Restaurant Review: Le Mistral, Nottingham

Bonjour mes amis! Here is my review of Le Mistral, a lovely little French restaurant in the heart of Nottingham, with two other branches in Derbyshire and Sherwood.

Since blogging, I have started to become more adventurous about where I go to eat, intrigued by quirky independent restaurants as opposed to nationwide chains such as Nando’s and Pizza Express.

Le Mistral fit the bill perfectly to have a family meal out with my brother. Although in the city centre, the restaurant is set back in a courtyard, making for a lovely quiet and intimate dining experience.

When we first arrived, I couldn’t help but produce a small smile. Le Mistral was like stepping into a restaurant in France, with lots of French themed decorations. Fantastic if you are a Francophile like me!

img_20161008_124953

A little piece of France

img_20161008_125223

Our lovely table

Price wise, it is amazing value for money. We chose to have the fixed price lunch menu, which was £11.95 for two courses or £13.95 for three courses, so it is well worth a visit!

Having such a sweet tooth, of course I decided to have a main and dessert, but my mum and dad decided to have a starter instead.

 

img_20161008_132651

Pan-fried wild mushrooms in a garlic, white wine & fresh tarragon on French toast, topped with wild rocket

 

I couldn’t go to a French restaurant and not suss out les pommes frites! For this reason, I had to have le burger! It was definitely homemade, cooked to perfection, with the added flavour of peppers and onions which were packed inside. The bacon was also beautifully crispy, exactly how I like it, and the frites were gorgeous!

 

img_20161008_134514

Yummy!

 

Dessert was a no brainer, the Tarte Tatin was a must!

 

img_20161008_142604

Presentation gets a 10/10

I would thoroughly recommend Le Mistral for anyone wanting to capture an authentic French experience in the middle of England!

Megan x

 

 

Advertisements

Visit: Breton towns

I have been saving some post ideas recently, especially the remaining ones about France, but I thought I would write the last one, covering the towns in Brittany that we visited over the course of the second week.

Brittany is full of delightful, quaint towns that can fill a whole day just wandering around all the interesting passageways and streets.

Having already mentioned Locronan and Morgat, my other visits included Quimper and Douarnenez.

Quimper is a small city in its own right, with an airport and train station. However, the city is far from a modern metropolitan area. A catherdral, museums and timber framed houses line the lanes of Quimper, with unique shops and creperies galore! (Also a very fun tourist train! I’m still a big kid!)

 

Douarnenez was quite the opposite to Quimper. You would think it would still be busy, being a port town and having Balamory-coloured houses. To our surprise it was very quiet, but that allowed for some lovely views.

One notable attraction of Douarnenez is the fishing museum. It is set outdoors, on a wooden boardwalk by the river, with different information stands and several large boats to explore.

Compared to the Vendee, Breton towns are a stark contrast to the bustling seaside tourist resorts. They are for the peaceful, cultural visits if that is what interests you.

Megan x

 

Visit: Grottes Marines de Morgat

Moving forward to the second week in Brittany. It is not everyday that you get to go on a boat trip around some sea caves, so this is definitely a moment that needs sharing.

The weather wasn’t the best, so we took the boat trip with a voice commentary instead of kayaking like my dad would’ve liked to do.

Despite the weather though, the trip was still fantastic. The bay that Morgat is set in is beautiful and the water in the caves was the colour of a lagoon in the Mediterranean.

Here are some pictures:

WP_20160801_15_31_49_ProWP_20160801_15_08_12_ProWP_20160801_15_03_58_ProWP_20160801_14_58_57_Pro

WP_20160801_14_54_36_Pro

Colourful rocks

WP_20160801_15_05_11_Pro

Trying to be artistic

 

Definitely would recommend a boat trip!

Megan x

Visit: Noirmoutier-en-l’île

Whilst reviewing my week in the Vendee, one of the trips that stands out the most (aside from Puy du Fou!) was Noirmoutier-en-ile.

Set on the stunning Noirmoutier island, the town itself, is a tantalising treat for tourists and locals alike, with gourmet restaurants, boulangeries and ice-cream parlours. I enjoyed a delicious raspberry sorbet and chocolate ice-cream from the latter. However, if it happens to be salt you are after, then Noirmoutier is definitely the place to be. The island is covered with ‘Les Marais Salants’ dotted with little salt-selling huts. There appeared to be people having tours over the salt marshes who then went back to buy their bag of salt.

IMG_4267

Me in the background gazing over some salt

WP_20160725_11_46_19_Pro

Castle, church, horse and salt piles all in one

 

I don’t if the Noirmoutier council have set a rule that all the shutters have to be a shade of blue and that the houses have to be covered in beautiful plants. Walking round the back streets is charming!

 

In the town centre, we stumbled across a free art exhibition in the Hotel de Ville, which we were really impressed by. The gallery which was holding it is actually in the centre of Paris! The ‘exposition’ was a collection of stunning black and white photographs of the likes of The Rolling Stones, Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren.

http://www.lagaleriedelinstant.com/

Check out the gallery’s website, the exhibition is on until September. If ever you are in the Vendee, it is a must!

Megan x

 

 

Bon Appetit!

Moving onto round 3 of my French posts. I could not go to France and not mention the cuisine. France is one of the culinary hotspots of the world, with Michelin origins and the Cordon Bleu.

Now, me being a teenager means that I tend to steer towards the more trivial aspects of eating and drinking abroad, opting for the tourist choices of food. But, hey, I still will share some of the food and drink moments that impressed me.

First of all, you have to love European countries outside of the UK for selling Orangina. The little child within me got ridiculously excited at the prospect of enjoying this drink again!

WP_20160722_19_14_31_Pro

Enjoying my first glass

Coming to France, I was hit with a surplus of fresh food on offer, whether it is a daily baguette from the village boulangerie or visiting the many Halles that can be found in most towns.

WP_20160726_12_09_38_Pro

By far the most impressive Halle was in Les Sables D’Olonne in the Vendee, set in this stunning Victorian market hall

WP_20160726_12_10_11_Pro

Never seen so much colour!

In Brittany, there is no question what foods are a delicacy. Crepes, crepes and more crepes! Plus, of course a seeming obsession with caramel buerre sale, kouign amann and chocolate.

 

My dad is a big foodie as well. One thing he particularly enjoyed was the formule menus at lunchtime. Amazing value for money and good food!

 

Megan x

Choses et Autres, Locronan

Bonjour mes amis!

Returning home to Leicester after two weeks in France has been hard, but at least I can share some more stories with you. The second week of my travels were spent in the Finistere region of Brittany, which made for a great contrast to the Vendee. Brittany is much greener and hillier, with picturesque towns and rocky cliffs, compared to the flat sandy beaches of the Vendee with cycle paths and salt marshes.

For me, one of the most delightful places was Locronan, a ‘Petite Cite de Caractere’ previously used as a filming location for Roman Polanski’s Tess.

Full of creperies, gift shops and biscuiteries, Locronan is a haven for tourists, as I found out. The best shop though by far was Choses et Autres.

 

WP_20160805_11_54_54_Pro

The shop front

 

Set over three floors connected by a stunning wooden staircase, this shop is full of handmade Italian clothing and accessories, exquisite jewellery and antique furniture and homeware. I could have easily bought everything in this shop, but sadly I could not.

WP_20160805_11_52_00_Pro

This photo I took just shows how crammed full this shop of fashion wonder.

Luckily though, I did manage to come away with a treat. This gorgeous navy blue lace waist belt. I could have had any colour I wanted, but as I wear a lot of navy blue, I had to buy it (and it also makes me feel very French when I wear it!)

img_0512

Beautiful!

 

Definitely worth a visit to Locronan and Choses et Autres!

Megan x

 

Puy du Fou

To celebrate the return of Wifi, an ideal place to start my French themed posts is to tell you about Puy du Fou, a historical theme park in the Vendée region of France. I went there when I was 5, but obviously couldn’t remember much about it, so this time I was looking forward to it very much!

The park has a series of shows, or ‘spectacles’ recounting different stages of France’s history. Each show lasts around half an hour and there is a huge variety to choose from, definitely getting you value for money! As we only had a day there, we decided to focus on the main shows, but there are many smaller shows which we did not have time to see. The park however, does have some rather wacky looking historical themed hotels, so if you want to see every single thing, there is a place for you to stay.

We got there when it opened and the park was already swarming with people, so I would suggest getting there earlier.

 

The first show we went to see was the bird show. All the speaking was in French, but you didn’t really need to understand the story to appreciate everything. When I say there were hundreds of birds flying over your head, like vultures, storks and bald eagles, I mean hundreds!! My photos probably don’t do it justice as to how many there were.

 

 

Secondly, was the Viking show. This is stunning. They have wild animals walking around in front and full scale pyrotechnics and buildings crashing down. I think the best bit though was when the Viking ship rose from the water. Dramatic!

 

Onto what for me was by far the most amazing, was the gladiator show in the colosseum (yes that’s right!). It started with a parade with the likes of ostriches and a leopard! Then came the chariot racing, fighting and lions! It was unbelievable!

 


 

Sadly, the other shows (Musketeers and Napoleon) were inside and we couldn’t take photos. I assure you they were magical as well though!

Bon Journée

Megan x

Pandora Eiffel Tower Pendant Charm

Decided to go for jewellery this time! Pandora has been so popular these past few years, so I couldn’t resist this beauty of a charm, both French and fashionable! I went to a Pandora party when I was younger, and it was really fun getting to choose how to design your bracelet. At the time, we were also made to feel sophisticated with glasses of non-alcoholic champagne!

 

 

 

Pandora Eiffel Tower Pendant Charm by Pandora

Source: Pandora Eiffel Tower Pendant Charm by Pandora

Don’t forget to click and buy anything you like!

Megan x

 

My French Collection

Making a change to my Shopstyle posts! As I am going to France soon, I thought that I would post my own French themed outfit. Remember, you can still click on any of the items that you like to buy them!

HOTSQUASH PARIS BRETON BATEAU DRESS

Just oozing sophistication

JACK WILLS SCHOOLBOY STRIPED BLAZER

This jacket is stylish and quirky. Perfect with the dress for a night out with friends or a day at the office

BUFFALO 312703 HIGH-HEELED OPEN TOE SANDALS

Girl’s gotta have a pair of killer heels

 

LOEFFLER RANDALL WOMEN’S LOCK CLUTCH BAG PORCELAIN PRINT

Floral feminine touch for the phone and lippy!

 

I hope you love this collection and all these gorgeous products as much as I do!

Megan x

 

Graham & Brown Parisian Street Printed Canvas by Graham & Brown

Graham & Brown Parisian Street Printed Canvas by Graham & Brown

Source: Graham & Brown Parisian Street Printed Canvas by Graham & Brown

This black and white watercolour, on the other hand, can be an optical illusion at times. I first thought it was a photograph! This would work fabulously in a minimalist city pad or in an elegant dining room. Just a few ideas! Remember to click to find out more!

Megan x