We are delighted to advise that once again, Magellan is working with The Drôme in Southern France.
Here’s a few fast facts about this lovely area and if you are interesting in visiting for news or review coverage or indeed have an idea for a promotion, please contact Gillian Green or Alexandra Pinhorn and they will liaise with you to make it happen.
- 514,104 inhabitants and 6,561 square kilometres
- It’s named for the river Drôme that crosses the department from east to west.
- The countryside rises from just 60 metres to 2400 metres above sea level
- The diversity of climates throughout the area produces an equally large range of flora and fauna
- The Drôme was the first department of France for biological food production
- Principal towns are …
- Valence – situated on the north-south axis on the Rhône so cruises on the river are popular, as is a visit to the Old Town with houses dating from the sixteenth century and the polychrome St.Apollinaire Cathedral.
- Montélimar – the capital of French nougat, the Miniature Museum is unforgettable, very pleasant Old Town with relaxing gardens and canals.
La Cité de la Chaussure
La Cité de la Chaussure will open on 21st March 2019 in the centre of the French shoe capital of Romans-sue-Isère in ‘La Planète Chaussure’.
There are four main parts to the ‘Cité’ – the learning centre, innovation zone, events area as well as shoe workshops and of course, a shop selling locally made shoes. Fourteen brands are already included in the offer with four more likely to be added soon. Guided tours are available.
The Nougat Museum – Arnaud Soubeyran at Montélimar
The artisan Arnaud Soubeyran has been making nougat in Montélimar for over 200 years. The quality, excellence, and traditional know-how that is indicative of this brand is now being brought to a new venture – an interactive, tasting experience.
Learn everything you ever need to know about nougat – through games, pictures, films, photos, etc – and not just nougat, but the famous ‘calissons’ from Provence and the old fashioned ‘grimauve’ or marshmallow. Thomas Honoré, son of the current owner, Didier, has just started an almond orchard so a case of from farm to factory!
New Restaurant opening: La Redonière restaurant
La Redonière opens this spring in Romans on the Ave de Maquis – the first for young chef Thomas Redon who until now, has been working with his father in the Café des Arts.It promises to be be a gastronomic experience where Michelin stars are already being mooted! They will have thirty covers to start with and if you need to rest a weary head, there’s also four guest rooms on site. Phone for reservations: +33 (0) 6 27 44 21 98.
I’m relaxed …and you?
We’ve had cool, charming B&B’s with spas and all sorts but now something completely new that has never been done before we believe – totally recycled accommodation by Des Branches et vous!
So whether that be a mobile home, caravan, container – all will be made from recyclable materials thus respecting the environment, and placed in cool sexy places near Châteauneuf-sur-Isère that allow us to get ‘back to nature’. An inspired idea by Sylvie Combet, prices start at 110 Euros a night including breakfast.
Sleep in a shop!
A very original idea from François Xavier Chambost allows guests to sleep overnight in a shop, and – to cap it all – you can purchase everything you see – it is all for sale – the beds, the furniture, thee ornaments, everything.
This is taking shopping to a new – albeit horizontal – level and is very much seen as a way of revitalising run down areas where retail premises have fallen into decline.
François is doing all this in the name of Save the Children charity and the first three shops will open in downtown Romans-sur-Isère in the spring – email him directly on email@example.com for more information. Bring your PJs!
Café des Alpes – Châtillon-en-Diois
After several successful ventures on Paris such as La Crèmerie and Racines, chef Pierre Jancou has returned to Châtillon-en-Diois at the foot of the Hauts Plateaux du Vercors to open his new restaurant – the Café des Alpes.
Pierre offers a tasty menu based on local ingredients with well-cooked food accompanying ‘lively’ wines. For reservations, call +33 (0) 9 63 59 87 91.
A Drôme designer arrives in Paris!
The boutique 1083, just opened in Paris on the rue Turenne in the Marais area, is the first foray into the capital from local jean specialist and creator Thomas Huriez from the Drôme – Romans-sur-Isère itself. His jeans are 100% Made in France.
Evening Celebrations in the Château de Grignan
Want to experience a performance in an historic ambiance? The Château de Grignan hosts an annual programme which takes place every summer from the end of June to the end of August. The offerings change every year and in 2019, we will be treated to Victor Hugo’s play ‘Ruy Blas’ staged by Yves Beaunesne.
The Best French Cellarman 2018
Cyril Coniglio from Pont-de-l’Isere won this prestigious prize in 2018. His shop, Rhône Magnum opened in 2010 and is run by him and his wife Laetitia who was a semi-finalist in the same competition in 2016. They have an off licence, a grocers and wine bar all in one – well work a visit.
Brasseries in the Drôme both beer and whisky
There are no less than 25 artisan brewers in the Drôme these days including, the Esgor, La Manivelle, the Pleine Lune and others. Also producing their own beers are some of the top chefs of the area too – the Diwaz of Daily Pic – Anne Sophie Pic or Trois Bec of Stéphane Bonnet – used by them in their various sauces and dressings.
The hops for these local brews often come from the fields of Emmanuel Feroa in Lozeron and Gigors. As for the whisky produced here – they are triple award winners in the UK, France and Belgium. The first biological single malts, Sequoia Pur Malt and Sequoia Pur Malt 1st distillation are only made at 50 degrees thanks to a modification in the alambics made by Eric Cordelle.
Visits and tastings are possible.
Black is the New ….. Garlic…
After the white and the purple – Black Garlic!
Invented by the Boutarin family from Crest – in part to tempt those who say they do not like garlic, preserved black garlic was brought to France via Japan from the UK. The ordinary white garlic cloves are steeped in liquorice, sugar and umami (a Japanese flavouring known as the 5th). Fine grocers and top tables already are using these unusual products.
Truffle… Drôme is the home of the black truffle …
The Drôme is the premier producing area of Europe with over 3,000 hectares devoted to the Black Diamond, as the black truffle is known. Here there is the perfect environment for truffle growth in the Drôme de Collines, Val de Drôme and Tricastin. Tricastin is listed within the prestigious award website – ‘Site remarquable du goût’.
Known as a production centre, Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux is where to find the best products, producers and markets. From December to March every year, there is a truffle market and specialist sales on Sundays, plus truffle workshops, entrance to the Maison de la Truffe, lunch on truffles and it’s even possible to learn to cook with truffles.
There are also truffle weekends where enthusiasts are put in touch with the local producers.
Olive … the black olive of Nyons is world famous ...
The black olive of Nyons is world renowned for being of supreme quality. It is sometimes eaten just two weeks after the winter harvest, having been typically spiced using a secret recipe, (Fête de l’olive piquée in December) or otherwise used to make the famous Nyons olive oil (Alicoque is the festival in February).
One of the oldest presses in France still functions to this day in Nyons for making the oil. Another of the traditional activities associated with the olive oil industry in Nyons is the making of the ‘scourtin’ or coconut woven baskets used to serve the bottles of olive oil. Arnaud Fert is the last producer of these in France.
Travelling to The Drôme: For travelling to the Drôme by train, Valence is just over a two hour journey from Paris and you can easily pick up a hire car to travel around the area. The nearest international airports are Lyon, Marseille, Grenoble, Saint-Etienne and Avignon.
Notes to Editors: The Drôme is the area of France just south of Lyons, situated between the Vercors and Provence. There is a great diversity of landscape and a wealth of agriculture with everything from lavender to wine, fruit and vegetables to olives. The Drôme is the premier part of France for bio-agriculture which has much to do with the warm climate and the soil. Some of the finest Drôme products include truffles from Tricastin, Valrhona chocolate, olive oil from Nyons, picadon cheese, etc – often used by some of the finest chefs in France that have restaurants here – such as Anne Sophie Pic for example in Valence. The wines of the Hermitage, Tain l’Hermitage and Vinobres in the Rhône Valley are world renowned.
If you are planning to write a news piece or feature on The Drôme, need any further information or simply want to talk through ideas or promotions, please contact either Gillian Green / +44 (0) 7515 283 287, Alexandra Pinhorn +44 (0) 7515 283 040 or Sue Lowry +44 (0) 7725 997 121.