Lyon, Lyon, Lyon where do I begin? Gourmet restaurants galore, traditional factory-worker eateries bursting with character, and a market brimming with vibrant produce. The gastronomic capital of one of the most foodie countries in the world certainly withholds its prestigious reputation in my eyes!

Our first impression of the city was not exactly positive to say the least. We arrived in the dark and spent an hour looking for parking with nowhere to stay. To top it off, the restaurant we had researched was fully booked all evening. Feeling very sorry for ourselves, we walked around rapidly trying to find a solution. At this moment, someone, somewhere decided to strike us with a bit of luck in the form of a welcoming restaurant that we had heard of in a tale before…

…When in Cadiz we were very fortunate to meet Chris (see post: ), a young man with a passion for wine. His story is so inspiring and it all began in this tiny restaurant, one of his frequent haunts. One evening he was enjoying a dinner and a bottle of wine when someone spilled a glass of wine from the balcony above, apparently the moment when all became clear! From here, he swotted up with the wine merchant below his apartment and went on to work for the most prestigious sherry producers in the world…

… So we entered this cosy shelter from the cold and decided that we deserved to treat ourselves. We settled in on the famous balcony with a warning to ‘not spill any wine… orrrr to topple a little over the side and convert someone else…’ (The consensus was to go with the former so as to avoid facing angry French ladies and being thrown back out on to the cold street.)

Our tummies were warmed up (literally and metaphorically) with an amuse-bouche consisting of a tiny cup of sweet and creamy vegetable soup. With the sheer impossibility of choosing between the temptations written before us, we decided to do our favourite… two plats between two… (avoiding any opportunity for food envy and allowing us to try a greater variety!). The chosen dishes were pigeon breast in a rich jus with parsnips and winter vegetables; and a contrasting, lighter yet equally as tasty, white fish with perfectly golden crisp skin accompanied with sweet potato purée and buttery girolles mushrooms. To add that extra ‘mmmmm’ factor, we were served a side dish of creamy potato purée, whipped into such a heavenly light and feathery dream that it was hard to come back down to our surroundings.

Gala Amusing her Bouche
Pigeon Providing Serious Comfort

Another drop of heaven was provided in the dessert… poached pear with violet syrup and white chocolate mousse. The picture looks bland, the dish was not. It was perfection and a divine textural balance between creamy sweet and light and fruity.

Heavenly Pud

When we left, we walked passed the tiny open kitchen and gave our compliments to the friendly and talented chefs.

Our Shelter from the Cold

This restaurant is such a find, tucked away from the casual passer-by. Its charm is its intimacy, its delicacy and its simplicity. Worthy of its inspiring story and definitely worth a visit, not to be missed!

(11 Rue des Augustins)