The châteaux of Audrieu, Fonscolome and Normandoux are playing fields for chefs where gourmets enjoy savoury tastings.
Château de Fonscolombe, with Romain Franceschi
In a park filled with fragrant lavander, this Provencal homestead of the 18th century is the gourmet stronghold of Romain Franceschi, a chef involved in ecology and nature to offer the best regional products. Amongst his signature dishes, a fine tart around old fashioned varieties of tomatoes, rouget à la caponata and lamb with crispy eggplants, all deserve a visit. Menus: €48 and €75. fonscolombe.fr
Château d'Audrieu, with Olivier Barbarin
At the heart of the Calvados stands an 18th century manor, classified as Historical Monument. The chef, who trained amongst Meilleurs Ouvriers de France pillars, preprares a filet of turbot with Champagne, a fricassée of snails and chicken breasts with rhubarb that truly are a good reason to return to Normandy. Menus: €75 , €85, €105. chateaudaudrieu.com
Domaine du Normandoux, with Caroline Chevalier
In the Poitou, the estate of Normandoux was mentioned as early as 1260 and Caroline Chevalier, a native of the area, only 21 years old, specialized in the art of light cuisine. Totally in keeping with ongoing culinary trends, she whips up scrambled eggs with chorizo and dried tomatoes, a sea bass with risotto of courgettes and veal with mashed potatoes. Menus: €30, €42. www.normandoux.fr