Superb Food In Southern France?


One day, from our House Sit, we went out to a 4 star Michelin Chef restaurant that had raving reviews on Trip Adviser, and was also highly recommended by a neighbor.






The host/owner offered impeccable service and the menu looked absolutely scrumptious.



We liked the soup a lot – a thick mushroom soup, in a tiny bowl.



I was truly excited about this meal…



The asparagus/scallop appetizer was what I looked forward to the most because I love scallops. We could not see or taste a scallop, and the dish was a cold mouse/gel aspic, with a few cold asparagus.

Lesson 1: Don’t Always Believe Trip Adviser




The next dish was lamb, slow-cooked 6 hours. You would think it would be tender, but the lamb was as tough as chewing on leather. The potatoes were delicious, as well as the baked onion, but the white carrots were tasteless. The ambiance was elegant, the service was impeccable, the presentations were perfect, but what about taste?



Lesson 2: Don’t believe that food in France is always superb!


I was sure we would enjoy the 4th course, a baked light flaky pastry stuffed with cheese and apples – unfortunately, there was just no flavour at all.


Finally I was positive that at least I would like the chocolate cake with strawberries, but again – bland.


Tucking into the wallet with a deep dive – this last experience has us almost ready to swear off Chef-Renown restaurants. This was now the 3rd-4th time we had been thoroughly disenchanted with meals at supposed “top” restaurants.


Sadly, we’ve also eaten in small French cafes, medium size restaurants, and from big cities to villages in France with little change in our disappointing experience of the food of France. Either our taste buds have changed or something else has.


The crusty breads we’ve had here (baguettes and bakery breads), are  super super crusty, and actually tough to chew. I guess we’re soft bread people. It’s nice that they don’t use preservatives though, but that means that the next day the bread is already getting a bit dry. 



And the croissants? Ordinary. Now the croissants we had in Buenos Aires, Argentina – they were something to write home about!

Argentinian Medialunas Recipe | Travel Food Atlas


We’re not whining… really… just sharing our experience. Maybe we expected too much. Sometimes that happens when you hear about something wonderful, like French food being superb. Your expectations become unrealistic. French food in Canada has always been my favourite, so I expected it to be even better at it’s  origin, in France.


Well, you can’t beat the wines and cheeses of France… oh, and most of the chocolate…

7 Secrets to a mouthwatering French cheese board - Snippets of Paris


And the countryside is beautiful absolutely everywhere in Southern France. Lush rolling green hills with endless hues of green, from bright lime green to deep forest greens, red clay-roofed towns dotting the green hills, gorgeous vistas across valleys, castles on hilltops, winding country roads, the deep azure blue sea, and everywhere city to country was spotlessly clean.


The landscape more than met our expectations. One could drive and drive in that country for months, and not get tired of the scenery. Nor could you see everything in a few months. There is so much to see, you could spend a year travelling around, and never see it all.


Ironically, the best meal we had in France was an Italian Pizza! One of those paper thin crusts with hardly anything on it that absolutely exploded with flavour and knocked our taste buds off!!!

Lesson 3: Expectations. That’s the kicker. If our expectations are far higher than the reality, we will, inevitably, be disappointed. 


Come to think of it, this could apply to travel to any country. We’re lead to believe, through our own research, the internet, television, online forums, and other travellers, all the wonderful things we can expect from visiting a particular country.


Of course the solution is not to avoid all the touristy spots or world heritage sites, or that special place your Aunt Hilda told you about, but maybe…

…the secret is to be open to new opportunities, stop at places that are not on your itinerary, slip down that little side street and try a little Mom & Pop restaurant, or go to a local event. Flexibility is usually what leads to the most memorable travel experiences.


But where was all that luscious food you hear about in Southern France???



essdee1_cover (8) Dec 13 FINAL COVER

*If you’d like to learn more about little-known inexpensive countries and our crazy adventures, click the link below on Amazon to get the book, Travel To Little Known Places.


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10 Responses to Superb Food In Southern France?

  1. Joanne says:

    I was just talking today of eating in Provence! How enlightening and good luck

  2. travellittleknownplaces says:

    Oh, are you going to Provence?! It’s beautiful, but I hope you have better luck with the food than we did! Smile.

  3. T says:

    We definitely agree. Notice the only thing I recommended from France was the brioche, as opposed to a list of things? I felt the same way about crusty bread. I think we just became so used to soft bread in Canada that crusty bread seems like fresh bread gone stale!

    • travellittleknownplaces says:

      So I’m not the only one? I expected a blast from people who had fabulous food in France.

  4. That’s a great photo of you, Shirl – in the hat 😉 Interesting post too.

  5. I love crusty bread, and find soft bread boring so I guess it’s a matter of taste. Having said that one of the worst meals I’ve ever had while travelling was in Paris, so food in France is not universally good that’s for sure.

  6. Just curious Alison, you two have done a lot of travelling. Which country had the food you liked best?

  7. essd2013 says:

    Really! Wow, my sister is there right now.

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