We bid our friends farewell at the Avignon train station and caught the TGV to Lyon for the last leg of our tour.
Lyon is a lovely historic city shaped by its two rivers, the Rhône (to the East) and the Saône (to the West) which is the not only the birthplace of cinema but the silk making capital of France. I loved visiting the silk scarf makers where you can see the artists screening colourful scarves on the premises.
Lyon is regarded as the Gastronomic capital of France with her restaurants holding 22 of France’s coveted Michelin stars. The term “Michelin Star” is the award for the finest dining establishments in the world. There is an annual guide published by the Michelin Company that rates the best restaurants on the quality, mastery of technique, personality and consistency of the food.
We chose the Sofitel Lyon Bellecour as our place to stay on this visit. This 5 star beauty sits at the edge of the Rhône near Place Bellecour. The rooms were lush, contemporary and oh so comfortable with views of the river.
After sight-seeing we decided to see what the fuss about these Michelin Star restaurants was all about. Our hotel is home to Chef Alain Deville’s famous Les Trois Domes which holds a one star rating. We made reservation for that evening and prepared ourselves for an exciting experience. We also left our cameras and our budgets behind for the night.
The restaurant sits at the top of the Sofitel with panoramic views of Place Bellecour and the Rhône. The décor is modern, elegant and the ambience rich with luxury.
For dinner we ordered a 5 course prix fix menu with wine pairing:
The meal began with 2 amuse bouches on a plate, the first a smoked salmon with Roquefort cream and the second a dollop of polenta topped with a lobster and parmesan chip.
This was followed by an entre of grilled foie gras with kumquat, spice chips and spanakopita filled with nuts and vegetables.
The plat was lambs chops with artichokes barigolle and gnocchi.
The next amuse bouche was a more traditional lemon ice with liquor served with pistachio madeleines and chocolate tartlets.
The cheese course featured an assortment of cheeses chosen from a rolling cart filled with and assortment of local artisan cheeses served with apricots and cinnamon bread.
Desert was a light, creamy raspberry sorbet with fresh strawberries and raspberries and a cup of tea.
Each course was paired with a lovely French wine from the region that complimented the plate.
It sounds like a huge dinner but the portions were small enough to allow room for the next course while providing a taste sensation that made you almost forget the previous course. We relaxed and left ourselves in the hands of the waiters who did not disappoint us. As each course was unveiled and each glass of was wine tasted we better understood why people search out Michelin star restaurants on their tours of Europe. It was not just the luxury and impeccable service but it was the tastes, the aromas and the extreme sensuality of savouring a great meal.
This truly was an evening to remember.
My only regret was not getting photos of these fabulous plates as they were presented. It was a memorable way to end our trip before heading home.
Au Revoir Belle France