Driving from Toulouse to Nantes? Stop in Pons!

We were en route from the South-West of France to a faux-wedding in Nantes…

I say “faux” because our friends have actually been married for almost 15 years, but had gotten married  comme des voleurs, in jeans and with just the requisite 2 witnesses, without parents or friends. So after all these years and three kids, they decided to renew their vows and party for three days with the people they love. It was wonderful fun. 

So, driving up from Gascony, we had no other plans except to get past Bordeaux without getting stuck in the lunch-time rush hour. And we made it!

So, now what?

Without meaning to vex anyone, the area along the A10 between Bordeaux and Nantes is pretty much a no-man’s land (we discovered that late one evening when we needed to find a petrol station urgently, and the next town or rest stop was miiiiles away). On the way South, we sometimes go for a good steak at La Bouchérie in Langon. Simple and efficient, they pretty much serve nothing but different cuts of grilled meat. One gets good at grilling when it’s all one does. 

We slipped off the autoroute at Pons. A few minutes earlier, we had phoned our friend Nathalie Tarin, who produces top-notch cognac at very reasonable prices just a stone’s throw from Pons. Luckily for us, she was just out of a meeting and had time to join us for lunch.

We’ve been to the Hôtel de Bordeaux a few times and have always been well received by its German owner, but this time we kept it short and simple: we parked our car in front of the dungeon and crossed the square to the bistro called Le François.

When you have a view like this, many restaurateurs think that the quality of the food doesn’t really matter. 


Of course it does.

The menu at Le François was short and well put together, and if you are looking for a very pleasant way of breaking a journey, this is one place to consider. 

I had fish with squid ink pasta (drizzled with parsley oil), and a beer. The hubby had a steak tartare and un ballon de rouge – a glass of red. 

Just what the doctor ordered.


A long conversation, a bit of wine and sustenance before continuing our journey. Lovely.

Pons is a tiny Medieval town, but the municipality have invested huge amounts of money in sprucing the place up, redoing the façades, repaving the streets. There’s a Medieval festival on July 23rd (that’s three days from now!), which includes a special market, animations around daily life in Medieval Pons, old artisan arts and crafts, and a fireeater or two.

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