Travel | Chez Miton and Au Fil de L’Aigronne: two Loire bargains

Travel

Chez Miton and Au Fil de L’Aigronne: two Loire bargains

Instead of hurtling down south on the motorway as we used to do with the kids to minimise family squabbling, we’ve taken to a stately three day progression with frequent stop-offs to visit winemakers, eat or simply drive through France’s beautiful unspoilt countryside and blissfully traffic-free back roads.

It sounds expensive but apart from the crippling cost of petrol it needn’t be as these two recent finds prove:

At Chez Miton which is in the village of Chahaignes, about half an hour north of Tours you can have a two course lunch midweek for 12 euros (£10.33/$15.77) including service. The food is quite basic but it’s decent, generous and amazing for the price.

We ate a simple green salad with confit tomatoes, that good old French staple jambon et melon, pork with noodles and an excellent andouillette (so my husband told me - I never touch the stuff) with a sharply flavoured mustard sauce, which I can vouch for. Adding a dessert would have added another 3€. No wonder the place is packed.

The wine’s good too. We had a 50cl ‘pot’ of light, fragrant Pineau d’Aunis* from local producer Philippe Sevault for just 13€.

And in the evening we stayed at an excellent chambre d’hôtes Au Fil de L’Aigronne at Le Petit Pressigny south of the Loire which was recommended by fellow wine writer and Loire specialist Jim Budd on the strength of the fact that it’s bang next door to a restaurant called La Promenade which he also rates highly. The food was good but we had to endure some painfully slow and at times stroppy service. Maybe it was an off-night and they were over-stretched - it has consistently good ratings on Trip Advisor.

The B & B though is a bargain with friendly, generous hosts who throw a top breakfast with home-baked madeleines and local goats’ cheese in with their incredibly good value overnight rate of 60€/£51.64/$78.85 for a double room. (The only downside - Internet addicts may like to know the wifi is a bit dodgy.)

* a very old and rare grape variety from this part of the Loire.

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