Last year we discovered this delightful little restaurant near Decize – Le Roboliot (Poacher) run by Collette. I say ‘we’ when I actually mean Adrian’s TripAdvisor search uncovered this little gem. Has to have been his best find yet!
On Friday (17th) we were moored at Gannay sur Loire and rang Collette to see if she could squeeze us in – she did just that as the restaurant is going great guns and as she is a one-woman band type restaurant she does not cater for large numbers. But squeeze us in she did and she called the french couple we met last year so that they would come to meet us for a drink. We went by boat & moored ‘au rural’ at the bottom of her garden. Delightful quiet spot with fantastic view and birdsong.
M et Mme Robert came to meet us for a drink and enjoyed a tour of the boat. First question – ‘Brexit ou pas Brexit?’
The main room was taken up with a pre wedding party – 12 or 14 guests who were obviously very much at home chez Collette, coming over frequently to request another bottle. Adrian wondered how Collette would keep count – we found out next morning – 12 empty bottles lined up in the dining room!
We ate in the smaller room with Nadine (Collette’s neighbour) and Michel (Collette’s partner) who also cooked all the meat outside on the grill.
Crudites followed by maigret de canard or faux fillet with salad followed by selection of local cheeses then fruit salad & cake. Simple, fresh, straightforward but delicious food. Washed down with lots of wine and much talking. Several of the other group came through to talk with us through the evening – all spoke in french, not trying to practice their english and we were complimented on our french again. It was absolutely delightful and luckily we’d brought a torch to light our way back to the boat at about 1am. Apparently the large group didn’t leave until about 2am – Collette was up again at 8am preparing for her Sunday lunchtime group of 10! But she still managed to have a coffee with us before we left.
Collette spoke about an American couple of boaters who had come for dinner – Schwartz, the USA civil rights lawyer who wrote the book about Barging in France & to whom I yelled hello recently. He obviously has good taste in restaurants too!
The other thing we learnt is that Michel (C’s partner) works for VNF on the Cana du Nivernais (‘mon canal’). He is in charge of the closures and their posting on the VNF site so he told us that the Nivernais would be open properly again later this week.
And the other fun thing at Le Roboliot is the art work – Collette showcases local artist’s work and this changes frequently. This time it’s animals – we loved the chickens and the cows but I didn’t go a bundle on the rear views of elephants!