The abundance of rich cuisine in France comes down to a few factors: the sheer amount of fine wines the country produces, its possession of one of the world’s best breeds of beef cattle, and the brilliant quality of seafood from the country’s coastal regions. But it can be a minefield figuring out what to eat and where to go – so we’ve put together a simple guide for you to eat your way through the regions.
Where to try: Le France Jerome Brochot. Talented young chef Jerome Brochot takes regional Burgundian dishes and gives them his own innovative twists.
Where to stay: Abbaye de Maizieres This charming boutique hotel with 12 rooms is located in the historic district of Beaune and housed in a former Cistercian abbey of the twelfth century.
Where to try: Au Pont Corbeau. Dimly-lit, old-fashioned winstub with gingham tablecloths and lashings of rustic Alsace spirit.
Where to stay: Bouclier d’or. Less than a ten minute stroll away from the restaurant, this Strasbourg gem is an intimate and historic hotel and spa, with sumptuous rooms made up of restored antique furniture.
Where to try: The majority of Brittany’s patisseries will serve up these sweet puddings with a rich cup of coffee, but one of its most famous is Histoire de Macaron in Chateaulin.
Where to stay: Chateau de Ballue. A unique grand chateau located between Brittany and Normandy that dates back to the 17th century.
To sample true cassoulet, head to Languedoc. France’s beautiful southern region is home to the traditional winter dish – a simple casserole of creamy haricot beans stewed with mutton, pork or sausages. You’ll be hard pushed to find a dish more comforting than this one.
Where to try: Chateau de Floure. An old Roman villa just ten minutes from Carcassone, this 4-star hotel serve up a sublime ‘cassoulet of the chateau’. Fill up your tummy in the authentic French restaurant before retiring to one of its 25 romantic bedrooms.
Where to try: Chez Madie. Perfect, traditional bouillabaisse cooked with locally-caught fish. Enjoy with views across to harbour, overlooking Notre-Dame de la Garde.
Where to stay: Mas Saint Florent. In nearby Arles, this charming 18th century guest house offers a restorative retreat, with six pristine rooms, infinity pool and 11-hectare park with an olive grove.