Sunday 31 May 2015

Fine Dining at Les Templiers, Dunes, France

When we were in France this time round we were lucky enough to eat out at fine dining restaurant Les Templiers, Dunes and it was delicious! 

It was a minimum of three course menus, but you could also have five or seven courses if you wanted, We settled for three, and thank goodness we did as there were multiple entrees and additional desserts either side, making it more like six courses in itself. Talk about decadence! 

Now, I must confess, and this is something I really want to rectify, I don't speak French. I wish I did, and it is something I am determined to start learning before the end of the year, but with not speaking french comes the inability to read fancy french menus. So, with the help of Dan's parents and the spotting of the obvious words like 'chorizo' (I hang my head) I ended up with an exciting array of foods but not entirely sure what I was going to get. 

However, despite not being able to read the menu, I have to say, I think this was actually a great way to be pushed out of your comfort zone to try something new! That being said, many of you may be able to read the menu much more proficiently.

The first set of entrees were brought to the table, small smoked salmon and soft cheese, a pesto cream type variety, and cheese pastry option. Sorry I don't have many pictures of these as they were gone in a heartbeat!

As soon as that plate was cleared, out came the next one, little plates of raw fish, something that I was initially apprehensive about but got stuck into, and I'm glad I did as the flavours resembled that of smoked salmon with a creamy topping. 

Then it was time to get down to the actual food we'd ordered. To start with I ordered a crab and avocado dish, which was presented beautifully. It was cold, and the crab was seasoned brilliantly, almost fluffy along with some additional components that I confess I couldn't quite put my finger on but complemented each other brilliantly. 

For the main I feasted on hake with risotto rice and chorizo, and it came with an accompaniment of veg including radish, courgette, carrots and spinach with a delicious sauce which was bursting with flavour and in particular a pea undertone. I have never had hake before but was pleasantly surprised, as it was extremely similar to cod, a light and tasty white fish which can in some places be much more affordable, so worth considering next time you're doing the weekly shop! 

Dan opted for canon of lamb which was beautifully presented with summer veg including courgette, aubergine, dried tomatoes and green beans topped off with a rich jus. 

Then dessert, I thought Dan and I had got different ones so we could share but soon found out that was not the case. Dan opted for a raspberry and dark chocolate dessert that was mouthwatering. There was a dark chocolate torte base, with raspberry moose, and some more chocolate on top, finished off with a raspberry sorbet. 

I think I won the dessert stakes though with my strawberry number, complete with sugared cup and strawberry moose and white chocolate layer. Check out this baby…

Licking our lips and rubbing our full tummies, we thought that was the end, but oh no, out came more little desserts for the table. A plate of little torte pies, pistachio sponge cakes and Cannele that the French love so much. Eyes too big for out bellies, we tucked in, each as tasty as the last, although I must admit the Cannele isn't something I was especially fond of and wouldn't be something I'd chose to have again. But this meal was all about trying new things and I can certainly say I did that. 

With the wine that flowed throughout the meal and the chatter and excitement around the table, it was no surprise we were the last table to leave. 

We all piled out onto the street and said our various goodbyes, and Dan just smiled at me and squeezed my hand. It was such a great evening, with new tastes and experiences and we had a blast, but it was then time to get our merry little heads off home to bed. 

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