Saturday, December 24, 2011

Les Quatre Saisons in Bourg en Bresse

Interior of Les Quatre Saisons in Bourg en Bresse
Dinner at Les Quatre Saisons in Bourg en Bresse was interesting rather than pleasurable.  I felt a little bit like I'd stepped into a 1980s time warp as I don't think the restaurant had been decorated or had a makeover in a good 25 years.

On the other hand the bright yellow tablecloths and blue walls made for a colourful sketch and made up for the fact that my meal seemed to lack any colour at all.

The chef contributed yet more evidence to my theory that chefs cook the food in the colours that they like.  This chef liked brown.  See my sketch of my meal below.

Meal at Les Quatre Saisons in Bourg en Bresse on Saturday 2nd July 2011
The menu was as follows:
  • (top left) an Amuse Bouche  I have absolutely no idea what this was!
  • (bottom left) Grenouilles a la verre et ciboulettes - I knew what the Grenouillles (frogs legs) were but was less certain of the ciboulettes (chives).  My first frogs legs - quite tasty and not at all chewy
  • (top right) Volaille de la Ferme de Valaisant, creme morelles and Vin Jaune - this should have been tastier than it was.  The worst bit was that the fact that there was nothing that made it look appetising - wall to wall bland!
  • (Bottom right) I think this was a Tarte Tatin with a very ordinary ice cream but forgot to make a note of the dessert having become totally disinterested in the food by this stage.  Lack of colour is a real turn off for me.  I'd switched my focus to my sketch of the interior which was Bright with a capital B!  You can always tell how good the food is by the relative merits of the sketches of the meal and the place where I ate it!
  • (centre) The only spot of colour came with the petit fours!
My own impression was that the restaurant would be fine for people who spoke French well, liked a more traditional French way of cooking food and enjoyed discussing the food.  My French is limited and their English was virtually non-existent.  With no translation on the menu or from the waiter I had a rough idea what I was eating.  It's probably more accurate to say I had to opt for courses where I had an idea of what it was.  I'm not sure a single woman who doesn't speak much French was very interesting as a customer to them.  That's said in the context of having been in other restaurants in France where I've been very well looked after and had an enjoyable time despite the language barrier.

However this was in Bourg en Bresse which is not a tourist destination and it would be totally unreasonable of me to expect restaurants to cater for English tourists.  A shade more hospitality wouldn't have gone amiss though.  More colour in the food would have been even better!

The whole meal (including coffee but without wine) came to €42 which I thought was a bit steep.

What's really odd though is that my two worst meals of the entire trip were a short distance from Lyons which is supposedly the gastronomic centre of France.  Very odd.

I went to bed very much looking forward to my lunch the next day in Gevrey Chambertin in the Côte de Nuits in the northern part of the Côte d'Or, which is home to the vineyards which line the limestone ridge that is at the heart of the Burgundy wine region.

  • Les Quatre Saisons, 6 Rue de la République, France - 01000 Bourg-en-Bresse
  • Phone 0474220186 | Fax0474211035


  1. I love the sketches you have posted recently. This one is very atmospheric.

    Happy New Year Katherine.

  2. Wow, I love that drawing at the top. That's really awesome!


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