courteous, efficient staff add to one’s enjoyment. 

Traditional Mediterranean menus at €39, €27, €23, €16 with a Menu du Mois Gourmand” at €29, feature a wide choice of beautifully presented dishes. Starters range from a delicious 3-flavour gazpachio, through foie gras, beef carpaccio, oysters, mussels all prepared in a variety of ways. Interesting salads too. 

Fishy main courses include tasty tuna, perch, sardines and sea bream dishes, whilst mouthwatering cuts of magret de canard, beef and lamb more than satisfy the most discriminating meat lover. Most are enlivened with a judicious use of local herbs and nuts which add interest without being over powering. Forget your diet for the day ! The sweets are seriously mouthwatering, ranging from rich chocolaty concoctions through tarte tatin, to fresh fruit mousses and sorbets. 

The wine list improves all the time, with a good selection from local quality producers who use local southern grapes (Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault ...)as well as more traditional varieties such as Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Viognier. Priced from 20 euros upwards, they’re well worth it, so drink less ... savour them more ... 

This year they have opened an adjunct, La Saladerie, on the busy esplanade below. It is less formal, offering, mainly, simple salads and coquillages. 12 oysters cost €13,10, moule marinières is €9,50 and a simple menu @ €12 includes pleasant meat and fish dishes as alternatives. 

CLERMONT l'HERAULT 
Opposite the Cafe de Negociants has a pubby feel - in the best sense and food is good and not expensive - a review would be welcomed PLEASE. 

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CLERMONT L'HERAULT 

Les Ramparts - on the plaza by the Church - with your back to the church you walk towards the right towards a delicious smell and a fine glass covered porch 
LES RAMPARTS - an ideal place to eat before a concert in the Church! 
Fine food, well presented and - amazing - lovely vegetables too! 
Menu is €15 but we had the steaks = - €16 entrecote and €14.50 Rump. Some of the best steaks we have eaten - even a choice of Frites or Saute and the Thai sauce was devine 
Pichet wine excellent - 
Lunch menue €12.80 
04 67 96 33 81 

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MARGON Belle Lurette  


The new owners stopped the cheap menu for the summer - a bit of a mistake for the once loyal followers. 

WoW would welcome other views - but we cannot enthuse about it at the present. 

Open lunch and evenings 7/7 - we wish the new family well. 

04 67 24 67 70 

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POUZOLLES

the bar opposite the boule court is good value too €13 for 3 courses + 1/4 pichet of wine - and normally 3 choices a course.

Not as polished as Margon once was - paper napkins and just the one glass for water and wine BUT that said - good homecooking at a good price. 

They sometimes seem so busy you feel a bit "in the way" but they are actually a lovely team - if not as upfront as the Margon folks. Give it a try - you can't go wrong for the price, now can you? 

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FLORENSAC Bistrot d’Alex 

If you get a wee bit outraged by the mark up on wine but still want to drink good wine but at sensible prices – this is the place for you. 
Wine is sold at the “shop” price with many a good bottle for under or even well under €10. Set meal is €16. May not sound exactly cheap but when you count in the wine at many other places you will be pleasantly surprised by the size of the bill. Mainly French customers – which WoW thinks is normally a good sign. 
Normally lunch only. Get there early and do a tasting before you go in and eat 
Get there – follow the signs to Vinipolis and drive past the ugly cave co-op to the modern tasting and eating place. 
Probably best to book - : 04 67 77 03 05 

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GRUISSAN 

 
Peter writes 
Owning, as we do, a Chambres d'Hôtes in the village, we have to be careful when recommending restaurants to our clients. Obviously, the same applies for readers of WoW. Thus, after exhaustive testing and inevitable self-sacrifice, the following are chosen as our preferred eateries. 

1 l'Ardoise Antonin. 
A small restaurant with a limited, but excellent carte and reasonable prices for the quality. Generally six or seven choices of main course plus a suggestion of the day. Traditional food cooked with love and attention. Welcoming and friendly, plus they acquire at least some of their wine from (in our view) the best cave in the village. Open all year (if not every day) and with a terrace in summer. 

2 Le Kabanon. 
This is situated just inside the entrance to the municipal camp-site and is open from June to September. It is mostly open-air and you have to be hungry! Traditional food and very reasonably priced, but best avoided when there is no wind. Otherwise, the mosquitoes will eat better than you. 

3 La Cabane Du Pêcheur. 
The owners used to run a restaurant of the same name on the chalet beach, but have moved a little inland. All kinds of sea food to be found at reasonable price. Open all year, but not every day out of season. 

4 La Base Conchylicole 
If you like raw shellfish (oysters, mussels etc) we recommend this address. They are open 365 days a year, but finish serving at about 7.30 pm. You can eat inside, but better outside where there is an excellent view of the sea. They have no restaurant licence so you have to take your own bread an butter. They do, however sell decent white wine. Very busy in season and especially on Sundays when people arrive by bus! If you don't like raw shellfish, you can, of course, buy to cook. You won't find them cheaper elsewhere. 

5 la Medina 
This is on the new port and is the best address for couscous – either there or to take away. You have to be very hungry as the portions are enormous 

6 Les Quatre Coins 
This family-run restaurant has a good reputation. It is also on the new port and is not exactly cheap, but is a good address if you want a pleasant ambiance and is ideal if you need to impress a new girl/boy friend, lover, mistress, bank manager or financial advisor. Open all year, but only at weekends out of season 

7 La Cranquette 
It specialises in seafood (but not as we know it, Captain). Not exactly cheap, but cooked with style and imagination, with a reasonable selection of wines. Everything, is cooked in a plancha in full view of customers. 
Plus....... They have no freezer, so you know it's fresh 
(1) Having no freezer, when they run out, they have been known to shut! 
(2) The plancha is small and, in high season, waiting times can be long. 
If you are content to wait for something special, it is a good plan to book10 r République 11430 GRUISSAN tel: 04 68 75 12 07 


Now the bad news: 
If you are looking for an Indian Restaurant, there are none here or in Narbonne. Similarly, if you are looking for a Chinese restaurant, there are none worth a visit. If you like Pizza, the best option is to take a plane to Stansted and then another to Naples 
bon appétit! 


Peter Pugh 

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COLOMBIERS 

Chez l'Eclusier 


If you are stranded somewhat south-west of Beziers on the route D609 from Narbonne, the seemingly endless industrial zone is painful on the eyes, you think (wrongly) that Bricoman still closes at midday, it is lunchtime and you are hungry, help is most certainly at hand. You head for Colombiers and head, additionally, for the Canal du Midi. There, you will find a delightful little restaurant called Chez l'Eclusier. The staff are friendly and attentive, you eat well and if you choose the plat du jour, it is not overly expensive. In season, it is wise to book in advance (04 67 37 14 77). Failing that, if you have to wait, the time will be well spent, outside, reading the amusing and original descriptions of what you are about to eat. A real gem! 


Peter 

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SETE 

So many places - how do you decide? 


Well the Halles has a neat place where you can eat very alfresco - feels very French and worth a try 

On the Quay - - 8 General Durand - give Chez Fransois a try. It is not cheap but it is good and plats start at €14 but the ambiance is superb and the food and service top notch in this intimate restaurant. They are "producteurs" so the quality is assured. Try the assiette de poisson frites - 6 different varieties come with a fine salad - 04 67 74 59 69. 
Outside - bit cold now - gives a great view of the local boats and activity. And just by the under canal parking. 

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GOOD VALUE EATING - WoW recommended. 

MONTPELLIER - a place for a simple bite - 
Visit the Creperie des 2 Provinces 
at 7, rue Jacques Coeur - 04 67 60 68 10. 
A wide - in fact huge selection of Crepes - delicious and swift with very pleasant pichet wine. And the service is friendly with the waiter even pointing out a cheaper way to eat by using the "formule" - very helpful. 
Good clean loos on the Ist floor - but note - the tap is for caterers and is operated by the knee! 
Closed on Sunday - otherwise opens at 11.45 and closes at 11.30 at night - so somewhere to eat before the theatre - or after 

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PS Congratulations to the city of MONTPELLIER on the stunning re-furbishement of the Comedie parking - light, bright and the floors helfully colour coded and pleasant music too. 

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BEDARIEUX has a Chinese Restaurant at 112 Avenue Jean Jaures (face a la gare) Le Palais de Bedarieux 0467 23 75 40. Open 7/7 1200-1400 and 1900-2230.

They specialise in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. There is a terrace for eating out in the summer.

The food is good, but the atmosphere can be a bit lacking in the restaurant if not many eating in - they also do Take-Away (-10%) - and on the 3 times we have eaten there they were serving more take-away diners than restaurant diners. Probably a good place to go and eat if there is a group of you, then you can create your own atmosphere! 

Menu Rapide €10.50. Menu Vapeur et Menu de Chef €16.50. Menu d'Amour €46 and Menu du Bonheur (6 personnes) €139.00. Portions are generous on individually ordered dishes and 4 of us (just before xmas) ordered in quantities for 3 and there was food left over! 

Shirley 

WoW thanks Shirley - again - how about some other readers sending in a recomendation? 


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ROQUEBRUN - Shirley writes - "we can thoroughly recommend Auberge Saint-Hubert, avenue des oranges, 34460 Roquebrun. Tel - 04.67.89.50.37 - they are a 'restaurant traditionnel' with a great 'a la carte menu' but also 'plat du jour' du €19 per head. Its an hour+ drive for us from Andabre - but well worth it as the scenery is great en-route and the food is to die for!! If we lived nearer we would frequent it a lot more! The wines they serve are local and can be bought from the local Cave almost opposite the restaurant! The interior decor is superb and they also have a covered verandah for eating outdoors in warmer weather." 

Shirley Morgan 

"Thanks Shirley - the more good people who write in with recomendations the better this site becomes" - WoW 

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PEZENAS 


WoW enjoyed a pleasant meal at the Brasserie Moliere (overlooks the main parking) - menu de jour was just €11 and the place was full of locals having lunch. Pretty good pichet wine for €7 and all in all a very "authentic" experience. Feels like a French restaurant should be and - not so French - has good sized and clean loos - 2 for men and 2 for women. 


Oddly it is a part of the hotel Moliere - but not on the same site. 

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BEZIERS 

Not too many places recommended yet - it is up to WoW readers please! 

But close to the Cathedral is "Chez Toi, Chez Moi" at 32 rue Vienet. Husband and wife team - he cooks and she is out front. Fine food - grills cooked on wood in front of "your very eyes". Give it a try - the meat was superb and the soup a feast in itself. 

Nice and unpretentious and all for €11 for 2 courses at lunch time. Also very drinkable pichet wine. Actually the first pichet was horrid - but no qualms about sending it back and a new pichet was produced and the WoW palate was vindicated - "very acid Sir!" Isn't that a great attitude - one fears in the UK one might have been told "if Sir choses the cheap stuff Sir should expect.........." 

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MARSEILLAN - yet again 

So many nice places on the port but for the best fare we have had for a long time - Taverne du Port 

€13 for the winter menue and a nice Picpoul for €12 - and it was just lovely.

(It is also a wine shop so the range is vast) 
Nice simple but happy service and the

CHANGED OWNERS - new review needed please.

 04 67 01 78 78 

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MARSEILLAN - La Ferme Marine - a WoW paradise if you like shellfish 

To find it you have to take the small road on the Etang side of the cemetery 

WoW photographer does not do justice to this groaning table of wonder! 
We had a - eat as much as you like for €22 seafood bonanza! A huge table with just about everything plus some cooked dishes likes Oysters and Mussels grilled with cheese. 
PLUS you sit on a terrace, or inside, with a 180 degree view of the Etang and Sete in the distance. Not cheap but just wonderful if seafood is your thing. 
PLUS it is all "home grown". 
Full of French people outside in October so guess it is best to book once it is too cold to eat outside or in the summer 
04 67 76 14 59 - more info at www.lafermemarine.com - which also has a map - just keep on driving - it is worth it! 


3rd party view - couldn't get in - you need to book - but it looked sensational and they didn't do the snooty French thing when they said they were full - we will be back for sure! 

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BEDARIEUX 

L'Ateler,22 rue sur le Puits, Bédarieux(in one of the little side streets near the church leading from the market square) Tel: 0467 23 86 02 

A review of a restaurant in Bédarieux? Surely not. Bédarieux is not known as a centre of gastronomy but a young couple, Ludovic and Gwenaelle Calvo, have recently opened a new restaurant in the town which certainly" vaut le détour". The décor is contemporary which might not be to everyone's taste, but it is immaculate and bright and air-conditioned , so although small(25 couverts) it is very pleasant even on the hottest days of summer. 
At lunchtime there is a set menu at €13.50 for an entrée and main course or main course and dessert, or €17 for all three,very good value given the excellence of the food. 
In the evening a three course dinner @ €24 with a choice from two items for each course provides Ludovic with the opportunity to display the range and quality of his cooking. Everything is beautifully presented with great attention to detail, and Ludovic's charming and attractive wife Gwenaelle looks after the front of house. 
So if you are looking for something different in an area not exactly teeming with good restaurants, try L'Atelier. 
The restaurant is open in the summer for lunch from Monday to Saturday and from Wednesday to Saturday for dinner. 
In winter from Monday to Saturday for lunch and Friday and Saturday evenings. 
Patrick - our man in the valley D'Orb 

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Places with a view - though not cheap but great views and food 

SETE 

Les Demoiselles Dupuy - 4 Quai Maximin - almost IN the fish market. 
Authentic, on the quay and wonderful seafood - a WoW favourite and recommended by Martin Bez of Gallery Sud fame. Benefits by not being on the main and noisey road in the port. 
Listed by Gault Millau guide 2009 - it benefits from a goodish wine list and pichets - Rose pretty good @ €8 for 50cls
"Best Tuna ever" opines WoW Tuna expert and seafood is raised by the Patron and his family in Bouziques - plats €15.50 - €19 but only fish is served here. 
There could be more restaurants than fishing boats in Sete - so it is hard to choose but we don't think you can go wrong here. 

Looks authentic too 

One shock - the loo has HOT water - on the other hand the cold tap doesn't work - you can't win them all! 

 

 Tel

 04 67 74 03 46

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OLARGUES - try the Fleurs d'Olargues - sitting over looking the old town with the bridge and river in the foreground - great spot and super welcome from the Danish family who run it - well recommended - and the loos are Danish best too! 

 

Pont Diable is the backdrop and the pretty town of Olargues perched above it 

Enjoy your food under the shade of the trees. Speak Danish, French and English 
04 67 97 27 04 

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Ed sends from MAGALAS 

The Excalibur seems to grow in popularity - everyone knows it and for less than 20 Euros a head including wine and coffee you can eat extremely well from a wide choice of Pizzas and Dishes. The translations are a hoot too. Hat's off to Marie and Roberto for all they do to support the village and their bar restaurant in Magalas! 

He also recommends O'Bontemps - agreed it is fine but it is pricey and so a bit outside a WoW wow - if you see what we mean! 

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Jon sends from LUNEL 

L'Authentic, 9 av Gen de Gaulle, Lunel, 04 67 83 91 12 

This is good at any time, but 2-course lunch with glass of wine or beer or water for 13,50€ is exceptional. Cooking of high standard. No pichets but bottles from extensive Languedoc wine list are sensibly priced

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Laure sends from LODEVE 

« Sun House Café »,17 rue Neuve des Marchés : Samir Jaoui est arrivé de Norvège avec sa bonne humeur et son sens de l'accueil méditerranéen : il crée en 2008 son restaurant. Tapas, assiettes orientales à déguster au son des musiques du monde, en terrasse sous les drapeaux boudhistes, ou en intérieur au côté des peintures qu'il expose régulièrement sur ses murs. Vernissages avec concerts chaque mois. Tél : 06 31 56 18 67 & 04 67 88 51 18 


« Soleil Bleu », 39 Grand'Rue : Sylvane offre à midi dans son salon de thé tranquille et spacieux un choix de plats du jour ou tartes/salades raffinés et l’après midi un vaste choix de thés et cafés accompagnés de délicieux gâteaux confectionnés par Pierre, son mari. Ce lieu est aussi une galerie où les créateurs métiers d’art exposent avec bonheur : terres, grès et rakus, œuvres gravées ou peintes, livres d’artistes…. Réservations tél-fax : 04 67 88 09 86 

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MONTPELLIERLes Bains


 Just behind the Opera House is an oasis of calm and delight. A clever conversion of this once public bath house has you sitting where once there were baths and overlooking a courtyard of plants where plays a lazy fountain (or they have cleaned the filter).

Courtyard photo - you can see the doors of the old public baths in the back-ground

It is not cheap but it IS and experience

A really good antedote to the rush and noise of Montpellier and WoW recommended.   04 67 60 70 87http://www.les-bains-de-montpellier.com/

 

 

 

 

At the other end of the scale - try the Green kiosk by the old Pathe cinema - opposite the Pavilion Populaire on Esplanade Charles De Gaulle 
Meets the WoW criteria for decent pichet wine - €4.50 for 50cl of light Rose. The ideal place to have a snack before a Corum concert or between visits to the Fabre or Pav Pop. Savoury pancakes to die for at very sensible price - no feeling you are being ripped off in this leafy promenade and the sort of welcome you might like - but not get - at a 2* establishment. Worth a try 

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Places with a view - though not cheap but great views and food 

GRAU D'AGDE - ish - actually between Rochelonge and La Guiraudette - take the turning at the Hyper U and follow the signs to Rochelonge 

Les Vagues

This is the "entrance experience" and the out of focus in the distance is the Med - this is on the beach but on decking. 
It has style, warmth, welcome and fabulous food with a view to die for. A sailing boat slid past in the dusk - just like a movie 
Entrees from €11 - 16 - plats from €15 - 25 and wine from €16 a bottle - but this is the real thing and just the place to suggest to nice guests who offer to take you out to dinner. 
A real WoW wow for this one - and the sell Plume - the 9% low alcohol wine - so you can enjoy your wine 
04 67 39 08 63 or restaurantlesvagues@gmail.com 

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Le GRAU D'AGDE - Adagio 

possibly one of the best meals without spending a fortune with the added benefit of eating on a platform over the river, a view of the Med and sometimes the Pyrenees. Stylish modern feel, food and decor/plates etc. Wine a bit pricey but a place for a celebration and open all year 

 

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CAP D'AGDE Restaurant "Les Halles" - Port Richelieu 
45 avenue des Sergents 
Looks just like a fish shop from the main road but behind is a simple a deligtful space where the fish is excellent. 

 As a London journalist remarked "I dont think I have ever eaten such good fish in a long time" 
Worth a try - expecially if you have been to the Ephebe Musee - a couple of minutes walk away - then after eating wander and look at the boats and consider the oft told remark that 90% never seem to move. 
Tél. : 04.67.26.82.93 www.leshallesauxpoissons.com 

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PEZENAS Vieux Coq –off the place Gambetta at 1 rue Albert Paul Allies 

(Changed hands recently - could we have a new write up please?)


So many locals have heaped praise on this restaurant that we really had to try it. 
AND it is open on Monday – but not Tuesday or Wednesday in winter. 


Nous proposons une cuisine de femme authentique et généreuse (En fonction des produits du marché) et ceci dans un cadre convivial et agréable... 
Nous sommes ouvert tous les jours en été (service tardif jusqu'à 22h30). 
En hiver, nous sommes fermés le Mardi et le Mercredi... 

Well all we can say is - the locals were right! It feels like home cooking but with style and simplicity and generous portions too. 

Remember the old American joke ? – 
Apple Pie like your mother used to make - $1.20 
Apple Pie as your mother thought she made it - £2.50 
Well it is like the second one and well worth a try and good pichet wine and a fine welcome in the heart of the old town. 

What more can one ask ? 
04 67 98 97 01 
restaurant-levieuxcoq-pezenas.com/ 

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(Not a usual WoW recommendation - no price and possibly priceless - but well worth the read even if you cant afford it!) 

When your Nimes flight to Blightie is cancelled, don’t despair. 


Get back in your car, and say to yourself oh yipeee! We’ll go to the Alexandre - a 2 star Michelin Restaurant in Garons just down the road - you can’t miss it, it’s well signed. 


We didn’t miss a flight, but went anyway, as the guests of the Chef, Michel Kayser, as a thank you for some work we’d done, translating and designing his new brochure. 
The restaurant is set in a lovely garden full of huge trees, whose branches were bowed with snow - while inside, the greeting from Madame Kaiser, the Maitre D was warm and welcoming. The restaurant was full of spring bulbs and all sorts of exotic furniture, sculptures and paintings, and mercifully free of background music. She brought us glasses of bubbly and no menu, because we were on a ‘treat’ and just had to wait for the unfolding epicurean drama to begin. 
Moving swiftly on from all the wonderful amuse-bouches of home made madeleines, macaroons filled with thises and that’s, the little mound of celeriac ‘spaghetti’ topped with freshly shaved truffles (no, I didn’t know that truffles shaved either, but when they do, it’s divine), we got to the first course which was an isle flottante of quenelles de some kind of fishy mousse, served on a sort of cepe soupy sauce, with yet more truffle shavings…out of this WORLD, served with their own home made breads and rolls. 
Then came a wild duck, all artistically arranged on the plate to fool me into thinking it won’t be as good as it looked - and of course it’s even better - served with the incie-winciest bit of a hint of carrot puree, quince confit and some kind of potato concoction that I couldn’t possibly describe in more detail except to say that I shoved far too much of it onto my girl-friend’s plate and regretted my generosity immediately. She had loup de mer wrapped up with something else that was fishy and white, and served with tiddly squidlets and she felt obliged to give me a bit of hers which was just as well, because it was equally delicious. 
We were served (divine waiter with white hedgehog hair cut) a good white from somewhere round Nimes for the fish course, and then a red that came from Caux from the Domaine des Contes des Floris - a blend of Carignan and Cinsault which sent me into fresh raptures...until the puds arrived… 
Now if anyone knows how to present a pud, it’s the Kayser…they arrive in Doctor Caligari’s Cabinet - a huge wooden caged affair on rollers, which then gets opened up with a grin and a flourish and there, inside, is a pudaholic’s dream … every imaginable kind of mousse made from liqueurs, fruits drenched in…liqueurs, exquisite little concoctions of macaroons and raspberries and slabbettes of different kinds of chocolate yummies, liquorice ice cream and and and and…I chose the chocolate creation and was immediately rebuked for only choosing one. So I dutifully went on a mousse hunt and an ice cream plunder, and have lived to tell the tale with glee… 
Coffee came with yet more amazingly exquisite chocolates and macaroons all served on a sort of red lacquered plateau which I nearly tried to eat as well. 
One of the things I loathe about eating out at lunchtime, is that horrid full up feeling that makes me want to slouch about burping and groaning for the rest of the day. So it’s a huge compliment to this restaurant that we both came out, after something like 5 courses, feeling skippy and decidedly happy - which might explain why I clipped their cypress tree and lost a side light on the car…. 
I don’t know what it would have cost if we’d had to pay for it, but probably more than my translation was worth. 
When Monsieur Kayser appeared to see how we’d enjoyed ourselves, his beaming face and genuine modesty were a fitting full stop to over three hours (we did as much nattering as eating - that’s what girl-friends are for isn’t it) of the best restaurant outing for years. 
Nicola 

RESTAURANT ALEXANDRE, 2 RUE XAVIER TRONC, 
30128 NIMES-GARONS 04 66 700 899 

www.MICHELKAYSER.COM 

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ONLY ONE RESTAURANT GAINS 3 stars this year in the whole of France 

The only establishment to have been awarded the top accolade of three Michelin stars is Auberge du Vieux Puits in Fontjoncouse in the Languedoc region in the South West of France, which brings the total of three-starred restaurants in France to 26. 

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Please send in any places you really recommend - so we can share them with our readers. 
Email - hicks-france@wanadoo.fr