Since my childhood I've been fascinated by the idea of escape. I guess it's an every child's dream to have a secret hut where you can hide from outer world, where time stops and you can do whatever you please. In the adulthood you finally gain the right to do what you want any time, and yet some part of me still has been searching for this "out-of-the world" hidden feeling. So I've visited many cute places - airbnbs, little inns, even cabins…but since I am an extremely picky lady, it gets harder and harder to feed my gourmet appetite. I mean the intimacy and the nice view is good, but what do they serve to eat here exactly?! Very often this second part smashes the positive impression, nevertheless… This summer I had a chance to discover one of those rare pearls where your spirit and stomach get equally satisfied. Situated In the middle of nowhere, or, to be more precise, in a little village on 950 m of altitude in the middle of French Auvergne, this little inn is a true soul-shelter for food and wine geeks. Charming, stylish and modest as its name – Auberge des Chassignolles.
From the first minutes this place envelops you with its warmth and beauty. The decoration is humble and admirable - authentic French Country design with original old furniture is mixed with several modern items and an exceptional painting selection. Every room is unique and has its own allure. Everything is chosen with care and attention to the details. The reception of the passionate team is unformal and friendly. They make you feel easy like if you were a part of the "family". But the main chapter of my impressions is, without doubt, the restaurant and its garden. You get a rare luxury to degust at the dinner table home-grown vegetables cultivated by Auberge's owner himself. And here I must pay tribute to this inspirer and loving Dad of the place – Peter Taylor. An experienced chef himself, since couples of years he hosts young and promising stars of high cuisine in his kitchen. And this year he's hosting not one, but two young British kitchen geniuses - Jamie Smart and Felix Reade. Working with ultra-local products and, most importantly, vegetables from Peter's garden, this duo brings magic into your plate. This is not the first time I've had an impression that British talents slowly invade European gastronomy world – using French technique and English inspiration these guys create completely unconventional tastes. The surprising freshness of potato and cucumber stew sparkled with fresh herbs was a perfect company for the most tender chicken of my life. And the breathtaking veal raviolis with homemade charcuterie in a tender broth just crushed me with intensity and delicacy of the taste at the same time. Can it even be better? Yes, because all this is accompanied by excellent, rare natural wine, precisely selected by this year's sommelier – Zoe Boinet. And if you still have a little bit of space in your pleasure reserve, next morning you can enjoy a signature breakfast, a real one, so precious in the breakfastless France! Fresh fruits, eggs, famous Peter's jam, local cheeses and butter, homemade granola and yoghurt - the product quality level can hardly be higher. All this gourmet dream land for more than reasonable price, with so many historical and beautiful places to visit around…
My first thought coming back to Paris : "I need a driving license!". Because after all those years, I have finally found a special place where to escape :)
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