In the Ardèche Méridionale there are numerous sleepy wine villages, where life is kind and quiet, set in a landscape full of history. Also the stones of the old houses breathe the past. But not only that. They also house present day culinary delights. One example is the fine Hotel Restaurant "La Bastide du Soleil", where we had a delightful lunch.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
In the midst of the midday heat, we were invited to eat within the cool thick stone walls of the 17 th century chateau, which is surrounded by charming narrow streets and has a fine courtyard, in an elegant dining room on the first floor. One gets to this first floor through a magnificent staircase, truly majestic, which gets you in the mood. Indeed, the surroundings suggest that here one can expect something extraordinary on your plate...
We took a lunch on the menu with starter and main course, which cost a modest 17,5 Euros. Modest because the culinary qualities were truly outstanding. The starter consisted of a gaspacho with ice-cream made of goat milk. One could not with for anything more refreshing and refined.
The main course was a trio of stuffed vegetables of the season with minced meat. It was accompanied by a tagliatelle which was flavoured and brought to taste with a fine meat sauce. This course proved very well balanced, bringing out the rich taste of the meat and its sauce, set against the fresh taste of the vegetables.
My wife went for the fish of the day, accompanied by rice and ratatouille. Our meal was accompanied by a delightful rosé "Mas de Bagnols", a wine from a vineyard which is situated at the entry of the Vinezac village.
A refined, very tasteful lunch enjoyed in a pleasant historic and elegant setting, with the friendliest of service.
Indeed, the lady of the house, Mme Valérie Benoit, was serving us personally, she commented expertly on the food and the wine. This "Bastide du Soleil" is also a tasteful and comfortable hotel, with about 6 rooms, from standard to quadruple beds.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
LA BASTIDE DU SOLEIL Le Village 07110 VINEZAC Tel. + 33 (0)4 75 36 91 66 Mobile : +33 (0)6 71 32 80 33 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org