Lys St Georges

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I dreamed of moving to Paris and spending the weekends like Scott and Zelda, exploring the French countryside, a Michelin guide in the compartment beside my kid gloves, stumbling upon fairly tale castles and meandering paths that lead to provincial restaurants with gifted chefs. I forgot we had children. And jobs and social obligations and along came the internet and my dreams were crushed by modernity; a lifeless Myrtle Wilson.

Screen shot 2015-04-30 at 2.41.49 PMThis weekend those dreams enjoyed a miraculous revival when Mr French and I headed to the Berry region for a little visit with Mamie French.

Three hours from Paris, it was a rolling countryside; a patchwork of bright green wheat and blazing safflower fields with lilac bloom stitches that guided us up the hill and around a bend to the astonishing view of a turreted castle with its moat and a 12th century church in the background. The air was filled with frog song. We were enchanted.

Screen shot 2015-04-30 at 2.41.30 PMWe were in Lys Saint George to try L’Auberge de la Forge which I had found thanks to Michelin, just like Zelda in my dream.

A large fireplace dominates a red dining room, with a decor that runs from quaint to kitsch. The friendly staff handed us a menu that included the names the people who had made our food; the goat cheese producer, the spinach grower, and the cow farmer. The recipes were creative and delicious, with modern flavors and a focus on fresh. Mr French had gingerbread breaded sweet breads, the madames monkfish with a lemongrass sauce and oyster mushrooms that had been grown by the lady next door. Dessert was a light selection of housemade sorbets and wine a memorable 2009 Meursault.

After lunch we strolled by the chateau, visited the church and kept going beyond wisteria draped gardens to a local hiking trail, the sound of cows lowing bounced off the hillside around as we took in the fresh air and savored a walking dream.

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