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A FLAVOR OF HOLIDAY TIME
The ancient capital of the Gauls, with its historic center crisscrossed by narrow streets of medieval and Renaissance houses, has much to offer the visitor. The great Curnonsky, the father of all food journalism, called Lyon the “world capital of gastronomy.” The city owes this reputation to its guinguettes – open-air eateries on the banks of the Saône – as well as the ambience of its famous bouchons, traditional restaurants serving quenelles, rosette salami and pistachio-studded sausages on red and white checked tablecloths… And above all to its mères (“mothers”), the hearty, talented women who define its cuisine: La Mère Brazier, the first woman to receive a three-star rating in 1933, her contemporary La Mère Bourgeois, who opened her restaurant in Bresse, or La Mère Guy, whose eel stew was highly prized in the 18th century.
The gastronomic adventure continues all the way down the Rhône Valley. The route south is flavored with chocolates in Tain-l’Hermitage, melons in Cavaillon, nougat in Montélimar, the wines of the Beaujolais and Châteauneuf du Pape… A holy land for food lovers! Not coincidentally, this is where the story of Relais et Châteaux began. From Roanne to Vienne, from Chasselay to Valence, this is a land of exceptional restaurants run by dynasties of master chefs. For gourmets, the Rhône Valley promises the pleasure of a hazelnut souffé or rock crab cake. For devotees of history and architecture, it also harbors the Gallo-Roman heritage of Vienne and the delicate stonework of Valence, the “Gateway to Southern France.” And for everyone, it offers an eternal flavor of holiday time.