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“Only in France”
Review of Le Francois 1er

Le Francois 1er
Ranked #4 of 15 Restaurants in Ardres
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: French
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed July 18, 2013

Only in France.

We arrived a few minutes early for our favourite restaurant the Francois 1er in Ardres.
It being a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the mid thirties we decided to sit in the car and absorb the peace and tranquillity of the Place d'Armes in the centre of Ardres.
We had parked on the side of the historic square, still proudly boasting the original cobbles of a long past era. The buildings surrounding the square also echo the past as can be verified by the reproduction photographs that adorn the restaurant walls. The restaurant itself being a former marble workshop harking back to the days when marble was a major product of the area.
As we sat with the car windows open, outside the local butchers shop, we were treated to the most
mouth watering aromas emitting from the artisan products in the shop.
Due to it's elevated location on the side of the square facing the restaurant the little shop had a number of steep steps at it's entrance. The owner had thoughtfully installed a handrail for customers use, not only did it serve it's purpose the elegant sweeping style of the handrail made a handsome
addition to his premises. As we sat contemplating our meal, the thoughts of which had been stimulated by the aforementioned delightful aromas, we were suddenly affronted by a very loud chorus of young voices.
In front of us and alongside the butchers shop was a lovely old alleyway the Ruelle du Flot that provides charming access to the rue des Lombards.
Apart from admiring its olde worlde charm and watching customers of the butcher disappear into the distance along its pathway, it now suddenly came to life in the most charming and exhilarating way.
With their mouths wide open and obviously enjoying themselves tremendously a crocodile of young children from the local school thrust their way down the alleyway and burst into the square.
Their chaperones were singing likewise and the whole entourage made an impressive sight as they marched across the square in search of some unknown destination, only in France!
Eventually time arrived to visit our restaurant and in a way we were somewhat reluctant to vacate
our vantage place on the Place d'Armes amid the atmospheric pleasantries of Ardres.
Despite being regular visitors to the Francois Premier over many years we had never met the owner and Chef Gerard until now.
Having prepared once again a magnificent and mouthwatering meal Gerard appeared in the restaurant at the end of our meal to a much earned round of applause from each of his guests.
It was the perfect ending to another special treat at the Francois Premier in the Shadow of the Field of the Cloth of Gold.
Only in France.

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    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
4  Thank Nosnad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (94)
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42 - 46 of 94 reviews

Reviewed June 11, 2013

I had lunch here with friends and enjoyed the scallops and the turbot and salmon along with two white wines of the month, the better one being the Chardonnay. The vegetables were definitely overdone, not all us ros-boeufs like them this way.
My main complaint was their refusal to supply tap water. If the water is that ordinary, what do they use to cook with? It is not too difficult to filter water and provide it rather than overcharging for bottled water.

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5  Thank RobinHoodKingsclere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Returned to the restaurant and the quality of the food was exceptional. One of the best meals I have had and better than Claridges and cheaper. Food is beautifully presented, but portion sizes generous and cooked to perfection. We found the restaurant on the first occasion after Boursot's wine shop. Return trip was to just to experience this fabulous cuisine. Make a special visit you will not be disappointed.

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1  Thank Smiffy1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

We enjoyed a delicious Sunday lunch at the Francois 1er after visiting Boursot's wine shop. It was a very good meal and beautifully served. A lovely last meal before returning home.

2  Thank Miriam14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

A group of 28 friends on a day out visited Le Francois for lunch. This was pre-booked as the restaurant caters for about 35 people. This was my first visit to a proper French restaurant, though previously I visited a psudo French restaurant in Chancery Lane, London. Le Francois was a revelation in comparison. It is exactly what you think a French restaurant should be. It is run by a brother and sister and they could not do enough for the party. In my case they were notified in advance I was unable to eat shellfish, I had a portion of good quality pate with two types of chutney whilst the other had a filo pastry basket filled with shellfish. The meal was just in excess of 50 euros and was well worth it, considering we started with rose champagne followed by passable red and white wine. Hope to go there with the group next year.

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1  Thank Harry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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