Auberge du Val is not easy to find. If you can get to the church in St Saviours, then take the road going steeply down hill. Sounds rather odd, but we had been recommended to go to the Auberge so that we could see its garden. After we had ordered, we did stroll the garden (quite steep steps in places because of the valley). It was immaculate, restful and had some nice planting, making the best of its natural setting.
The restaurant has a small bar area with a pleasant patio outside where you order and have pre-drinks. There is a shortish set menu and also a blackboard with dishes of the day. Almost all the offerings seemed to use local produce and particularly fish and sea food. A good range of choice (unless you are a vegetarian who won't eat fish). The blackboard showed scallops with a garlic and chilli sauce. I like chilli, but 'have a thing' about scallops being such a delicate taste that I didn't want the chilli. That was no problem and the change was made with a smile. My wife had a crab starter and then brill. I had calamari followed by scallops. The main courses were served with a variety of fresh vegetables. My creme brûlée was super. Everything was cooked to perfection.
The service was just right, not too rushed, not too slow, friendly but not intrusive.
The one small downside was on the drinks front. It was my turn to drive and, on arrival, I asked "what do you have that is non alcoholic but interesting?" Sometimes this brings the most exquisite local concoctions. No luck. J2O was the answer. My wife asked for a glass of white wine while we perused the menu and walked the garden. She was offered no choice, only a Portuguese wine which was described as "the equivalent of Sauvignon blanc" . After our garden walk I said that I would like a glass of white with my dinner, but the only white on offer was this Portuguese wine - I had sipped some of my wife's and it was really not to my taste - very oily. The proprietor had a bit of a wobbly when I pushed and said surely he had other white wine by the glass. He is Portuguese and I think he took my dislike of his wine as slight on his country. It certainly wasn't meant to be. I know I am not alone in preferring the crisp whites rather than whites from hotter countries. The wine list was not prohibitive in price - several at around £25…but we simply wanted a glass. Perhaps the proprietor could be more flexible on his approach to both soft drinks (given location, almost every dinner group will have one driver) and range of wine by the glass.
The overall experience was a very pleasant one. The ambiance is warm, the service friendly, and the food excellent. The bill for two starters, two main courses, one pudding, a soft drink and two decent sized glasses of wine, was £82 plus tip. This is fine for food of this quality.
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