We got lost en route in France and drove through the ghost town of Thouars, despairing of finding anywhere to eat. It was Sunday lunchtime. As we left the town on the Route de Parthenay, we saw an unprepossessing 2 star pre fab style hotel raised up from the road. I almost didn't go in, it looked so bleak from the outside. It turned out to be a really wonderful pitstop, a packed restaurant with panoramic views over the old town, and filled with hungry locals. Luckily they had one little table for us and we took their fixed price menu which was around 30 Euros. Starters of perfectly cooked foie gras, or large plates of marinated salmon, mains of fish or lamb or beef, all served with vegetables and exceptionally well cooked. Deserts of home made chocolate fondant or raspberry macaroons. We'd paid the same only a week earlier in a London cafe for a measly plate or two of tapas. The service was exceptional. The hotel too is apparently booked most of the time and I can see why. A family run enterprise with heart and soul, and a pretty good plate of food.
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