Places to eat
1. The Maison du Terroir in Maury
Avenue Jean Jaurès
Tel: 04 68 86 28 28
When it opened with chef Pascal Borrel, the Masion du Terroir quickly gained a deserved Michelin star. But the service was patchy, the prices high, and the atmosphere a little intimidating for anything other than a special occasion. Now it has changed hands, is more affordable and easy-going, though sadly not quite as good as it was. The wine list has many fine reds, but does leave you lamenting that there aren’t many great white wines in the valley.
2. Le Pichenouille, Maury
Laurent Vidal’s wine shop has a long table down the middle, and serves simple tapas-style food for lunch and supper. The food is tasty, but the great joy is that you can pluck any bottle you like off the shelves with no extra charge for corkage. A great option for a bunch of winos wanting to have a comparative tasting in a convivial setting.
3. The Cafe, Maury
The presence of the main road through Maury just yards away from the outside seating detracts a little from the ambiance, but this is a great place for a steak-frites, or a goats cheese salad, while various villages characters wander in and out, or watch ‘le rugby’ on the TV screen.
4. l’Auberge du Cellier
1, rue de Sainte Eugénie. Montner, France – 04 68 29 09 78
A small, intimate restaurant with a great wine list, and a very talented chef – Pierre-Luis Marin, who has just picked up his first Michelin star. They now have a lovely terrace at the back, but even so, you may need to book, especially at weekends.
5. Auberge du Vieux Puits
5, Avenue Saint-Victor, 11360 Fontjoncouse, France
Tel: 04 68 44 07 37
OK – so it is over an hour’s drive, but this is one of the best restaurants in France, and although it is in a hilltop village in the middle of nowhere, you won’t find better food in the area.
6. Domaine Riberach
2 Route de Caladroy, 66720 Belesta
Tel: 04 68 50 30 10
An amazing new hotel and restaurant that has been created inside an old co-operative winery. The old concrete tanks are now bedrooms (they now have windows….!). The restaurant is really fantastic, and deserves more customers, but then if you will build a fine restaurant in the middle of nowhere….
Places to stay
There are very few hotels within striking distance of Maury – though there have been rumours for some time that one might be about to be built.
A new gite that we have discovered recently is the stunningly located Borde d’en Lin, perched on the escarpment between Maury and Lesquerde, with a view to die for. Gets a bit windy though!
Email Elsa at firstname.lastname@example.org for availability
Before we bought our house, if we stayed for a week or more, we usually rented a gite. Our favourite is Mas d’en Simon, run by English couple Jeremy and Lisa Ancock.