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“Most unique, modern accommodation in Montreuil-sur-Mer.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Auberge de la Grenouillere

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Auberge de la Grenouillere
La madeleine-sous-Montreuil, 62170 Montreuil-sur-Mer, France   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Montreuil-sur-Mer
Stratford, Canada
Top Contributor
243 reviews 243 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 93 cities Reviews in 93 cities
308 helpful votes 308 helpful votes
“Most unique, modern accommodation in Montreuil-sur-Mer.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

Recently, my partner and I were in Paris for a week, and we organized mid-week to go up to the Pas-de-Calais, and stay at the new and improved Auberge de la Grenouillere. The property is a healthy mix of old and new architecture and history. We have been a fan of Chef Alexandre Gauthier since day one of him taking over the kitchen from his father, Roland. (T.A. review with pictures of our return restaurant experience at La Grenouillere to follow...)

This time around, we visited to stay a night in their newly built 'huts', plus, enjoy yet another wonderful dinner experience inside their sleek new minimal dining room.

If you love modern architecture and design, along with modern French gastronomy and service, this is the place to stay in Montreuil-sur-Mer. Our hut was not quite glamping, nor, cottaging, somewhere in between, and a nice combination of rusticity and luxury. The grounds around property are painstakingly kept, yet, appearing so whimsically well, as if the huts just grew out of the ground around the charmingly old white-washed inn.

The new breakfast room is white on white (connecting the new with the old), affording sweeping views of the walled town of Montreuil-sur-Mer in the hilly distance. Breakfast service was fun, basically, like camping indoors, complete with a coffee thermos and other packed goodies to open up and enjoy - it made me feel like a kid again!

This was such a fun outing from Paris. I do recommend using the train service from the Gare du Nord, up to Montreuil-sur-Mer, especially, if you are like me and don't care to drive when on vacation. The auberge can arrange a pick-up for you at the town's tiny train station. Or, you can always walk from the station, to the auberge (so long as you've packed lightly as we did), as it is a lovely stroll through the old town and lush green countryside, on the way to the property.

Room Tip: Go off-season/shoulder season, to get best room rate available.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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145 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Senlis, France
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

In a dark and cold January, while snow lay on the ground we spent a weekend at La Grenouillere, near Montreuil-sur-Mer (or more precisely Montreuil-pres-Mer). We had a fantastic time at the Auberge, the accommodation in the Les Huttes was a mix of rustic Picardie spirit and modern Japanese, to create a simple but luxurious experience. The wood burner in the room was a real surprise and very atmospheric.

Now to the food, we went to Froggy Tavern, a pub jointly owned by Alexandre Gautier on the Friday evening and this was a good place for meat lovers. Set with a grill and a wide choice of meats in a tavern atmosphere it was a good experience and a place we have been back on the route south from Calais.

The Saturday evening we stayed on site at the Auberge and experienced the tasting and accompanying wine menu. C'etait delicieux, with a range of food from sea and land from the local area, but with a twist.

A thoroughly enjoyable experience, it is now, along with the town nearby with its impressive Ramparts, a stop over point when we take the Tunnel Sous La Manche.

Room Tip: They are all good but the further round the better the view from the Huts.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

Auberge de la Grenouillere

Do you like modern art? Do you understand it? Can you look at a canvas painted red, with a few slight variations in shade, which would be very undesirable on your own front door, and agree that it is worth several million pounds? Have you seen ‘The Rope’ at Tate Modern….it looks like an ordinary rope just thrown on the floor, and the explanatory note says ‘If you think ‘The Rope’ does not look the same as the last time you saw it we should explain that at the end of the exhibition we just put it in a sack and store it, and for the next exhibition we just tip it from the sack onto the floor again.’
Having visited Montreuil many times before we had heard of the Auberge de la Grenouillere, but only this time were we able to reserve a room. An expensive (180 euros just for the room…..we missed out on breakfast at 22 euros each) but fitting finale to a ten day trip to France.
Maybe the fact that there was a random pile of straw bales outside and a ‘reception’ sign that was so small the word had to be hyphenated should have set the antennae waving.
The staff were excellent. The room ( part of the main building, just across the courtyard from the reception area) was clean, and warmed up quite quickly after we had turned the radiator on. The bathroom was clean, and had a good supply of towels. The bath was huge.
All you want a bedroom for is to sleep in, and the bed was there. All you want in a bathroom is functioning plumbing, and that was there. The room, however, was painted lime green, and the furniture seemed to have a ‘flat-pack’ feel, with the wardrobe door drooping a bit, and the shelves in the wardrobe being of the canvas type….yes a hanging set of canvas shelves. The tea and coffee making facilities were fine, if you took your beverages black. The bath had a large chip in the rim, and when filled with water sank a bit, to make the sealant between the bath and the tiles gape rather. But things like this add ‘character’. Whether it adds character to the room, or to the guest, could be discussed.
We were there, of course, primarily for the food.
Every restaurant is proud of their menu. It sets the tone for the evening. As with most things, first impressions count, and the menus were presented with some style. They arrived in a basket, and were presented (with spoon and fork I seem to recall) with due ceremony. Each menu was a single sheet of 80g paper (rather like cheap copier paper - no, let’s be honest, it was cheap copier paper) which was was folded in four….but which had been pre-crumpled. The menu was a photocopy of a typed original which had been annotated by hand, with cramped writing that, to our English eyes, was totally undecipherable apart, in the admittedly dim lighting, from the odd word which made no sense at all out of context. Really, the menu was served in a very respectful manner, but was, of itself, disrespectful of the effort that went into the food.
All you need from a menu is an indication of what food is on offer. The fact that each dish on the set menu list was defined by only two words should not be a problem, you have an idea of what you might be getting, and you do not need more than that.
We had the nine course 85 euro abbreviated version of the set menu…. The whole eleven courses did seem a lot, and a cost of over 100 euros seemed a lot as well.
The staff responded faultlessly when we explained that oysters caused an allergic reaction, and substituted a fish dish (which was the best of the dishes we had). The service was good, with dishes arriving at an appropriate pace. The kitchen is in a corner of the restaurant, and an army of chefs slave away making the dishes for the assembled diners.
We went for the set wine option - four glasses of wine chosen to match the dishes - at 45euros. The bottles all had very anonymous labels, giving the name of a Chateau, but unless you knew the Chateau personally you could not guess which region the wine came from, or the grape, or anything really. Generally the wines all tasted anonymous as well….including the finale, which was a honey wine, extracted from a large bottle with a pipette, and dispensed into our glasses with panache. We hoped that the wine waiter did not dribble.
The food was presented well, and clearly a lot of effort had gone into making what was, on the plate, not a lot of food. One suspected that the food bill for the whole restaurant for one evening would not be more than the cost of the ingredients for a Christmas Lunch for a moderate sized family.
There was a choice of breads. They were placed directly on the table…..which had no cloth, and just a top which looked as if it was made of stained leather. The stains came from previous diners…
We started with little (and I mean little) cups made from a shaving from a pumpkin contained mandarin segments (well, maybe half a segment in each of the first two cups, and the third one was empty), and the cups rested on a small piece of foi gras. A quail’s egg with a herby crust rested on crushed green paper. Was it paper? Or something that looked like paper? Were we meant to eat it? Do you like those abstract pictures that you cannot understand until someone explains it to you…and even then you are not quite sure? However, at the Grenouillère no explanations were given.
And further courses were just as strange. The fact is that they were immemorable. The one that does stick in the mind is the first sweet, a sweet sauce with sweetcorn in it. Maybe that one will not make it to my list of dishes to re-create at home.
There was a chance to have a cheese course in addition to the nine courses of the menu, at an extra 12 euros.
At the end, one was presented with a plate with a huge bunch of parsley on it. Only because I had noted what happened at an adjacent table were we able to deduce that there were two macaroon ‘fingers’ of a green hue ‘hiding’ in the parsley, and it was our job to find them.
Do you like modern art? Was Tracey Emin’s tent a masterpiece, or trumped up rubbish? Was it worth the £300,000 that (allegedly) Charles Saatchi was offered for it in 2001? It certainly made people think, and talk, and everyone had a very different view of it. I hear that these ‘installations’ are rather fun, you never know you are in one unless they tell you, and they can be rather expensive as well…..

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

We stayed here for one night in mid-September. We were originally scheduled to stay at their B&B property in the city proper, but upon arrival we were informed that they had no hot water due to a broken water heater and offered to upgrade us to this property at the same price. What a unique and lovely experience. It was my husbands birthday and he was quite impressed with our accomodations. The bed was comfortable and the room is quite large and includes and nice, private porch to watch the sunset and enjoy several complimentary beers. I'm glad we had the opportunity to stay here.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

We chose the €85 tasting menu because three of our party had been once before, and one of us twice before, and all had raved about it. Even they struggled to recognise the experience on 5th October as from the same restaurant. Some dishes (egg whites cooked with prawns) tasteless, others (pigeon) overpowering, and one (mais) simply wrong, particularly as it resembled vomit sneezed onto a plate. We were hugely disappointed and all left craving entrcote frites or moules frites to restore the health of our palates.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pons, France
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

We had a lovely stay and we will certainly be back. At arrival, we were upgraded to a closer and bigger room that we originally booked. The room was very stylish, and the service was wonderful throughout our stay. ( Thank you ladies.)

The food: WONDERFUL! Imaginative, fun, stylish and delicious. Foodie heaven.

I agree with other reviews that if you are after the traditional, same old same old, than this place is not for you. But if you like quirky modern excellence, you will like it. We enjoyed the whole experience and can highly recommend it.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
195 reviews 195 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 98 cities Reviews in 98 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2012

The thatched wooden "huttes" set in the beautifully designed, wild-style garden - at some distance from the main building but umbrellas provided - are very attractively put together, light and airy, but are quirky, and might not suit everyone. Good points - very big, very comfy bed; big deep bath (we are not shower users); warm, with woodstove if you like; really quiet setting with view from room and its terrace straight into "nature", with birdsong; lovely scent from natural wood interior. Less good points - awkward stairs into room with no rail (beware if unsteady); lighting all over the shop & too dim over basin for safe wet shave; TV channels seemed 100% French; no bathrobes; expensive "picnic" breakfast very good in parts; strange teabags (if British take your own); lid of coolbox (no fridge) very heavy & awkward. And the previous occupant had set the alarm for midnight which woke us out of deep sleep...
So make sure when you arrive that the very welcoming and pleasant staff show you all the details & peculiarities to get the best out of this rather special experience. We would do it again.
The river Canche is gorgeous to walk along, & the wild flowers by the hotel have been given name tags.
Restaurant reviewed separately.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Auberge de la Grenouillere

Address: La madeleine-sous-Montreuil, 62170 Montreuil-sur-Mer, France
Location: France > Nord-Pas-de-Calais > Pas-de-Calais > Montreuil-sur-Mer
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Montreuil-sur-Mer
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
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Also Known As:
Auberge De La Grenouillere Hotel Montreuil-Sur-Mer

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