Oustau de Baumanière

Hotel and Restaurant

Oustau de Baumanière is one of the finest restaurants I have ever eaten in.  It’s about an hour’s drive north of Marseilles in a high, hilly country area of Provence.  My wife and I visited in October so the lovely-looking outdoor terrace was closed and we ate in the imposing stone walled dining room.

My starter, ravioli de truffe aux poireaux, was truly sublime.  The source was astonishing and I was pleased they gave me a flat spoon to eat it all up with.  It was an emulsion of leeks with no cream and yet it looked and tasted smooth and creamy.  Aileen had a selection of fish to start with.

The main courses were plainer – sea bass and rouget (I don’t know how to translate this fish) – but when the deserts arrived … ohmygod!

I had a souffle a la noisette.  I’ve had souffles in a ramekin.  I even taught myself to make them – that was a long weekend at Stibbe towers.  Here the souffle arrived on the plate without any visible means of support.  It was a dome, six inches in diameter.  How do they do it?  It defies the laws of physics.

Dining Room

Then there came the mother of all cheese trolleys.  It had a very clever rotating drum mechanism and contained about thirty cheeses.  It may not be the hallmark of a connoisseur but my favourite thing with a top cheese trolley is to ask the waiter to choose a selection for me.  It’s a gastronomic journey and this one didn’t disappoint.

Then, to top it off, they deployed the sorbet trolley.  Yes, that’s right, a whole tray of homemade sorbets in foot high metal chilled bottles.  A selection of sorbets was just what we needed to round out the meal.

The weather was poor when we visited and cold and that rather put a dent in the whole experience.  In the summer it must be sublime.

Important Information

Nearest airport: Avignon

Website: www.oustaudebaumaniere.com

Telephone: + 33 (0)4 90 54 33 07

Email: [email protected] This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Closing: Hotel: Wednesday (from November 1st to March 31st) Rest.: Wednesday (from October 1st to April 30th), Thursday at lunch (from November 1st to March 31st). Annual closing: From beginning of January to beginning of February

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