A little taste of Ardeche

Châtaignes, fromage, vin and the juiciest, most tender pintade (guinea hen) that I could have ever dreamed of tasting in my whole life. Reflecting back on the trip, I can say that 4 days was hardly enough time to scratch the surface of Ardeche’s popular southeastern area. We returned late Sunday evening with a big fat IF hanging over our heads. If only we could have visited in October when chestnut season was at its peak. If only certain restaurants were still offering their seasonal chestnut-inspired menus. If only they weren’t closed for vacation! And naturally, if only we had extra time to check out more points of interest on the map.


The natural environment and layout of the land is a paradise for kayakers, hikers and rock climbers, but for those less-inclined to work up a sweat, Ardeche has many charming villages to poke around in. Good weather demanded that we enjoy a cheese, wine, paté and baguette picnic (so de rigueur but we love it), and everywhere we went, people, shop owners and even the dogs were friendly and relaxed. Our b&b host suggested spring as the best time to visit, but to avoid the Easter vacation period if crowds aren’t your thing.

French foodie shopping

The highlight of the trip was the inevitable shopping and this is just half the loot. Potiron at 1€/kilo, vitelotte potatoes, cocos blancs, potato chips in flavors that we’ll never see in Italy! Cheese and wine sourced from specialty stores, and chestnuts scooped up at a local festival. More on the festival later…


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