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THE CÔTE ROANNAISE by Brian Franklin

The Côte Roannaise is a magical place.

La Loire

Following on from our previous 'blog' on this beautiful, but under-discovered region, it was felt that some further comment and description is necessary to emphasise and capture some of the exceptional delights available to the holidaymaker and traveller searching for something  special.

Yes, the Côte Roannaise does have much to offer.The Côte Roannaise

Well placed for easy accessibility in The Roannais, Rhone-Alpes, not far from Lyon, it already has a good reputation for producing some excellent wine, and this reputation is gathering pace.(Please refer to our previous blog: 'France's Best-kept Secret – The Côte Roannaise and its Wines').

When I was in the Roannais during this last summer I discovered a superb magazine which just simply reflected the essence of this fantastic region, and, in particular, the Côte Roannaise.L'esprit Cote Roannaise- front cover

It was called 'L'esprit Côte Roannaise' – The Spirit of the Côte Roannaise.

Beautifully designed and presented, this publication was the first edition produced by Stéphane Archambault. Stéphane is a highly creative photographer in his own right, and as well as the driving force behind this publication, he is also writer and editor.

The images which appear in 'L'esprit Côte Roannaise' reflect the beauty and the magic of this idyllic place.


Stéphane's passion for the Côte Roannaise is evident by his poetic descriptions of the charming, ancient villages which make up the character and personality of this special part of the Roannais.

The magazine is creatively designed with a contemporary 'lifestyle' quality, and highlights many intriguing facets of the Côte Roannaise – Architecture, History, Village Markets, Artisans, Crafts, Restaurants, Food and Wine – including a personal commentary on the 'life' and philosophy of its inhabitants.

It is informative as well as being full of beautifully and lovingly created images.Côte Roannaise

The images I have included here are just a 'taster', and by no means can they do justice to the standard and quality of their actual presentation in the magazine.

(You'll just have to pick up a copy from the local Roannais newsagent when you visit!

Or, you can order a copy from us by e-mailing direct to: – Price £4.00 plus postage. Procedure and address for payment will be confirmed after we acknowledge your email)L'esprit Côte Roannaise  






In the meantime, I continue.

The first edition of L'Esprit Côte Roannaise concentrates on Ambierle, one of the many ancient villages. Its central feature is a 15th century medieval  church and priory.Church, Ambierle

The Priory, Ambierle

There's also an excellent new restaurant here, right next to the priory, and called 'Le Prieuré.



This restaurant, run by Thierry Fernandes, is establishing a top quality reputation.   He originally gained his big experience with La Maison Troisgros.(The famous 3 Michelin star restaurant in Roanne).Le Prieuré Restaurant - a little taste!

Ambierle has regular food and craft markets, and special events which are all set around the ancient walls and pathways near the Priory. They have fun, here!

There's also the Musée Alice Taverne which is a museum full of the history of the Côte Roannaise and the surrounding region. Superb collection of artefacts and lots of local history. Well worth an hour or so's  casual visit. Interesting and very enjoyable.Musée Alice Taverne

All-in-all, the Côte Roannaise as more to offer than just the sum of its parts, and I certainly cannot do more here than lead you to its doorway, and maybe give you a little peep through the key hole. You've just got to go when you are either next near to the region, or when you seriously commit to spending at least one of your week's holiday there.

You won't be disappointed!

Take a look at the rest of our website, and our other blogs for more insight into the Côte Roannais.

Our holiday accommodation opportunities, too, are also very well placed for exploring the magic and delights of this fascinating part of France.

So, go on, give it a try! 

Restaurant Le Prieuré    42120 Ambierle  Côte Roannaise   Telephone: 04 77 65 63 24Le Prieuré Restaurant - entranceLe Prieuré Restaurant, Ambierle