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Food & Cuisine

The Loire captures the essence of "French Cookery" and is the region where you should embark on a search for "French Cuisine" - this is the heartland with dishes that have become national and worldwide favourites.

The gentle landscape, languid rivers, elegant architecture, pleasant summer climate gives rise to a relaxed pleasant lifestyle embracing the riverbank picnic, cafe lunch, the long slow meal - all of the elements of the good-life.

Come and share our gourmand enjoyment!

About the Food of THE LOIRE

Bourgueil market day The region is the birthplace of the shredded potted meat, the rillettes, (a close cousin to pate) that is now enjoyed all over France. In the Loire and in particular in tours you will find rillettes prepared with not only boar but also duck, goose, rabbit and even fish such as tuna. Tarte Tatin, see recipe below, with that winning combination of caramelised apples, sugar and pastry is a winner as is coq au vin, that delightful blend of chicken and wine.

Food wise the Region is known for two things: prunes and mushrooms. The luscious prueaux de Tours come from dried Damson plums from round the city of tours and are delightful on their own or in tarts. The mushrooms are grown in disused underground limestone caves and are of a special quality.

Peche pastry

Special cakes and pastries are also a feature and take time to enjoy the gateau de pithiviers, sweet puff pastry filled with cream.

Out and about in the Loire

The below selection reflects wine tour days of local delights, picnics, restaurant meals and lunches at home.


Cheese, wine and Bread!
Sainte Maure de Touraine

Sainte Maure de Touraine is an appellation Orginale Controlee (AOC) goat's milk cheese from the Loire that is creamy and mild, while the wine comes from the Anjou area that is renowned for its rose wines.

Sainte Maure de Touraine
Afternoon in the Sun
Chinon Cabernet Franc

Take a romantic Loire chateau, a fine Chinon Cabernet Franc, an hors d'oeuvre selection, and a beautiful day - what more would you want?

chateau afternoon stop
Wine, cheese and bread Again!
Pays Nantais Muscadet

A table under a leafy willow with a crisp chilled Muscadet from the Pays Nantais, a Camembert cheese, salad and a baguette

Pays Nantais Muscadet
Wine, bread and Cheese Again!
Chinon vineyard picnic lunch

A picnic break between vineyards on the bank of the L'Indre looking at the town of Chinon with the chateau rebuilding in the background

Chinon vineyard picnic lunch

Regional Specialties

Potted meat, Bread & salad lunch

Blancs de Pigeon au rouge

Rillettes (French for planks from the appearance when spread on bread) is a preparation of meat similar to pâté. Originally made with pork, but now also from duck, goose and rabbit.

Coq au vin
Rooster in wine

Milhassou (Maize meal pudding)

A classic French fricassee (stew) of rooster cooked with wine, smoky bacon, mushrooms, onions and optionally garlic. The older the rooster the better the flavour!

Tarte Tatin (Carmelised apple tart)

By acident or design, this 1888 Loire creation by the Tartin sisters, Caroline and Stephanie, is now one of France's most popular dessert.

Serve 4

100 gms butter
150 gms icing sugar
1 kg apples- peeled, & quartered
1 sheet sweet short pastry


  1. Preheat oven to 180șC.

  2. Melt butter in high-sided skillet and sprinkle in icing sugar. Add apples and stir to combine.

  3. Cook for 20 minutes then turn up heat for 10 more minutes, or until the apples turn golden brown. Don't let burn!

  4. Place apples in a buttered glass baking dish. Cut pastry to shape and place over the apples, tucking the pastry down round the edge of the dish.

  5. Bake tart at 180 degrees for 20 minutes, remove for oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Release sides, place serving plate over the baking dish and flip quickly.

To serve:
Serve warm either plain or with cream or ice cream.

Reine de Reinettes Tarte Tatin (Carmelised apple tart) Tarte Tatin served

Chef’s tips

  1. Use the best apples available (ideally Reine de Reinettes) but Granny Smith of Golden Delicious will do.

  2. The secret is to caramelise the apples in the butter and sugar - not burnt!

  3. Cut the pastry circle big enough to form the base and sides.

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