Hostellerie De Plaisance

Hostellerie De Plaisance

La Plaisance

Our second Michelin star dinner of our holidays brought us to the beautiful Hostellerie De Plaisance, perched atop a hill in St Emilion. To say this place was beautiful is an understatement. We had to get three lifts to get to our room as the hotel is built into lots of separate buildings, flat land is a bit of a premium in St Emilion. Our room was possibly the nicest room we’ve ever stayed in.

Hostellerie De Plaisance suite


Bathroom ViewThe View from the bathroom, with the hotels terrace in view.

Amuse Bouche Day 1

Onto food then. We were booked in for two evenings eating the €120 chefs selection menu. Essentially, sit still and be fed! Great, I have no problem with that, or at least I didn’t until I’d finished dinner. To kick off with we had a crab consomme, mushroom cornetto with blackcurrant sorbet and a pea moussse. All perfectly acceptable, the receptacle  was better than the food though!

Starter 1

Our starter was a pastry basket with a some potato rings, potato foam and chutney of sorts. It was lovely, but considering it was 40°c outside, not quite the food I was hoping for.

Fish 1

A piece of turbot with a rich meaty jus was very tasty. The accompanying onion and savoury pastry roll were just heavy, greasy and not deserving of the plate.

Hostellerie de plaisance main course

The main course by this stage was beginning to irk me. Honestly the piece of chicken on the right hand side was the size of two thumbs. The thigh in the middle was smaller than one thumb. Both tasted like my sunday roast I have every week, not worthy of being served in a michelin star restaurant. The onion foam was good, but the shredded wheat on top of it was inedible. I was expecting it to dissolve, but it just coagulated and didn’t go away. Anything that does that in my mouth isn’t going to get swallowed. Oh, sorry there was a lovely piece of baby leek on the side too!

Hostellerie de plaisance dessert 1

Dessert, I hate desserts in posh restaurants. I marvel at the pastry chefs talents, but by the time you get a pre-dessert and have petit fours waiting for you. I just feel dessert is waste of room. I’ve not got a sweet tooth admittedly, but who needs three servings of sugar. Anyhow this again was superbly made, with a lot of talent on show but very little thought and tasting. It was raspberry mousse and tuiles set on some very thin panna cotta with red pepper sorbet. Yes you read that right, a red pepper sorbet. Blimey, as I say no-one obviously tasted this dish as the sorbet tasted of….red pepper and the tuiles were so sharp they cause damage to your teeth/gums/mouth. Can’t remember the last time anyone ever had a bowl of raspberries and red peppers at the same time.

We were so disappointed with dinner. More so because the hotel is such an amazing setting. The staff are incredible, as it’s such a small hotel (25 rooms) everyone doubles up on jobs. You’ll find the Maitre ‘d and sommelier doing mundane jobs around the hotel the next morning. I’m hoping the dinner was served to us more on maximum profit basis, rather than the chefs taste. The following day we requested that we just go a la carte and set the €120 against the cost. No problem, excellent.

On to the second evening, which was well worth it!

Hostellerire de plaisance artichoke starter

Cedric Debache certainly redeemed himself with this artichoke dish. I think one of the best plates of food I’ve ever eaten. There were tempura artichokes which tasted like chips, artichoke crisps, normal boiled artichoke hearts all encircled with summer truffles, mini gnocchi and a wonderful mushroom foam. It was so good, I’d go back to the restaurant just to eat this. Definitely a top 5 best ever dishes.

Hostellerie de plaisance lamb main course

A great lamb dish of shoulder, loin and rack. Ma femme was very happy.

Hostellerie main course fish

Another turbot dish, I love the stuff. With a red pepper and a mushroom sauce-they obviously had a surfeit of red peppers! One sauce would have been enough in all honesty. The accompanying stuffed courgette flower was great. As were the courgette ribbons filled with crispy courgettes.

We skipped dessert and went straight for cheese. They then brought around the tea trolley, which was novel to say the least.



The tea trolley herbs were incredible, from pineapple sage to lemongrass thyme. All made incredible infusions, a perfect addition to wash down the petit fours.

We were let down on the first evening, but the second was a meal we’ll not forget in a hurry. If you go anywhere near St Emilion and want a nice treat, this is the place to go!


  1. And this is why I hardly ever get satisfied in high end restaurants….their portions are like exquisite tiny show pieces. It looks beautiful…but honestly, if one feels like they have to head to the nearest diner to fill up after spending that kind of money, it’s sad. But the plates do look stunning. I’m glad the second day was better….looks awesome. Beautiful pics.

  2. I know when they serve many courses, it’s not possible to eat everything if large portions are served but that chicken size was insulting.

    Good thing you have them a second chance with the ‘real’ menu.

    That room is gorgeous.

  3. I know you were expecting perfection and it should have been delivered from a restaurant with its reputation. I’m glad the kitchen redeemed itself on the second night. It would have been terrible to have gown away with wonderful memories of the hotel but not of the food from the Michelin chef.

  4. Well, this was a good giggle! Sorry you had a terrible first dinner but the second dinner looks wonderful.
    The dessert plate from the first dinner is just gorgeous though…even with the red pepper…
    And your room, oh my, just beautiful!
    All in all, good holiday?

  5. I was reading your first review out loud to my better half, I must say I haven’t seen quite a cutting review from you in the past, I was feeling quite bad (although the price seemed quite reasonable for a Michelin star). I was relieved to read that your second night redeemed itself with the dinner, just lovely. Your room is beautiful and the view so charming.

    • Dave Crichton

      I try not to be cutting, I can appreciate how hard they all work. But….there’s standards and then some.

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