Earlier this month, my sister-in-law got married in France, in the middle of the countryside in the Loire Valley. Some of our family members were staying at a hotel called Le Moulin Brégeon nearby, and we spent an evening with them, the night before the big day. You would never guess the hotel was there unless you already knew about it. And that’s no exaggeration – the turning onto a narrow country lane is barely signposted. But that seems to be how the owner, Jonathan likes it. The 19th century water mill is a stunning retreat, and he doesn’t seem to have any problems booking up the five luxury suites, adorned with fine art and antique furniture of the region.
As you pull into the driveway of Le Moulin Brégeon, you know that you’ve discovered somewhere special, with a plethora of animals greeting you, from the owner’s gorgeous cat and dog, to the chickens and ducks (many of which regularly sneak into the house, to be chased out by the kitchen staff – it was like something from a charming foreign film!)
We sat outside in the garden and sipped on some beautiful local wines, and some nibbles which were all locally sourced where possible, if not grown within the grounds.
All of the dishes and crockery were very ‘vintage’ in style. American-born Jonathan used to be an artist living in California. But he was searching for something more, and America just couldn’t deliver the history and architectural beauty that he craved. Well he has certainly found a perfect little paradise at Le Moulin Brégeon!
We sat down for dinner at the front of the venue, and it really was a fine dining experience to remember, as we were the only ones there, it felt very bespoke. There was no ‘menu’ – you were given what the chefs had put together and I just loved that!
The first course was a tomato dish, with more delicious vegetables inside, and it was beautifully presented:
You might have read on here that the only food I don’t like is raw tomatoes – I have no idea why, I eat them in every other form, I just can’t handle them raw. So unfortunately I couldn’t tuck into the outer part of this dish, but everything inside was lovely. And the homemade bread and butter was divine!
The main course was a fish dish, that I absolutely loved – again, beautifully presented and the flavours worked perfectly together. Everything tasted so fresh!
Next, the cheese board emerged from the kitchen (to a trumpet fanfare, in my head!). It was getting darker by this point, so please excuse the photos not being quite so crisp! This was quite literally my cheese board of dreams, and it was spread out across two plates, it was that big, with lots of my favourites on there.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, dessert was still to come! A chocolate fondant with the most perfect vanilla ice cream.
It was such a wonderful evening, in a very special place. I would love to return and stay at Le Moulin Brégeon in future. You can just tell that Jonathan and his team do everything they can to make your visit unique. They also run cookery courses at the venue, as well as events and weddings, which must be stunning. You can find out more on their website here.