Sunday, April 01, 2007

Auberge de la Halle, Cordes-sur-Ciel

It’s been quiet on the WokandSpoon front lately. If I could, I’d give some excuse to say how busy I’ve been and all that, but I can’t as I’ve been on a short but sweet holiday!

Hubs and I spent this week driving from Toulouse to Albi to Carcassonne and back to Toulouse, stopping at charming little lost villages along the way.

One of our first stops was at a little old fortified town called Cordes-sur-Ciel perched on a small hill. It was nice for a change to see a town where people actually lived (roughly 1000 inhabitants according to the Tourist Office), and that wasn’t inundated by tourist shops or over restored to a sparkling brilliance as many historical towns in France are.

Being the off-season, it was really really quiet. Not many places were open for lunch, plus we were running late and wanted to have lunch at 2:30pm (the horror!), and the places that were open, had already stopped serving lunch. After much stumbling over uneven cobbled stones, we managed to find this place, Auberge de la Halle, which looked absolutely charming from the outside.

While Hubs had the escalope de dinde (grilled turket fillet), which actually came out well, I went for the pavé de saumon (salmon). The fact that we were miles away from civilisation, sea or any visual salmon farms should have told me that I would have been better off ordering bread and water! Ordering salmon meant that the chef had to defrost it using a microwave (we actually heard it go ding!) in super quick time.

The good thing was that the salmon came with lots of veggies and some really scrumptious hunks of golden potato wedges seasoned with garlic and herbs. However, the salmon was still a little on the cool side in the middle. We were in a hurry so I didn’t bother to send it back – I just ate around the cold centre! (Yeah, I know I eat raw salmon in nigiri but that salmon is usually a little fresher and hasn’t been defrosted in a microwave – at least I hope not!). Who knows, maybe the food there is a little better when there are more tourists and the turnaround is greater.
Anyway, I highly recommend the town, but maybe not the restaurant in the off-tourist-season.

Total damage: 32EUR (including drinks)
Service: 3.5 wooden spoons (out of 5)
Food: 2.5 wooden spoons (2 for Hubs’ turkey and 0.5 for my potatoes!)


  1. I love these scenery. I have always enjoyed Europe's scenery a lot. Much much better than US, I assure you.

    Do agree with the restaurant thingy, sometimes crowded restaurants not only mean good food but also fresher ingredients since supplies get replenished more regularly.

  2. Where are you in the US? The US can be really pretty as well - there are some really great national parks there. Plus I love the West Coast - I haven't seen too much of the East Coast apart from NY, and Boston.

  3. Eeew, nasty story about the salmon! :) But yes, having the sea nearby should have been a clue for me on my first trip to Lyon - had food poisoning with some clam pasta, and spent my holiday in my hotel room, what a bummer!

  4. West Coast of US. The national parks are great (yosemite, grand canyon)..still dreaming about yellowstone and banff/rockies.
    So, only the national parks..other than that, US buildings, architecture- not much character, as those in Europe. I kinda like those chateau-inspired rustic buildings...
    Maybe it's just me.

  5. Shilpa: Ooo, yeah, seafood can sometimes be dodgy! But I've actually had food poisoning from a veggie burger believe it or not!

    Tigerfish: Europe has lots of old stuff. But I remember absolutely loving San Francisco and Seattle. on the other side, Maine had some nice little towns too. Then again, the US is a bit of a novelty for me - it's all just like on tv! hehe!

  6. Hi Wok and Spoon,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. More pictures of that quaint town would have been lovely! :)

  7. Hi Wandering Chopsticks,
    Thanks for coming by this way too! I'll try and put more photos up soon!

  8. don't listen to tiger hehehe, she hasn't been to getty's center, and LA downtown, hm..tiger : you gotta to travel bit down south ie. New Orleans for tt old rustic feel hehehe, however, its still nothing compares to Eu. btw, you got some crispyfied scrumptious looking potatoes there, yums !! Sorry bout the salmon, but hey, you guys enjoyed your trip ya ? :))


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