The Gourmet de France
One of the joys of covering the Tour de France is moving around the country and seeing the landscape change and sensing the subtle cultural shifts as you head from north to south or from the coast to the mountains. The cuisine can be very varied too and wherever possible I try to eat the local speciality in order to further the sense of movement.
That is important because if you don’t look around every now and then, life on the Tour can become a bit like groundhog day and you begin to see the race as little more than a hotel room, the Tour’s start village and the press room, which is often a sports centre or gymnasium on the outskirts of town.
So the evening meal is a chance to digest the day’s events with travelling companions, occasionally catch up with other colleagues, and enjoy a good meal.
Unfortunately, one of the downsides of the Tour is that the working day is always long and restaurants in France in July like to close at a reasonable hour rather than serve a bunch of journalists who stroll in just as they are contemplating putting the chairs on the tables. And so, the rush to make dinner is sometimes fraught and the resulting meals are of a variable quality.
I began the Gourmet de France blog for no reason other than the years begin to merge together after a while and I wanted to keep a record of the nice places I had stayed and the good meals I had eaten. But I found that the fine meals were the minority it was the near-inedible meals that provided the most amusing stories.
So, this blog is a place where I have documented the good, the bad and the inedible on my gastronomic tour around France.