Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Winnebago Nights (Part Trois)

After Culoz, we left the Tour for a few days to celebrate my 40th in Lyon!

With the help of Google Maps, we were able to find Camping des Barolles which was a few minutes outside the center of Lyon. On the website it says there is a bus stop next to it which takes you straight into town in 20 minutes. We were sold on that idea and just like before, it took us quite a few too many minutes driving on the highways of France, GPS on the iPhone not quite working, a few too many profanities called out and many roads which made us doubt whether we were even driving on the correct side! Similarities between the four of us and the characters in Euro Trip flashed before us when thank heavens we finally found it!

Camping des Barolles was the most non-scenic camp site we stayed at during our trip, but one of the cleanest. It was in an urban setting but suit us perfectly. All we really wanted was a shower big enough to move around freely in and proper facilities after camping out in a parking lot the night before. We decided that night to book a hotel for the following night in Lyon and leave our happy van behind the next day. It would be my birthday after all!

We drove past Lac du Bourget on our way to Lyon. Super lovely lake!

The next day we packed our overnight bags and took the bus into town. Hubby wanted to surprise me on which hotel we were going to stay and I was definitely not disappointed when we ended up at the Hotel Sofitel. The location was lovely. We were across the street from the Rhone River and walking distance to good food and great shopping.

We asked for a recommendation for lunch and ended up at Le Sud, by Paul Bocuse which was just a block away from the hotel.

Not a very good picture, but shows where we were seated.



We ordered from the daily lunch menu and was quite happy with our food. I had the fish and found it fresh, cooked perfectly and tasty. I usually don't order fish in HK because I don't trust where its been sourced, so took most of the opportunity while dining at nice restaurants in France. Hubby had the seafood curry which was also on the daily lunch menu. It was good to finally sit down at a proper restaurant. Not only was the food good, the location was great!


After our feed, we went shopping! July is also sale season in Europe and thank goodness my birthday did not fall on a Sunday. With all the sales going on, it wasn't hard to buy a few things quickly. Brands that are marketed as higher market here in HK were just average there. I stepped into one thinking it would be as expensive as the one here in HK, but it definitely was not. I bought 2 dresses, 1 top and a bag on my first attempt. With the ball rolling, I ended up with a few more shopping bags by the end of the day. Shopping in Lyon was the most enjoyable for me during this trip. It had a lot of individual boutique type shops lined along most of the streets. It was so interesting checking out all the clothes and seeing none of them were made in China.

That evening we had dinner at Michelin-starred Les Trois Domes at the top of Hotel Sofitel.

The French seem to have an obsession with peach Nestea ice tea. Whenever you order an ice tea, this is what you get.

This was our amuse bouche. Nothing fancy, just a bit of smoked salmon, cream cheese and toast. 

 Our second amuse bouche was a tomato stuffed with zucchini. It was light and very tasty.
 
 My starter was foie gras with black cherry sauce. Not only was the duck liver totally indulgent, the cherry coulis brought it up a notch and make it sing in your mouth.

Lamb steak. Super tender, sinful sauce.

  
Steak with foie gras = bbq on steroids. The block on the right was pure beef cheek madness. Madness I tell you! How do they incorporate so much cheek into a melt in your mouth brick is beyond me.

Beef tenderloin. Classic. Beautiful. Jus that can be used for glue in a kids art project.

I don't ask for much, but a chocolate cake was a must for my birthday. Hubby came through with the goods with this magnificence.

A sort of dessert amuse bouche after we were done with the birthday cake. We don't see how anyone can finish dinner, order a dessert and still be presented with this to finish. It was decadence overload.

Just when we thought the onset of treats was over we were left pleading for mercy when this was brought out to finish the evening.

Happy birthday to me!

Les Trois Domes was a wonderful close to my birthday. Although I missed the kids and wished they were there to celebrate with me, it was good to have Hubby and close friends with me. Although I often say my 40th was hijacked by Hubby, it really was a trip of a lifetime. Besides, there is always Hubby's 40th I can hijack.

Next stop, Suze la Rousse and Stage 13.

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