Archive for the Rhône Category

Lyon – Gourmet Thrills in the 3rd Arrondissement

Posted in 3rd Arrondissement, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France, Lyon, Rhône with tags , , on March 10, 2019 by gannet39

For my last night in Lyon I stayed in a hotel near the main train station, the Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu. This was handy for a couple of places nearby. My Google map is here.

Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse (Intermediate A), 102 Cours Lafayette,

This famous indoor food market is one of the reasons Lyon has such a great gastronomic reputation. The celebrity chef Paul Bocuse added his name to the title to add even more weight.

Around fifty vendors ply their wares here, including excellent fishmongers, butchers, cheesemongers, confectioners and bakers. Click on the pics for a better view, if you’re on a PC.

Something you’ll see often is the Praline Brioche for which Lyon is famous. The story goes that in the 18th century, a Lyonnais pastry chef was inspired by local rose gardens to add a bit of colour to the dough.

There’s an incredible range of top quality ingredients available. Here’s a few that caught my eye.

OF course, there are many places where you can eat as well…

Chez Georges (Intermediate B+), inside Les Halles de Lyon, 102 Cours Lafayette

I treated myself to a seafood blowout here.

I had the Assiete de Fruits de Mer; fourteen oysters (six Huitres Fines de Claires no.3, four Huitres Isigny no.2 and four Huitres Gillardeau no.4) and two kinds of prawns (50g Crevettes Grises and three Crevettes Roses) and 100g of whelks (Bulots).

And because I love them, I added another half dozen Crevettes Roses.

The Assiete cost €46.50, the Vin du Mois 28€ and the extra prawns were €9.50.

With a glass of Poire William, the final bill was €91, which is about right really.

Everybody needs to do this on a regular basis!

And a short walk away is…

Daniel et Denise Crequi (Intermediate A), 156 Rue de Créqui,

Daniel et Denise is another bouchon with a good reputation. This branch is I think the original location out of the three restaurants in the chain.

I came twice, and ate very well both times. The first time I came in the evening and sat inside.

To start I had the ubiquitous La Cervelle de Canut au vinaigre de vin vieux, or the local fresh cheese served with aged vinegar, parsley, chives, shallot and garlic.

For the main, Le Contre Filet de Boeuf Angus Poêle, or pan-fried Angus sirloin steak, with black pepper, flambéd in Cognac.

And to drink a bottle of La Rosine 2014 Syrah.

Also some more cheese, I forget which.

Before finishing with a vanilla flavoured Crème Brûlée.

And a glass of Poire William by Morand.

On the next occasion I came for lunch and sat outside on the pavement terrace.

This time I had the Menu de Saison for €33 which kicked off with Le Pâté en Croute au Foie Gras de Canard et Ris de Veau or foie gras and sweetbread pâté in a pastry case. This dish won a World Champion award in 2009.

For the main, Le Jambon Blanc a l’os Rôti, Sauce Madère, or whole roasted ham on the bone in a Madeira sauce.

With all the trimmings of course.

I splashed out on a bottle of Crozes Hermitage Nouvelere.

And to round it off, my first experience of the famous dessert; L’Îes Flottante aux Pralines de Saint Genix, aka Floating Island, a meringue floating on a vanilla custard with pralines from the village of Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers which is famous for them.

And a glass of Sempe Armagnac to finish.

Although I didn’t grade this food, I remember it was all good hearty fare that warmed the cockles, not haute cuisine by any means, just sturdy classical cooking. Definitely recommended.

Off to the countryside next!


Lyon – Two Classic Restaurants in the 2nd Arrondissement

Posted in 2nd Arrondissement, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France, Lyon, Rhône with tags , on March 9, 2019 by gannet39

To be in the middle of everything, I rented an AirBnB apartment in the 2nd Arrondissement, in the centre of Lyon. You get the feeling of being on an island here as the area is limited by the Rhône to the east and the Saône to the west but actually you’re on a narrow peninsula formed by the confluence of the two rivers.

My Google map is here.

One of the things you really have to do when you go to Lyon is to eat at a Bouchon. These are traditional Lyonnais restaurants that serve local wines and dishes; typically sausages, pâtés and roasts. Most of them aren’t very good apparently, but the ones I went to were excellent…

Café Comptoir Abel (High Intermediate A), 25 Rue Guynemer,

A historic bouchon, established in 1726 but perhaps in this building since 1928.

I chose to sit inside on the ground floor so I could take in the atmosphere.

I particularly love the old zinc covered bar.

There are also three private rooms available for groups upstairs.

I came for the Sunday lunch and had the three-course €49 Menu Domincal, except that I added a couple of courses.

Proceedings began with a glass of fizz.

And soon thereafter, some Foie Gras Toasts (B+).

Not having had any breakfast I added the Quenelle de Brochet au Gratin; a gratinated pike quenelle (A).

A quenelle is a mix of creamed fish or meat, perhaps with breadcrumbs, with a lightly bound with egg and formed into an egg shape for cooking. Lyon is particularly famous for pike quenelles.

Then Filet de Beouf aux Morilles (A), or beef fillet in a sauce of morel mushrooms (A+).

A bottle of Chateau Mazerolles helped it all down (B+).

For dessert you had a choice of cheese or sweet so I had both, beginning with a spot of Fromage and a nicely dressed salad (B+).

Then a hefty slice of Gateaux de Maron (A).

I asked for a glass of wine to go with this and expected something sweet but got a glass of Saint Joseph. It went fairly well I guess (B).

Finally a stiff glass of a pomace brandy called Marc de Bourgogne (B).

A great meal! This was my first meal in Lyon and it was a great start to a wonderful culinary holiday.

This next place is another local instituion…

Brasserie Georges (High Intermediate B+), 30 Cours de Verdun, www.brasseriegeorges

It’s an absolutely huge brasserie (I’m guessing it seats around 300), built in 1836.

Although obviously the Art Deco décor is more recent.

I had the Menu Lyonnais for €27.50.

First Bavarois d’Asperges Vertes et Ouef Poche, Sauce Mousseline et Jambon Truffe, or Bavarian cream of green asparagus with poached egg, mousseline sauce and truffled ham which was fabulous (B+).

Then Saucisson Pistache ‘Maison Bobosse’ a la Maconnaise, Pommes de Terre Ecrasees a la Fourchette, or a local pork and pistachio sausage in a white wine sauce with mashed potatoes (B+).

For the cheese course I opted for the bland Cervelle de Canut, a fromage blanc spread that is a speciality of Lyon (B).

I added on the ‘Granny Smith’ Sable aux Pommes; apple shortbread with vanilla mouselline cream (B).

They make their own beer. A 40cl Biere Saisnon (B+) is around €5. With a milk coffee the total was just under €50.

So a good place with good food. It should be experienced just for the building itself.

Off to the 3rd Arrondissement for more good food next!

Lyon – Modern Architecture

Posted in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France, Lyon, Rhône with tags , , , on March 8, 2019 by gannet39

So in May 2017 I came to Lyon on holiday for four night’s. I was really excited to be there because it was my first time in France’s second city and my first time back in France for 25 years, more of which later.

There’s heaps to see and do (eat) in Lyon). I’ve dedicated one whole post to a walk in the old town Vieux Lyon and two posts to eating out. This introductory post looks at more modern design in different parts of the city. My Google map is here.

One of the first things you’ll experience is the Gare de Lyon Saint-Exupéry; the new train station at Saint-Exupéry Airport.

Built between 1989 and 1994 it was designed by Santiago Calatrava. If you’re on a PC, click on the pics to enlarge them.

He was also the architect for the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia (my post here).

Another modern building I like is the old Citroën Garage on the corner of Rue de Marseille and Rue de l’Université.

Built in 1932, the Art Deco façade fronted an 18-meter high hall the size of six football fields (31,500 m²) which housed the car assembly line.

The garage has been described as “the largest service station in the world” (Jean-Pierre Gagneux). It took 35 million euros to convert it into an office building.

I’m also a fan of the brutalist parking garage, Parking des Halles de Lyon, at 156 Rue Garibaldi over in the 3rd Arrondissement.

I didn’t see much street art in Lyon but I wasn’t really looking.

Next a lengthy post on all the beautiful things to see in Vieux Lyon, the oldest neighbourhood in the city.

Lyon – a long walk in Vieux Lyon

Posted in 5th Arrondissement, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France, Lyon, Rhône, Vieux Lyon with tags , , , , , on March 8, 2019 by gannet39

From my apartment in the 2nd Arrondissement, it was a short walk over the Saône on the Passerelle St Georges footbridge to Vieux Lyon in the 5th Arrondissement.

Vieux Lyon is the oldest part of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to it being one of Europe’s largest surviving Renaissance neighbourhoods.

My Google map is here.

Once over the footbridge I turned east towards the old town. Immediately you come to the Catholic church; La Église Saint Georges.

Walking along Place Benoît Crepu you can see some nice buildings.

Also on Avenue du Doyenné.

After this at 3 Avenue Adolphe Max you will see the Palais St Jean, the former episcopal palace. It was built at the end of the fifteenth century in a Gothic style.

Then you come to the cathedral, Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Place Saint-Jean.

The Gothic cathedral was completed in 1476.

Due to the high state of emergency, there was a squad of soldiers guarding the cathedral when I went.

I like the water spouts on the fountain in the middle of the square.

The streets east of here are the most touristy.

As you’d expect there are lots of nice looking old restaurants around.

I love the look of Bouchon Lyonnais at Place du Change. (Can’t vouch for their grub though).

There are lots of interesting shops around as well.

The only purchases I made were from this one…

Ambassade Bonnat & Crozet (Advanced A), 12 Rue de Boeuf,

A beautiful shop in the old town specialising in liqueurs and chocolats.

I got a bottle of Orgeat almond syrup for my cocktail cabinet and another of Elixir Bon Secours, a herbal liqueur with medicinal properties.

The assistant also helped me choose a couple of bars from the bewildering range of chocolates on display. He directed me towards the Selva Maya and the Hacienda el Rosario.

Vieux Lyon is known for its Traboules, narrow passageways that pass through buildings and link streets on either side. The first traboules are thought to have been built in Lyon in the 4th century.

Some are open to the public, just go to the following addresses and try the doors. If they are closed, press the button next to the door code keyboard. If you are still unable to enter from one side, try the entrance at the opposite end.

The traboule at 2 Place du Gouvernement arrives at a small courtyard containing some houses with nice facades. If you’re on a PC, click on the photos to enlarge them.

The longest traboule is between 54 Rue St Jean and 27 Rue du Boeuf. Click the pics to go big.

Another nice traboule is between 27 Rue St Jean and 6 Rue des Trois Maries.

At 16 Rue du Bœuf you can see La Tour Rose (the pink tower) which I’m told is an example of a Venetian staircase.

The courtyard it’s in is very pleasant with another lovely open staircase going to a lower floor.

I’d love to have a look inside this quirky building on Rue Lainerie.

Not sure what the purpose was of the lion heads on the façade of 1 Rue Juiverie.

There’s a nice staircase in the building at the end of Montée Saint-Barthélémy, where it bends round to meet Rue Juiverie.

The back streets also have a lot of atmosphere.

Eventually you start heading upwards. I love this switchback in Place de la Trinité.

I also love the guttering on this house at the bottom of Montée du Chemin Neuf.

A more direct way to go uphill from here is via the stairs Montée des Chazeaux Sendero de Ascenso, one of a few long staircases going up Fourvière Hill.

At the top you’ll find La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière. Built between 1872 and 1884, the design draws on Romanesque and Byzantine architecture rather than Gothic, which was unusual for the times.

The carved stonework seems very fresh to me.

You can get some fantastic views of the town from here.

The church was built on the site of the former Roman forum. Beyond the church you come to the Roman area where two amphitheatres. Both are still in use. Videos here and here.

And that’s enough walking for one day. It’s time for some food…

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