The Cornucopia that is France

It took us many years of farewells to finally say our goodbyes to our Francolin Conservancy and The Orient and now, many a dawn when sleep keeps me captured, I can still hear the Nightjars call in the last bit of my dreams before the realization of a new day and the familiar sounds of Paris lifts the last veils of slumber. Five years hence, when it became clear that our beautiful Francolin will soon be no more, our journey started in our quest to find a new haven that our family and Restaurant Mosaic can call home again.

I am a “country” girl at heart, and have always been drawn to the tranquility and beauty of nature, as guests who have visited Restaurant Mosaic in the beautiful Francolin Conservancy can confirm. It is no great surprise then, that in our choice of where to re-establish Mosaic, we were drawn to the beauty of nature to be discovered abundantly in the quiet corners of Brittany.

Eighteen months ago, we found it in a stately Gothic Revival castle on the borders of Brittany and the Anjou, built shortly after the Romantic period in the mid-1800’s for a loving family and members of the aristocracy as a country home, away from their bustling little village as a retreat to nature. She was clearly treasured and well looked after, but true to our nature we are in the midst of a Grande Renovation to truly make her ours, as this is where Restaurant Mosaic, like the mythical Phoenix, will rise again and continue to honor our legacy of the past to build a new future.

Nature is also where I draw my inspiration from, and as Brittany is known as the cornucopia of France, my creativity comes alive every time I visit a fresh produce market – and it just so happens that Château des Tesnières is only 30 minutes away from the second largest market in France – Marché des Lices in Rennes.

For centuries now, every Saturday, all of Rennes and its surrounds, converges in great numbers at the Lices Square, where all the great gastronomic produce of the region come together.

This is a vibrant and bustling market where close to 300 producers, artisans, craftsmen, and vendors present their colourful stalls filled with handpicked local produce – from fish, the famous Brittany scallops and oysters, finest marsh lamb and cuts from Breton Pie Noir beef, charcuterie, fruits and vegetables, to cheese, butter, flowers, jams, honey and bread, not even to mention the vast selection of wine.

This truly is a haven for any chef and I look forward to settling into my new kitchen as my team and I embark on many a creative cooking session to compile our first menu for the grand re-opening.

But for now, we embrace the time to focus on our extensive renovation project, establish an exquisite cellar and settle into our new environment, as we work hard to fulfil our vision of creating an opulent and tranquil escape for our future guests at Château Des Tesnières.

Joie de vivre!

Chef Chantel

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