TAG readers are asked to participate in rating restaurants in the SW of France and we are being asked to rate the restaurant from one to five. You take in  to account all the things that make it an enjoyable meal, service, cleanliness, and of course food.... read on TOF' s ( Tag on food)

TOF report on the Renaissance at Caylus  Nov 2016

The Renaissance at Caylus
We went for lunch today, to say hi to Martine and Alain in their new venue at Caylus.
The couple with their son closed the doors on the Moulin in Varen  at the end of September and took over the bigger concern on the main road in Caylus.
Alain who has a heart condition is hoping for a life out of the kitchen and the restaurant new to them has two chefs.
We knew initially the chefs were on holiday so left it till now to go and try it.
The menu of the day was 12 euros for 4 courses.
Vegetable soup
quiche and salad
Sausage,  rice in a tomato sauce
It was all delicious, too much perhaps for me, but great value.
Martine and son Louie were as always charming and the perfect host and waiter.
Good Luck to you all, we will be back.
Out of 5 - we would give it slightly less than 4
a good score for us.
Comments to

Sue Cutter writes:

The restaurant,  Arts et Galets, in Villeneuve was chosen for the first of, what we hope will  be, a regular outing to sample the best cuisine the  region has to offer.  A large, partially ivy-clad stone building under a terra-cotta roof, typical of the region, it's interior has been updated in a cool, contemporary style.  After a warm welcome and the offer of an apero we were seated on comfortable chairs (not common, with the norm being cane seats notoriously unkind to aging behinds).

We all chose the menu du jour - and what a delight!  We ordered a light white gascony and a red corbière mas 66.  A first course of gambas with courgette marinated in a lemon mixture, slices of banana and an orange sauce with fresh bread rolls.  The Main course was cod on a bed of spinach and/ or sorrel with an asparagus mousse, a piquant jus with petits pois and haricots, some little savoury beignets and a home- made pesto.  Dessert was stunning - slices of fresh pineapple, shards of pear, apple balls, strawberry quarters, a croustillante, red fruit coulis, little scoops of apple, apricot and fromage blanc ice cream and stars of pistachio cream; quite lovely to look at and divine to taste.  All the courses were beautifully presented and explained, plates were warm, service prompt.  Top marks I think and may be hard to beat.  Our hostess was a bit stern and difficult to engage and the young waitress lacked a little finesse, but, hey, nothing to upset and for around 23 euros a head, including the wine and coffee, was excellent value.
Sue Cutter  May 2016

Interesting new restaurant in Varen (Lexos) by Sarah Brown

Never judge a book by its cover

Or in this case a restaurant! The exterior of L'Ozone on the forecourt of the Carrefour supermarket and petrol station looks uninviting. It conjures up Formica, fast food and greasy chips. This first impression could not be further from the real experience. The interior is comfortable, well designed and leads to a covered tranquil terrace at the rear. The menus are well priced, home cooked and vary from week to week. The portions are generous and the customer service is friendly and attentive. One can eat much better here than at the mid-range prettier and atmospheric eateries in the town and the cloakroom facilities are far superior! I have recommended this place to friends who have been equally impressed and I support the views and score of a previous TOF reviewer. Five out of five.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Restaurant review – L’O’zone, St Antonin     0563 02 00 68

Many of you will know this restaurant by the Carrefour Contact supermarket on the main road.  After several recommendations from local people we decided to give it a try for lunch the other day and we were pleasantly surprised.

Apart from the bar area at the front, the rest of the property overlooks trees and a derelict house by the river so you soon forget its location by the car park.  The inside is clean, modern and cool and about half of it is an open covered terrace at the back. I think in total there are about 50 covers.

The owner is Fabienne Zucchinali and she is charming, friendly and efficient as is her young assistant waitress.  All food is freshly home cooked on the premises using fresh ingredients and local fruit and vegetables.

We had the three course menu du jour at €13 each including coffee plus €5 for a half litre pichet of wine.

The starter was a very tasty fresh salad,
Main course was steak served with fresh ratatouille and sauté potatoes done with garlic. The steak was very tender and for the first time with a steak on a menu du jour, there were no gristly bits to take home for the dog!
From the choice of deserts we had a very nice apple clafoutis and a home-made île flottante with praline.

For the food and service I give it 5 out of 5.
Val says we have heard the food is good.

On the other hand is there anywhere to eat at la Fouillade, other than a coffee shop by the  Intermarché?
Comments to

A poor TOF report (from a reader)

Entre Nous, St Antonin

This is a difficult one. The new, English-run restaurant in St Antonin has glowing reviews on Tripadvisor, but word of mouth was not so positive. The food was OK, the service excellent but… The starter was melon with Parma ham. The slice of melon was smaller than the piece you get with the crudités at Gazpacho. The slices of ham were, well, thin. The main course was marinated chicken and salad. Two small chicken thighs and some salad (the coleslaw was very nice). Dessert was apple pie – a slice about the same size as the melon, but it did come with cream.

This was 14€ without wine (10€ a carafe) or coffee. Normally, after lunch out I just have a few grapes in the evening. That day I had a normal meal. A few days later we went to Gazpacho, where for 12.60€ I had charcuterie, some delicious lamb, ice cream and wine. I couldn’t even manage the grapes that evening. No contest.
Score for Entre Nous – 2.5.

  Le Côté Saveurs Villefranche de Rouergue  Aug 2015
You know when you feel you will be on to a winner... but the runner comes in last or indeed falls at the first fence?
Do not know why I am doing a racing simile as I am not a betting person.
Miserable day weather wise but I thought a super dooper meal would cheer us all up.
Faces were glum trudging through the streets of Villefranche in the rain but I thought this was a temporary set back. We had six of us family booked in at "Le Cote Saveurs"
Two chose the 44 euro menu, three the 31 euros and one kiddie menu at 12.
A lot of explaining needed with the youngsters on the menu and in fact we were not quite sure what dishes were going to be, adding to the interest I told everyone.
Firstly I must say the presentation of each course was superb, masterly indeed, but how disappointing most of the tastes were. Considering flavours are so important we were disappointed with the flavours and the food.
I so wanted this to be good perhaps my expectations were too high, but the others all felt the same. Would we go again?  Probably not but we would not discourage others from going as this is the first mostly negative report we have had. I have not discussed the actual menus although someone had pigeon, some pork and another fish.
The service was excellent, the food was not bad just over tweaked. Out of 5,  for me a 3.
Malc says maybe a 4 from him and added that he ate everything. Well he would the size of the portions.
Comments to

The Corniche  May 2015
Hi Val
Last Sunday we took some friends from UK to La Corniche near St Antonin. This was our second visit in as many weeks and we were not disappointed. The owner/chef does EVERYTHING! We had an Amuse Bouche ( apologies if spelling incorrect) , delicious soup, salmon wrapped around aubergine caviar  and delicious lamb with vegetables. Finished with a choice of lovely dessert or cheese. We had our dessert and coffee on the balcony and it was perfect!

Chrissie hibbert
Val says I have asked Chrissie how many she would give it out of 5 for a TOF report.
Her reply           5 and also you have to book!
Comments to

Friday, 20 February 2015

A Bib for this restaurant

Stéphane and Valérie Amalric  at Côté Saveurs in Villefranche have gained a Bib in the guide Michelin.
Elly Wright has eaten there and recommends it, let them know beforehand if you have a vegetarian or
gluten free diet.
Comments to

TOF report on the Deux Rivieres  Jan 2015

Hi Val
Just a line to say that we had lunch at Les Deux Rivieres in Laguepie today. It’s the first time we have eaten there as it has been closed when we have tried before.

There was no choice on the 13e menu du jour but lots of courses.
1. Vegetable soup - very tasty
2. Croustillant of something unidentifiable which was so overcooked and hard that Simon’s shot off the plate when he tried to cut it (I didn’t eat mine)
3. Ossobuco main course was all bone and again very overcooked, with overcooked noodles.
4. Cheese was plentiful but not very good (a blue, some very bland Brie and, hard to believe, emmenthal on a French cheeseboard??)
5. Dessert was a fairly tasteless apple and raspberry tarte

Wine and coffee were extra so final cost was 17e each. Sorry, Val, I know you like it there but  we are struggling to give it more than a 2 out of 5 ……really perhaps a 1 out of 5 as apart from the soup we couldn’t find anything above average (decor is ok, service barely ok, atmosphere subdued despite a full dining room, wine ok, coffee ok, food definitely not ok)Sorrrrrrrrry!
Linda xXx
Val says  mmh. We actually took off our TOF report as we did not want to be sued. The service barely

OK was our problem. There are people who like going, is all I will say.
Comments to

La Seye et Vous

Bearded debonair and that was just the patron

We go so often to Charlie's at Verfeil that I cannot remember when we last did a TOF ( TAG on food) report.
Thursday the restaurant was open again after a short break and a "verrie hanzome Charlee"( trying to say it with a French accent) met us at the door sporting a black beard, looking great. Normally beards end up being grey and straggly yuk! but Charlie looked "quite the handsome man" and he also looked refreshed after a break.
We had choice of starter, platter of meats with cornichons or an aubergine flan and salad. We went for the flan and it was delicious. We both had chili con carne and jacket potato, forgotten what the other choice was and then the usual fabulous choice of dessert. We could not fault any of it and with the warm chaleureux reception one receives and a petit prix how could you go wrong.
Out of five, 5 in the context of price and service, honestly hard to mark it down on this day
La Seye et Vous at Verfeil sur Seye, our local
Tonight and every Friday night till April there is a concert booked.
Comments to

Côté Saveurs at Villefranche de Rouerque  Dec 2014

Hi Val
we had a really lovely meal at this restaurant at Villefranche. The hosts are Valérie and Stephane Amalric. We thought everything was great but be careful the wine can bump up the price, it seemed expensive. It would have been given a 5 but 4.5 was given because of the wine.
Definitely worth going to.
0565 6583 64
comments to

Café Bras at Rodez, gets a 5 from me  Dec 2014

We went for the Menu du jour at 29 euros and started with an amuse bouche of a salted fish paste, a bit like brandade de morue to spread on our crusty bread. Then a soup which was so delicious, creamy potato and garlic with a blob of cream, the nicest soup we have all tasted for a long time. The choice of main course was good with fish, pork and veau and once again the taste was yummy with presentation fabulous. A choice then of the cheese board or tarte au chocolat avec sirop d' orange reduit or " le blanc mange à la vanille, pomme reinette et glace confiture de lait". We were all licking lips, spoons and nearly the plates.
If it was just for the food we all would give it 5 out of 5 but one of our party marked it down as she felt she would have liked a view from the window which was covered in black mesh fitting in with the buildings design. Another in the party who I must add wore a tie was so incensed by a little old Frenchman not taking off his flat cap for the meal, he even talked about knocking it off as we went, and he marked it 4 for being annoyed with the man!
You must all go, you will love it especially if no one keeps their flat hat on!

Wow! what a find / Vigne en foule/ 5 out of 5      Nov 2014

On the way back from Toulouse seeing the specialist ( all good news ) we stopped for lunch in the centre of Gaillac. We rarely eat there but found a smart looking place on the main square 80 Place de la libération " Vigne en foule" and stopped there for lunch. It was divine, we had a main course of pork which was on a bed of seasonal roasted vegetables which included parsnips, swede, cabbage and fennel all in a delicious sauce, beautifully, beautifully presented. The dessert was lemon and basil sorbet with biscuit, a bit like Malc's lemon posset he makes with a plain sorbet on top with a hint of basil. I somehow got talking to the table of French people next to us to discover the chef was their nephew. They were so proud of him and his use of freshly grown seasonal vegetables and local products. You know when you go out and you have a bog standard meal and then just once a blue moon you find a "chef" who has prepared and cooked everything, well today we found that chef and for a TOF report we give it 5 out of 5. As we only had 2 courses it was only 13 euros each with wine and coffee extra. The place was packed so word must have got out in the Gaillac area and as we were squeezed in making a reservation will be worth while.  tel 0563417908   or
Malc who is more interested in these things tells me they had a comprehensive wine list
comments to

The Gazpacho at St. Antonin Noble Val  Sept 2014
Amazingly we have not had a TOF's report on the Gazpacho at St. Antonin for many a moon, more than two years to be precise. As we were there for lunch today I thought we could write one.
Tudor, Malc and myself love sitting out on the sidewalk watching the world go by and playing that good old game of  " Brit spotting" Malc and I are champions but felt Tudor did not do too badly with his attempts.
The restaurant was busy and all of the terrace was full of  a Chinese pensioners trip, but the service was excellent as always polite and quick. Bear in mind we are talking " menu du jour" but for 13.50 euros on that level it was excellent. The quiche was very cheesy and yummy followed by chicken farcée, vegetables and chips and the usual choice of desserts. It is really good value and sitting in the lunch time sun with a glass in hand always give one a holiday feel.
Pinch me Malc, is this really our life.
TOF's score has got to be 4 out of 5, seems mean marking them down as we only had the menu du jour but you have to be tough.
Comments to

The Univers at Villefranche de Rouergue Sept 2014

Good morning Val,

Just thought I should update you on Restaurant Univers in Villefranche de

Having eaten there pretty regularly and found the food refreshingly

different from the standard heavy Aveyron fayre, we were disappointed on our
last foray to find that their pursuit of the cheaper cuts of meat (admirable
though it is) leaves very little on the menu for those who prefer not to eat
offal ! The amuse bouche was gesier and this set the tone for toasted pigs’
trotters, sweetbreads, tete de veau etc. There was a fish option which was
not good and the usually excellent puddings were below par. I think they
have lost their way which is a great shame as there are so few places to
eat. There is also a move to unnecessarily take the wine list up market...

I noticed too that the restaurant in Memer, recommended on TAG, has closed.

Does anyone know what happened or where they went ?
Comments to

La Vallée at Cornusson Sept 2014

The restaurant has  lot to overcome with its huge drab interior with a terrible taste in curtains... but we were there for food, and the food was good. Normal starters charcuterie, eggs in mayonnaise, crudités etc. The dish of the day was pork and vegetables or chips and the usual choice of desserts all for 13 euros 50. Service was a bit slow but very friendly. On a scale for TOF's  3 out of 5
The only really entertaining happening was an English speaking group ordering steak and sending it back as being too rare twice.
 The patron brought it back practically cremated and they said they were happy. The patron said no Frenchman would be happy with that and our table thought we were with the Frenchmen on this one. Amazing how living in France affects your steak eating habits.
 Malc and  I generally go for " bleu"
Comments to

L'Air du Temps, new restaurant in Najac    Aug 2014

Hi Val, Also Aug 2014
L'Air du Temps. Najac

 thought you and your readers would like a TOF report on the new
restaurant in Najac as we have just returned from lunch there today.

It was busy and I am glad we had booked as it was quite full. There are

just the two menus - one at €13 and the other at €21 - today it was all
meat no fish option for any course on the menu. We chose the €21 menu as
pot au feu on a hot day we didn't fancy. Our starter was a very nice
gesiers salad, although both of us struggled to find any dressing on the
lettuce to start with and then found all of it at the end.
Main course was filet mignon with a mustard sauce, tagliatelle and
parsley carrots. The tagliatelle was superb, freshly cooked pasta and
definitely the best that we have eaten in a restaurant in France, rather
than that awful clump you normally get. The parsley carrots were
obviously frozen and were very mushy and slightly tasteless but the norm
for France. The filet mignon had been cooked pink which was nice but
surprisingly it was a little tough. The sauce was OK but Nick found it a
little sweet and watery for a mustard sauce.
The dessert was absolutely superb. Described as apricot milkshake, it
comprised beautifully poached apricots with a foam of apricot milkshake.
It was simply lovely.
The restaurant is simply decorated and we sat inside. Score out of 5 for
us started at 4.5 out of 5, went down to a 4 because of the toughness of
the meat, went down to a 3.5 for value for money (it wasn't worth €21)
and has ended up at 3 because when we got the bill at the end they
overcharged us.

Would we go back, probably, possibly but we won't be rushing back as we

didn't feel it was any better than the food at La Vallee in Cornusson
and they charge €13.50 for 4 courses.

Anne Grose

Val says I wonder if I can go for the apricot milkshake.

Comments to

Morning Val,
There is a new restaurant in Najac, which so far has surprised and delighted us. Eaten there twice, daily changing menu, absolutely delicious, very reasonable as three course menus at 21 and 13 euros. It will be necessary to book now that it is so busy in Najac. There is a terrace both at the front and the rear of the restaurant. Both times we ate there it was packed. They intend to be open all year round. Wouldn't that be a boost?
So, here are the details: 
L'Air du Temps
17 Place du Faubourg (a few places from and on the same side as the Tourist Office)
12270 Najac
Open for coffee, lunch, tea, dinner
At the moment I would give them 5 out of  5
Sorry if this is a bit garbled. Rather pressed for time.
Have a lovely sunny day,
comments to

A TOF report on the Belle Rive at Najac  July 2014

I think I like the Belle Rive best because of its view up to Najac castle. Sitting outside on the pretty terrace in the shade of the chestnut tree, with neatly laid table and lovely linen napkins, I am always in a good mood before we even talk food.
If I had a criticism it would be that the menu is pretty much the same each year, but  the food is always good and we have never had a poor meal there. We started with the foie gras and then I had rainbow trout, others had veal, everyone was happy. The creme brulée with vieille prune is always a favourite. We had a bottle of chablis and a red from Languedoc and the cost for 6 people was just slightly over 200 euros.
We have been going each year for 12 years and the patrons seem to have always been the same ones.
We tell tales  handed down to us of Chris Patten staying at this Hotel and liking the area so much that they then decided to buy a house here. That must have been  some years ago now and he still has a family home at Laguepie.
If you are reading this Chris and would like to write a piece for TAG, please do.
Out of 5 I think this year I would give it a 4, no higher as I think I would like something to change to make it more adventurous eating, but if it was your first time you could not fail to enjoy it.

SPICED Cuisine gets 5  June 2014

Hi Val
Not sure whether this is a TOFs or general. We tried the Thai dishes from Spiced Cuisine this week and they were delicious. I particularly liked the green curry and the satay chicken. It made a lovely change and I hope they extend the menu soon. Five out of five (and Sara very kindly delivered it as we couldn't get to the book swap).
Val says I think this should go in the TOF's report. Check out Spiced cuisine if you fancy their new Thai dishes.
Comments to

Auberge des Sens end of May 2014

Hi Val
After reading the reviews - and with Ginny's help - I at last made it to the Auberge des Sens. I think for me it was a 3 rather than a 5 (for the food, not the access!). Although nicely presented, the starter was very small. My fish main course was lovely, but it was the dessert that really disappointed. I ordered tarte tatin and got 2 hard biscuits, a slice of apple, a bit of meringue and some ice cream. Not what I was expecting! The service was good, though, but I'll stick to looking at the river from Carre Gourmet.
Comments to
Carre des Gourmets St. Antonin  May 2014
Hi Val

Since my operation, there is one other question I have to ask about restaurants – accessibility. This makes the Auberge des Sens out of the question for me at the moment with its steep steps to get in.

I would, however, give a 5-star rating to the Carre des Gourmets opposite. I know there are mixed feelings about the place, but we have been several times in the past few weeks and each visit has been a very happy experience. The food is excellent and they have gone out of their way to ensure we’ve been comfortable and satisfied. Sitting out by the river the other week, eating lovely food we decided it was like being on holiday!
Comments to

L'Auberge des sens   May 2014
Hi Val,
I wanted to write a review of L'auberge des sens in St. Antonin NV.  We went there for dinner last night and it was fantastic.  Service was great, food incredible, presentation amazing.  They didn't run out of anything and it's the best meal I've had in a long time.  We'll be back for sure.

Val says Sometimes you have a meal so good you want to write about it. I have asked Ali for her TOF rating. ( TOF as you all know is the rating for TAG on food)
Ali replies   I would give it 4.5 out of 5...maybe a bit closer to 5.  We had no complaints at all.
Comments to

Relais Mont Le Viaur St. Andre de Najac

Hi Val and Malcolm
Thank you for a delightful lunch yesterday, good food and wine with the added pleasure of meeting some new people.
The wine tasting went well; last night, 38euro for Formule Vins et Repas which we considered good value, the wine was from Chateau Grezan  who are based near Fougeres, some of the reds were very good. I am not sure if you know the Relais Mont Le Viaur in St Andre, its about our third visit , we certainly rate it 4 out of 5, they apparently hold the wine tastings regularly , I believe each month ...definitely worth watching out for.
thanks once again
c u soon
joan and frank xx
Val says  The restaurant in TOFs has got reviews, one from us I think.
Comments to
Au Cabanon at Puycelsi   scores a 5  April 2014

Au Cabanon, the tiny restaurant in Puycelsi village has reopened for the summer. Once again Stephan and Chloe are serving their limited but wonderful food - goats cheese fondue or steak in their basic menu and a more extensive one will start in June. As we sat having lunch there today it was difficult to believe that today is meant to be the last of this spell of magic weather;

This month they will be open bank holidays and 'les ponts' and weekends. They will be open everyday from June.

Like last year they scored a perfect 5 from us;   For reservations tel 0563 331133
Ross and Ginny 

L'auberge des sens. March 2014
We decided to take our first visitors of the year to L'auberge basque in St Antonin and booked by telephone. We arrived to discover the restaurant has changed hands (again) and is now l'auberge des sens.

It was lucky that we had booked as it was full ( market day ) and too chilly on the terrace.
Although we were disappointed to find the basque restaurant had gone (it was a great place to take fish eating vegetarians) its replacement is a welcome addition to the eateries available in St Antonin.
The service was cheerful and friendly, if a little slow even by French standards, and the food was presented beautifully and most important of all was absolutely delicious. It would have had a TOF rating of 5 except for the fact that one main option from a choice of three on the menu was not available leaving our confirmed red meat eater having to choose between chicken or fish, they had also run out of the pear tarte tatin by the time we came to order our deserts and Trevor had set his heart on that. Nevertheless we all came out saying what a lovely meal we'd had and promising to return soon. It is early days for this restaurant, apparently we were the first to book a table by telephone, and  I  look forward to seeing if it can improve on an excellent start and I do hope they get more staff before the busy season starts - it could be a winner.
For now a TOF rating of 4 and we will definitely be back soon.
Sue Carter

 The Corniche   Brousse-les-Antibels,  St Antonin      March 2014

The modest entrance of this delightful country restaurant leads into a small dining room and further to a terrace overlooking the Aveyron valley. The building is very simple and the interior cosy rather than super smart which suits us fine and the view from the terrace is spectacular. 

Michel, the proprietor/chef welcomed us (a group of 14) with aperitifs on the terrasse, took our orders and then proceeded to prepare and serve a meal of exceptional quality in the dining room.  We chose a menu at €29 which offered a selection 6-7 traditional main dishes of which a couple were specific to the day.  I choose a monkfish starter and a pavé of veal - perfectly cooked with a selection of market vegetables. Little extra touches, like an amuse-bouche of cracked wheat and pigs trotters presented in an egg shell on sea salt and a simply served fish soup, underlined the quality of the cuisine.

We've been to La Corniche quite a few times but never more than once a year and each time we ask ourselves why we don't go more often - probably because it's a bit of a drive for us. It's a bit special and doesn't aim to cater the quick €12.50 lunch. La Corniche definitely deserves a 4.5 rating.

The restaurant is open every day apart from Mondays and Sunday evenings.  Best booked in advance (0563 682 695) to ensure space since the arrival of large group such as ours could slow down service.  The restaurant is signposted on the road from St Antonin to Montauban which leads you through dramatic gorge scenery to Brousse.
Hugh Williams
Comments to

The Hirondelle at St. Cirq, near Caussade    Feb 2014
A lovely choice on the menu of the day, I had the soup then charcuterie, followed by flageolets and croustillant  de canard, followed by fromage blanc with honey, all very simple but delicious.
Malc had rice salad with fruits de mer, followed by mashed potato with beef bourguignon  and finally poire au vin.
 The pretty waitress was delightful and talked the other man in the group in to having a dessert (never been known) amazing what one will do for a pretty young face!
We will go again, sooner rather than later and would give it nearly 5, not quite top marks as the food was very simple. The cost with drinks, wine and coffees was 17 euros each.

Le Clos at Monteils, Aveyron

We arrived to find an empty restaurant, saying "we are the four who have reserved." The patron knew nothing of our reservation and at this point we realised our error, we had phoned the restaurant of the same name in Tarn and Garonne.  We checked they were open and agreed we were where we wanted to be anyway. 
We had the only thing on offer which was the menu du jour, but we were all happy with that. A big old fashioned room, very French but we all agreed we liked that. As there was only us the service was excellent but of course lacked the warm intimate buzz one generally likes and the people-watching bit always adds to the ambience.
We started with pea, potato and ham soup, delicious (note peas)
Then charcuterie with grated carrot, beetroot and potato (note 3 vegetables)
Pork in mustard sauce with a generous helping of diced, fried potatoes ( no other vegetable in sight) but was really good.
The desserts were scrummy, mine was slice of flan caramel with a caramel sauce and the others had nougat ice cream and fruit coulis.
We all agreed a good 4 and had the place been livelier it would have been higher.
Driving home Malc and I both agreed we would go again, probably sooner rather than later.
Comments to

Auberge du Pont Vieux at Albi      jan27th  2014

Difficult to find anywhere open on a Monday but this restaurant was and what a good choice we made with it. We could find nothing to be unhappy or nit picky about but did think if you were not a fan of nouvelle cuisine it might not be for you.
Firstly the presentation of each dish was a dream. We could have chosen the 19 euro option but went for the 29 euro menu pitching ourselves midway in the list. I did notice a 60 euro menu.
Not only did we get 3 courses but we got delicious " amuse bouche" and a beautiful red fruit and semolina palette freshener along with tiny madelines and meringues with our coffee. I must make a special mention of my dessert which was crepes suzette deconstucteé with an orange mousse, gosh it was lick lipping good. A friend had told us about the place and then we had looked it up on trip advisor where it also has excellent reviews.  If you go to Albi treat yourself.
We give this restaurant 5 although Malc thought it might lack " ambience" but the food won through.

L'Oustal at Laguepie

As Malc plays bridge on a Thursday starting at 5. 30pm we try and have our main meal at lunchtime. Often we go to Charlie's at Verfeil sur Seye but at the moment he is closed till the 20th of Jan.
We tried today L'Oustal in the centre of Laguepie and were pleasantly surprised. The restaurant is small and friendly and the waiter / owner was very sweet. We had the menu du jour which was 13 euros and had a very nice rice salad starter followed by sausage pot au feu, very tasty. We both had the same simple fromage blanc with apricots. Now I am not saying it was ordinary, it was simple but the owner was "friendliness itself" and we came out after a good chat to him feeling great.
We will go again but hard to give a very high score for such simple though tasty fare.  We have decided we would give it a three and a half but if we were scoring on feel good factor a five.
Val      Jan 2014

Les Gorges d'Aveyron and Les Colonnes
Just returned from the UK and catching up with TAG. 
Delighted to see a good review for Les Gorges d'Aveyron at Montricoux. 
We always take our visitors there for a 'superior' meal. By that I mean something better than the usual available in the area. By coincidence we took our Australian visitors there in Autumn 2013. They absolutely loved it ! We had the midday special priced meal - no choice but exceptional food. I think it is only €18 per person. Drinks were extra of course. 
It is a lovely setting for a romantic meal or for a group of friends and family. 

For a budget meal Les Colonnes in Villefranche-de-Rouergue is also great, but very popular. It can be difficult to find a table ! 
16 Jan 2014comments to

Les Gorges d'Aveyron at Montricoux

We had some Australian visitors and finding a restaurant open for a large group at this time of year is not easy. We phoned this restaurant and although officially closed as we were a group of nine they said they  would open for us.
We had a really splendid meal for 35 euros a head, with super service and when we left our Australian friend who had said he enjoyed their wine got a free gift of a bottle to take away. A lovely memory for our Australian frinds to go home with.
Our TOF rating just slightly short of the highest score four and a half.
Jan 2014

A brief review of a menu de jour we had in Villefranche-de-Rouergue;

Les Colonnes
2 rue Durand Montlauzeur
12200 Villefranche-de-Rouergue

Tél.:  33 (0)5 65 45 20 04

Rating - 4 / 5 (for a café –restaurant)

Plat de jour 8€,
Menu de jour 10€,
Full lunch including coffee 12€.

Nothing spectacular or outrageous, just very reasonable for a café –restaurant.  We both had the menu de jour, seated by the window viewing the Church and Square entrance.  The waitress assisted us with our broken French, via her limited English; very helpful.

·         Free bowl of soup, pre starter (lentil) – not sure if this is the norm
·         Portions of a good size, so was satisfied & full after eating
·         Main seating area became full within the hour – approximately 16 of us, on a very quiet Monday afternoon
·         Menu inexpensive
·         Service both friendly and professional
·         Clean & tidy, including the wash room
·         Dog friendly – a couple in the corner and their companion under the table
·         Tables not cramped


Brad & Roberta
31st of Dec 2013

L'Univers at Villefranche de Rouergue   Vicky China who is an exceptional cook gives this restaurant a GOOD 4

Just thought your readers might like to know that since this reopened with

the young chef (grandson of the owner) running the kitchen, the food is

slightly more sophisticated /imaginative than you can get anywhere else.  If

you stick to the daily menu, you eat extremely well €17 or €21 with cheese.

Safer not to explore the other menus but we have eaten there four times

recently and not been disappointed.  Good value for money and always full so

you must book.  Regards, Victoria

PS. On one occasion there was a problem with overbooking but the chef took

control, found us a table in the ante room and made sure we had drinks on

the house - rather refreshing attitude.

The Deux Rivieres
Good afternoon,
I cannot allow the extremely negative review of Les Deux Rivieres, Laguepie to stay on your blog without sharing with you and your readers my own and many other peoples' extremely positive experiences there.
I first went to this restaurant in 1998, and thought it fairly good, but Pascal was to be on his own for several years afterwards and I didn't revisit until after Giselle had arrived. What a difference! Pascal always was a very good chef, and Giselle helped him to turn the restaurant around. My sons (who are used to very good restaurants in The City), my visitors, and my guests in my B&B (mostly French) have all enjoyed their meals there and have found Giselle very entertaining. Sometimes she pretends to be exasperated with someone who is slow at ordering, and, if directed at me, I usually play along! Her performances in describing the cheeseboard are highly entertaining and I have never found her to be offhand or insulting. This is my first choice of restaurant and will remain so, as it is with most of my friends living near Laguepie.
In my experience, the French restauranteurs do not like to use frozen food and therefore choice may be restricted if one arrives later than, say, 1230 for lunch. It surely is the mark of a good restaurant that the menu du jour is snapped up quickly.
Ray Fletton and Christine Cunningham 

Val says  I checked with them that the score would be a 5 and below their reply
Hi, yes we would give it a 5, I was there for lunch last week, v good and only €13/person, and dinner the week before that, gourmet menu and another 5!
Rgds, RF and Chris

RELAIS MONT LE VIAUR, St Andre de Najac   A good 4.

We had actually gone to the Chataignerie at St. Andre de Najac, but as we arrived at the bottom of the hill Malc and I  looked at each other and said ''Tuesday'' their only day closed. So off we went back to the top of the hill to the Relais. It must have been 1 pm and there were 9 of us but they fitted us in, in the air conditioned main room. The children were a bit fed up at first  as they had gone out for crepes but were served the menu of the day for 13 euros and I think every plate was clean by the end of the meal. The service was polite and friendly even though they were extremely busy. It could have been a five but Malc felt as there was absolutely no choice on any course and we were not asked if the children wanted a ''childs menu'' it scores a 4. We took a picture of George who eat all his main course instead of just having bread and really enjoyed the chicken strips in a lovely sauce and potatoes which were practically aligot.
George with a clean plate

Auberge de la Castille - Parisot

We have often been here before and also taken friends so we had decided to go to Rince Cochon in Limogne for a change but they were fully booked so it was back to Parisot where there were plenty of tables. Actually this is the surprising bit as the food and service are just excellent and it ought to be full every night. This was our first visit for some time and it was good to see some new things on the menu including my favourite - scallops. Three of us had the scallops and the other diner had a fillet steak, we all very happy with our choices as we had been with our starters. The food was all beautifully presented and cooked perfectly. My only quibble was the creme brulee was a little firm for my taste hence a 4.5 TOF rating ( a perfect creme brulee and perhaps a tiny mise-en-bouche would just tip it to a 5). This morning we were all still talking about our lovely meal and the best part is that for us it is on the doorstep - we must definitely go more often!

There are menus at 19 euro and  26 euro (more choice) as well as la carte. There is a small terrace with a few tables (unfortunately it is roadside so doesn't enjoy the fine views much of Parisot has to offer). The inside dining room is big and attractive, one last tip if you are eating inside we always ask for a table at the far end away from the kitchen as the cooking smells do drift into the section by the door.

Sue Carter

Last night was the first of three ‘Pop Up’ curry nights in Septfonds, the brilliant idea of Glynis and Emma.  If you missed it, you missed out.  We ate on the terrace in the beautiful setting of Emma’s garden.  The tables were laid to perfection and we were greeted with a refreshing glass of an Elderflower and lime cocktail, then on to the serious stuff.  We started with popadoms and home made pickles, followed by home made samosa’s, the portions were more than generous and I don’t think any table finished them all.. The main courses were chicken and lamb curries with rice, and a dhal and cauliflower curry in case there were any vegetarians amongst us.  Again, very generous portions and no one went home hungry.  The last course was a mint ice cream made by Glynis you could hear the scraping of spoons against bowls resounding down the terrace.
Linda took some photo’s which I am sure she will post later.
There will be two more curry nights in August, next Monday the 12th and Monday the 19th I urge you
 to book now or be very disappointed.  Rumour has it that they may be doing monthly curry nights
during the winter which would be great.
So, a big thank you to Glynis and Emma and the behind the scene team of Louise, Katie and Nigel.
Food and service excellent.
Marks out of five.....ten.
Susan Hunt
Val says for bookings contact Glynis at

The youngsters chance to give their ratings on the Gazpacho at St. Antonin
It was in with a very good chance of a high rating when what was on the board was ''lasagne''
Annabel went for that option but Charlotte went for the pork and chips [ bit tough the pork] chips were nice. Lasagne, the plate was cleared, first time an empty plate this holiday. It was still only given a 4 3/4  as Annabel felt there was just too much of everything even the ice cream. Charlotte gave it four as not everything was perfect but she could not say quite why. Generally a good choice for children and adults were happy when the bill came.

au Cabanon, Puycelsi, certainly deserves a 5

Puycelsi is often described as one of the hidden secrets of the Tarn and au Cabanon a tiny seasonal restaurant on the Grand Place is even more so. Indeed I wondered if I should share the secret with you all but having seen its Tripadvisor rave reviews I realise that you cannot keep a good thing hidden for long.

Run by Chloe and Stephan, there is a small but exquisite wine list and smaller but even better menu and for once non meat eaters get the best dish with a goats cheese fondue and salad. Meat eaters dont really lose out though as the steaks are always perfectly cooked accompanied with delicious thyme sprinkled chips.

Added bonus is that go on the right evenings in early August and you are likely to see one of the most famous faces on British TV news and her family will be there having a meal.
open lunch and dinner end of April till early October, bookings certainly recommended 
Sent by Ginny jenkins

Le  Belle Rive, Najac
Well as we thought, we give it FIVE.
Nothing to criticise, service impeccable, food delicious, price reasonable, setting superb, how could you give it less than 5
Rosa Kleb greeted us with bisous [that was how the patronne was described in one of the Tripadvisor reports, our daughter is sure there is some mix up with the Deux Rivieres] After which we were served by a young stagière ,who was so sweet, attentive and charming with the young children in the group.The food is not over fussy, not over much and is beautifully presented. We all had a range of starters but the mi cuit foie gras seemed very popular. The main courses were a choice of Aveyronais beef, duck, lamb and came with aligot and vegetables. we discovered that the creme brulee could be had without the dousing of 'vieille prune'' alcohol, which someone requested, whilst another wanted double dousings. I had the profiteroles which were ice creamily  naughty for someone on a regime.This report written after drinking two glasses of wine, large ones!

Two quick TAG ON FOOD reviews.

Firstly, Sardina's chinese restaurant, St Antonin - on rue de la Pelisserie, the street which runs from la Presse (opposite the Gazpacho) to the Place de la Halle, opposite the English Bookshop and the new Tourist Office. We have eaten here quite a lot over the years, even though they only open from June to September.  Every meal has been delightful - we can honestly report never having been disappointed.  OK, the street can be noisy as cars and the odd moto buzz past by.  But by the same token, we rarely sit there for more than a few minutes without jumping up to say hello to friends and acquaintances passing by.  This year's menu beats all others.  The starters are lovely, or if you want you can go straight for main courses banquet style, by ordering one or two more than the number in your party.  Our only warning would be not to combine this with starters - there will simply be more than you can eat!  Sardina's desserts are all to die for, though not bargain basement in price, or you can settle the bill and walk a few metres for an exquisite choice at the ice cream parlour next door. Hao's front of house service is gently laid back, but at the same time wholly attentive, and he's an interesting chap to chat to if there are only a few of you eating.  Five out of five.  

Secondly, l'Atelier Gourmand in Memer, on the D926 between Parisot and Villefranche de Rouergue.  We have had the menu d'oeuvre lunch here a few times now.  The food has always been top notch, with generous portions and every encouragement to take things home if you can't empty your plate.  It's run by a young and energetic husband and wife team - he cooks brilliantly and really very imaginitively, considering we're talking €11,50 per person including wine.  She, although tiny, works miracles serving large numbers across a lunchtime, and is unfailingly cheerful.  Only once have we been disappointed - petite Madame was absent and an older lady was serving.  We arrived late by French standards, and were put up on the mezzanine where, in fairness, it was all too easy to forget us.  And that's what almost happened until a jolly bunch of workmen were sent up to join us, and things improved greatly.  Another one-off that day was that the house rosé, whilst claimed to be from Montels (the award winning vineyard just north of Montauban, whose wine we buy regularly) tasted really watery and not at all up to Montels standard.  We called in there soon after and tasted all of Montels' en-vrac rosé, just to be sure - well, somebody has to do these things!  Four out of five for l'Atelier Gourmand, but this may improve over time, as the one unfortunate visit recedes into history.

xx Chris                        

Dear Val,
I'm pleased to report a TOF rating of 4.5. We had a really good meal last Saturday night at the Relais Mont Le Viaur ( at La Croix Grande, Saint André de Najac. The restaurant was buzzy, albeit mainly Britbuzz. The service was excellent, and the food was the best that I've had for quite some time.
There is an à la carte menu, and three other set menus to choose from. The vegetarian choice was a bit thin, apart from on the salad front, but there was a reasonable selection of fish for us non-meat eaters. Gareth and I had red mullet starters with a tasty yellow courgette purée, then he had Aveyron/Segalar veal and I went for the sea bream (dorade). Next there was a choice of cheese board or roasted brie and rhubarb before our dessert. I went for soupe de fraises, which turned out to be four different sorts of strawberry puds and Gareth had profiteroles with ginger. I had a kir apéritif, we had a decent bottle of rosé, water and a coffee each (the weakest part of the meal and the reason not to give a perfect 5), and the bill totalled 80€.
We are making it our mission as newbies to try as many local restaurants as possible (well, it would be rude not to), so expect a few more postings over the coming weeks.
Bon appetit.

Restaurant reviews before the TOF rating system

Cafe - restaurant at Verfeil sur Seye, practically opposite the Halle. It has had some colourful characters hosting  in the past with varying degrees of culinary expertise. It has settled down now with Charlie who runs the bar and serves and a super lady who cooks. The' pain perdu '  bread and butter pudding  and the 'sticky toffee pudding' are scrummy. Charlie worked in England for some time and has a very helpful manner. General cost about 13 euros. Not ultra smart but very relaxed. We like it  [Val and Malcolm] and  it does have sitting out places in the street.
Place de la Halle  Verfeil sur Seye tel. 05 63 65 22 18

Unpretentious, inexpensive & very good for its type of cafe/restaurant. The menu changes daily and is a bit more innovative than the norm. (the bread pudding is terrific). Plat de jour 8€, full lunch including wine 12€.
Charley is very hospitable & speaks fair English. Its our local & we're very lucky to have this restaurant in our village. (closed Wednesdays) 

Hotel -Restaurant at Najac. One of our favourite summer places as much for the sitting out area as the food.
With views up to the Chateau and lovely elegant  terrace with trees for shade. I love their beautifully presented food and I especially enjoy their vegetarian option , even though I am not a vegetarian. Once again the service is good and attentive. Slightly more expensive with a choice of menus from around 19 euros upwards. Lovely for a special day. The Hotel is down near the station not up in the village and the tel number is tel. 05 65 29 73 90 [recommended again by Val and Malcolm]

Lou Cantoun
81150 Cestayrols
05 63 53 28 39

Great for lunch or dinner. Very good food. Good local wine list. Although not pretentious the chef here makes a real effort & comes up with very nice dishes. Its well decorated inside & has a cozy covered patio. Well set tables with superior glassware & cutlery. Friendly, professional service. Lunch is 14€ for the daily menu. (no wine included) Full menus range from about 26 to 50€. (closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays) Sent by David Hatfield


Le Vieux Pont
12390 Belcastel
05 65 64 52 29

Michelin starred and well worth the drive over to Belcastel. Absolutely superb food, service & ambiance. Without doubt our favorite restaurant that's within reach. Although the dining is very much to a gourmet standard the restaurant is relaxed and friendly, no pretension. They get everything right. An extensive wine list, fairly priced. Menus are 29€, 54€ & 75€. The 29€ menu is a bargain & is served only at weekday lunch times.
You owe it to yourself to try this restaurant.

Having read an article in The Telegraph on good places to eat in Toulouse [ written by a French chef in London] we made a rendezvous for lunch at  'Lebonvivre' on Place Wilson. Totally unprepossessing the small restaurant looked nothing special but the food belied its looks. It does not do 'menu du jour' but we had a splendid meal for 30 euros including wine and coffee. A family owned restaurant with excellent service and lovely atmosphere. Apart from the food it appealed to me as it had 'bandes dessinees' [cartoon books] along a ledge as decoration. A reservation would be wise   15 bis, Place Wilson. Toulouse  Tel 0561 23 07 17   Jill Spearman, Kath Airey, Alison Croft and Val Johnstone and we all gave it the thumbs up.

Le Gazpacho
St. Antonin Noble Val
Very good 10 out of 10 given by David Barraclough, 9 out of 10 by George Barraclough. Both chose the childrens menu, one had steak hache and the other very tasty chicken nuggets. Both went for one of their favourite french desserts 'Iles flottantes.' They enjoyed the outside ambiance, but George felt only one toilet was a problem and would have preferred a toilet for men and women and also the toilet lacked a seat. David Barraclough age 7 and George who is 10 but would prefer if  I put 12.