Gina Baksa Reviews the Luxurious La Domaine de Verchant Hotel & Spa

Gina Baksa Reviews the Luxurious La Domaine de Verchant Hotel & Spa 5

I enjoyed supper in the Gourmet restaurant Verchant on the ground floor of the main house.

There are several dining rooms from the open kitchen room, to the more intimate library where I dined. The Mediterranean menu from head chef Damien Cousseau is imaginative and uses local provenance. He has a penchant for fish and shellfish apparently, so the à la carte menu features tempting Brittany lobster, as well as oysters, and Dublin Bay prawns. The venison, with gingerbread, black cherry and parsnip and pistachio cream looked out of this world.

Gina Baksa Reviews the Luxurious La Domaine de Verchant Hotel & Spa 6

My surprise menu – comprising seasonal flavours of the month – was fascinating. The ball-shaped amuse bouches flavoursome: beetroot with Granny Smith apples, a decadent puffed pastry filled with cheese and béchamel. And a delicious beef ball. This was followed by an egg mimosa, in an eggshell. Smooth and rich.

Gina Baksa Reviews the Luxurious La Domaine de Verchant Hotel & Spa 7This, my first experience of a surprise menu, was exciting: I loved my octopus, cabbage and green apple salad with a subtle mango curry dressing. Beautifully garnished with wildflowers. The main Simmental beef with mushroom sauce and the jus were superbly cooked.

Alas, I didn’t have room for the poached pear with home-made verveine, coconut and dark chocolate ice cream, but it looked very tempting at a neighbouring table.

I sampled vines from the Verchant’s own vineyard: a fruity sparkling rosé, followed by an unctuous red. The Verchant vineyard dates back to the 19th century and is made up of Syrah and Grenache Med varieties, alongside the Bordeaux: Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. There is also a Petaile de Rose. Some 10% of the Verchant vineyards are devoted to white using Roussane, Viognier and Vermentino. The cellars are open to guests and well worth a visit.

To sleep in pitch darkness, and to wake naturally, without the roar of London traffic was complete bliss. There’s the option to have breakfast in your suite, but I took a seat in the Verchant restaurant, with glorious views over the gardens and the outdoor pool. This must be heaven in summer when you can take petit déjeuner on the terrace. Today we are inside and warm, next to the open kitchen.

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I ventured for a spin on the Verchant’s electric bike after petit déjeuner. Not on the roads, rather a circuit on the vineyard tracks as the sun began to heat the cold morning air. The Domaine de Verchant is sited along the Languedoc-Roussillon route de vins, linking various Pic St Loup chateaux and wine estates with those of the Mejanelle, before entering the Pyrénées-Orientales. In total, there are 18 wine appellations in the area to explore.

Gina Baksa

Luxurious Magazine Reporter

Gina is a freelance features and lifestyle journalist and regularly writes for international travel and lifestyle titles. From testing supercars to glamping in the Kruger, getting up close and personal with the magical White Lions of Timbavati to experiencing the power of plant medicine in the Peruvian Amazon, her travels have seen her leap out of planes, dive on the Barrier Reef, go walkabout in the Aussie Outback and shark cage dive in South Africa. She interviews celebrities and influencers, and relishes engaging with and sharing the human story behind luxury brands and personalities. An avowed Francophile, she speaks fluent French and German, is learning Spanish, and recently published her first children’s book. She is a world traveller and adventurer with a passion for writing about real estate, gastronomy, film, supercars, spas, travel, boutique hotels, and personal development, as well as covering launches and events. Having lived in Australia, New York and the south of France, she is currently based on London’s vibrant South Bank and regularly travels worldwide on lifestyle and travel assignments.

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