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FRANCE - EUGÉNIE-LES-BAINS - LES PRÉS D'EUGÉNIE

Three Michelin Stars

LES PRÉS D'EUGÉNIE


On this occasion we took a trip over the Spanish border from San Sebastián (some 175 km) into France to the wonderful Les Prés-d'Eugenie.

Michel Guérard opened Les Prés-d'Eugenie in the tiny commune of Eugénie-les-Bains in 1974 and gained a third Michelin star in 1977, only three years after taking over.

He has retained this third star for forty years and now has the longest such continuous run since the recent death of Paul Bocuse who had gained his in 1965.

Eugénie-les-Bains is a pretty little commune, which I would imagine is a delightful place to visit in summer. We went during a rainy December evening and it still could be appreciated the misty rain adding a certain mystique to it.

There are a few shops and bar/restaurants in the little commune.

Église Sainte-Eugénie d'Eugénie-les-Bains

Michel Guérard cookery school

Les Prés-d'Eugenie is set in stunning grounds and it is a very pleasant stroll into the main house, where the restaurant is situated. The property has a large spa attached to the main house and has further accommodation in a converted convent.

On arrival we were led to a very opulent lounge area before we were seated in the main restaurant.

There are a vast amount of ornaments and artefacts on show from years of collecting.

Once sat in front of a roaring fire, we chose our menu.

There were three tasting menus, at €130, €195 and €250, as well as a full a la carte menu, with a vast French only wine list, which was very big on Bordeaux. We chose the €250 menu Palais Enchanté.

We had champagne and a few excellent nibbles to start.

After which, we were taken to the main dining room, no pictures were taken of this room.

After some excellent amuse bouche we started with two types of caviar and potato dishes.

Next, was one of Michel Guérard's signature dishes, the morel pillow. A creamy soup of morel mushrooms and asparagus tips on a ravioli base, with the extra luxury of black truffles.

Lobster baked in the oven with onion and peach sauce. Side dish of hollowed out onion containing an onion and cheese sauce. Both were fabulous.

Local beef was cooked in the fireplace in the kitchen and presented at the table before it was allowed to rest, back in the kitchen. The fillet was coated in a crust of panko breadcrumbs and served with shallot confit in a red wine sauce.

it was served with a wonderfully light and delicate trio of soufflé potatoes.

Dessert, was another of Michel Guerard's signature dishes, Marquis de bechamel soft cake and melted rhubarb ice cream. We were warned by our waiter that this was not the prettiest dessert ever and so it turned out, but the flavour of the rhubarb, especially, was quite stunning.

For drinks we had 8 glasses of Champagne Michel Guérard (€176)

1 Puligny-Montrachet d.Martelet e Cherisey 2011 (€170)

1 Chateau Petit Village 1997 (€140)

Unfortunately both wines were not really to our tastes.

2 Café d'Exception Népal, Kilimanjaro (€24).

2 Eau Minérale (€20)

The bill for 4 was €1,530 before tip.

Service was very friendly and professional. Michel Guérard is now 84, so if you want to experience this wonderful place it may be best to go sooner rather then later.

We stayed at Hotel Relais des Champs, a very pleasant but basic hotel on the outskirsts of Eugénie-les-Bains

The hotel & Spa Les Prés-d'Eugenie has fantastic rooms should you wish to stay there.

Next morning we had a look at the second restaurant, Ferme aux Grives, which unfortunately we had no time to try as we were leaving before lunch. it was once an old barn and is now a stunning little place set in very pretty gardens which I believe serves excellent value for money for 3 courses.

The restaurant was brought to our attention and recommended by Andy Hayler who has a fantastic restaurant blog that can be found here www.andyhayler.com

LES PRÉS D'EUGÉNIE

Eugenie-les-Bains 40320 France

+33 558 05 06 07

www.michelguerard.com

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