Thursday, February 5, 2009

Curry ..... in The Charente

Previous Blog Entry from April 2008

I am sure it is a distinctly British thing.... and I have lost count of the number of times that I have tried to tell myself that I can do without it .... because, for heavens sake, I now live in France - Gastronomic Capital of Tous Le Monde ... so surely I can resist .. but there is sometimes no stopping That Urge ... I need a Curry !! ... so I head up to the Plateau, high up on the ramparts of Old Angouleme.

Having lived in the Angouleme area for over four years now, I have come to love its quaint cobbled streets, its charming squares and secret hide-aways, and its laid-back and yet vibrant youthful attitude. For those of you unaware of its charms, I urge you to visit it ... it is probably one of the best kept secrets in South West France.

Tourist head for Cognac to the West, or pass by on their head-long flight towards the .. "now oh so very British" ... Dordogne !! or past Bordeaux and on to Spain ... But Angouleme is different, and a very special gem.


... Place de Minage ... Stay in a "Boutique Hotel" on The Old Plateau "

and then there are the locals ... warm, friendly, totally without pretentions or pomposity. They know who they are, and don't need to live up to a myth or feel the need to build on a tourist fantasy. The city of Angouleme exists in its own rite, it doesn't need to rely on attracting the "tourist dollar" and it is all the more charming and relaxed for that very reason.

But I digress .... I am by now salivating at the thought of that welcoming "take-away" ... Gambas Tandoori I think tonight ... with their Nan au Fromage, hand-made on the premises by the friendly Chef of the Jardin de Kasmir.

I can highly recommend this small, but charming, restaurant. Situated on Rue Raymond Audour, only a stones throw from the very centre of Old Angouleme, with the stunning square of Place de Minage just around the corner.

The "Patron" is warmly welcoming, without being obsequious, and is always pleased to meet travelling British customers looking for "a taste of india" !! A word of friendly advice ... be sure to ask for your "plats" extra spicy (the French palate is, unsurprisingly, less used to hot spices than us "brits", so make sure the waiter knows that you want it extra hot !!)

STOP PRESS !!!! ..... get 10% off your next meal at the Jardin of Kashmir !!!

I have managed to negociate a discount of 10% .... for all meals taken in the Jardin of Kashmir .... on Tuesdays and Sundays during May and June 2008. You can get a voucher on this link

http://charentegems.com/voucher.html
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