The Ferme au Grives (“thrush”) is a rustic barn that serves a more basic version of Michel Guerard’s food. As you sit down a plate of large goujeres and saucisson appears. My wife began with smoked salmon and a potato salad flavoured with horseradish and shallot and topped with caviar. I was impressed with the potato salad, whose powerful flavours were really well balanced – the bite of the horseradish and the shallot, the earthy potato, the salty caviar, alongside good quality smoked salmon (15/20). I had a very good farmhouse paté enhanced with a hint of foie gras, with toasted brioche with well dressed leaves (14/20).
I really enjoyed a simple roast chicken, but what a chicken. The Landes chicken is from an area called “Saint Sever”, is entirely free range and corn fed, as was evident from the yellow colour of the flesh. This had been roasted over the spit that is the centrepiece of the kitchen dining room here, and had superb flavour (easily 16/20). This was served with a buttery mash and a gratin of pasta (not macaroni, more penne shape) that had been cooked in chicken stock rather than water to give more flavour (15/20). My wife had sea bream in an aromatic herb sauce (15/20).
A superb apple pie featured fabulous pastry, as light as you could wish (18/20). An apricot trifle had rum-soaked sponge, apricots and almond ice cream with caramelised almonds (16/20).
This was a most impressive meal, showcasing the superb flavours inherent in the excellent produce used here. The flavour of the chicken was memorable, as was the texture of the pastry of the apple pie.