Happy July 4th my American readers (goodness knows when this entry will be posted
...a cunning plan m’lord - well actually, it wasn’t planned but turned out very well all the same. Locked up two very deep locks (7 metre rise) onto the canal des Voges, behind a German boat. They were not going to stop for lunch so I voted that we did, at Richardmenil. Just as we pulled in to moor, the heavens opened again. Took MWNN to the riverside restaurant "Au Bon Accuiel". Found the best wine list I have ever seen (full of Alscace wines) and enjoyed a wonderfully traditional, classic, French lunch; 4 courses - 2 hours. MWNN had the best Nougat Glace he has ever tasted; crunchy, yet smooth! The Doppf-Irion Gewurstramjiner was golden, honeyed, spicy, bone-dry; it was served in long-stemmed brandy shaped glasses that allowed the wine to breathe and yet trapped all the aromas. I could still smell the delicious floral spice right down to the last drop in the bottle.
Exchanged views with Monsiouer Kruch the proprietor afterwards (he confessed he was biased towards Alscace wines, being as native of the region) I tended to agree with his beliefs on the reasons for the decline of classic French restaurants and the growth of fast food outlets (brasseries) - taxation; the decline of classic French regional cuisine - working ‘mamans’; and the loss of quality independent bakers - big multiples producing factory ‘mother’s shame’ (for non-Brit readers, the biggest bakery in Britain produces a loaf called ‘mother’s pride’, that is anything but!)
Fairly expensive meal but oh so resonant of the eating experiences we have begun to mourn the loss over the last 25 years of visiting France.
ETA Was right about the wine list; the rent man has just been to collect his dues and he told us that there are coach trips organised to visit the restaurant for its wines; the cellars are larger than the acreage of the entire town.