France / Auvergne

Auberge de Chassignolles – Exceptional hospitality

Auberge de Chassignolles – Introduction

Auberge de Chassignolles lies at almost 1000 metres above sea level in the mountains south of the city of Clermont-Ferrand in the heart of the Auvergne. You drive up through winding, mountainous, forested roads to reach this tiny hamlet.

The Auberge nestles comfortably in the square of the tiny village of Chassignolles opposite a solidly-built and very old (12th century?) church. The welcome here is warm and friendly, the food delicious and the natural wine selection excellent. What more could one ask for?

This raises the question of what constitutes a memorable hotel experience. We have had some very average experiences at very expensive hotels. Therefore, when we stay at a place like the Auberge de Chassignolles it gets us thinking about what we are truly looking for when we stay somewhere.

It seems like the Auberge ticks all our boxes for a place we want to return to. The rooms are servicable without being super luxurious. On arrival you are greeted by the owner, Peter, who will be able to suggest things of local interest if you want to get to know the area. The food is always excellent without being fussy and the wine selection is definitely worth the journey.

And now to the food!

You will be served a meal that is unfussy but truly memorable. The vegetables are grown in their extensive garden which is only a very short walk from the hotel.

And while you enjoy your meal you will be able to choose from some wonderful local natural wines (it would be crazy to serve anything else when so much care is taken to serve organic food here).

At the Auberge we usually start with a local Festejar sparkling wine, one of the best sparkling wines from the Auvergne area. We just love this wine. The pale pink beauty melded perfectly with the pale sunshine on this autumn afternoon as we sat on the terrace in front of the hotel. We then move on to other local wines that suit the food being served on the evening.

We can admit here that we have been to Chassignolles so often that when we arrive there is likely to be a bottle of Festejar already sitting on the bar ready for us!

Despite the fact that there is virtually a new chef each year who just works for one season, the food is exceptional!

One year the kitchen was given over to the talented Matt Robertson, an alumni of Chez Panisse and a passionate gardener. Another year it was Thomas Haugstvedt who has done a stint at Paris institution Verre Vole and is now at a hotel in Zermatt, Switzerland.

Another year the pans were handed to New Zealander Michael Hazlewood, another highly experienced chef, who crafted some excellent meals on the two occasions that we were lucky enough to be staying at the Auberge. Michael has now taken over the wonderful restaurant, Le Saint Eutrope, in Clermont-Ferrand that was established by English chef Harry Lester.

The breakfasts here are also most enjoyable with the bread sourced from a village down the road and house-made preserves, hard boiled eggs, sliced meats and other excellent products to get the day started.

Hint: If you are using a GPS to navigate to the Auberge, make sure you enter “Auberge de Chassignolles” as there is more than one village in the Auvergne with the name Chassignolles.

Additional information

Name: Auberge de Chassignolles

Street: Le Bourg

Town/Suburb: Chassignolles, 43440

Phone number: +33 4 71 76 32 36

Opening hours: Open May – October

You can find more information and more accurate information about their opening dates here.

We have also included this lovely hotel in our story about places to eat and drink outside Paris, here.

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