The food, oh my the food! It was so delicious everywhere we went and I just want to return and eat everything all over again. If you’re visiting Charleville or Sedan make sure you save enough time to eat ALL the food and take your time over slow 4 course dinners with wine.
We were lucky enough to be recommended the best places to eat in Charleville and Sedan so it’s only fair I share those recommendations with you.
Best places to eat in Charleville
Sel et Poivre
Sel et Poivre is a ten minute walk from the Place Ducale in the centre of town and just 2 minutes from Charleville’s train station and our hotel Le Dormeur du Val. This small restaurant is easy to overlook and without the recommendation we definitely wouldn’t have found it.
The small restaurant seats about 20 people and was run by one person front of house and from what I could see just one chef. The kitchen was open so you could see what was happening and we enjoyed the flames that appeared as the chef cooked up a storm!
A traditional French menu, we worked our way through translating it with a mixture of Google Translate and our kind waiter arriving with a smile and his French to English Food translation book!
The menu included snails, foie gras, steak and more and after much deliberation we went for Carpaccio starters, a steak and some sort of Shepherd’s pie type dish with duck.
Carpaccio (with parmesan shavings)
Piéce de boeuf francais (melt in my mouth beef with creamy carrots, potato and pepper sauce).
It was all melt in the mouth delicious and I had this glazed look of complete bliss across my face throughout the entire meal. I washed my meal down with a small bottle of satisfying Sancerre and Olly a glass of house red, again in typical French fashion this small restaurant has a brilliant wine selection, as well as an impressive selection of rums!
For dessert we had Chocolate Fondant and Creme Brulee, both scrumptious traditional options that finished off our perfect meal in sweet toothed heaven! There was a sign on the wall saying no glace (ice cream) and we weren’t sure if that was because of a freezer malfunction or they chose not to do ice cream, but the waiter brought over some incredible salted caramel sauce to go with my chocolate fondant. As if it wasn’t already sweet enough, yum!
I love when a place surprises you and Sel et Poivre did just that. When we arrived I had no idea what to expect and the turquoise painted walls, simple decor and comic sans sign left me wondering just where we had been recommended. But wow, was I wrong. In France it is all about the food and this place has French cuisine nailed!
- Jen’s Favourite Dish: Piéce de boeuf francais (melt in my mouth beef with creamy carrots, potato and pepper sauce).
- Olly’s Favourite Dish: Carpaccio (with parmesan shavings)
Like Sel et Poivre, Table D’Arthur didn’t look like much from the outside. On the main shopping street ‘Rue de la Republique’ their small A board points you down a narrow alley to the entrance of the restaurant. You are faced with another smart open plan kitchen where you can see a number of chefs busily turning out delicious looking food.
We headed downstairs into the cellar to find our table and were instantly hit by the buzz of the place for 12.30pm on a Thursday lunchtime. Wining and dining at lunchtime appears to be a favourite French pastime, and we were in for a treat for both the wining and the dining at Table D’Arthur.
The cellar atmosphere makes you quickly forget it’s the middle of the day and so when we were greeted with a champagne aperitif to start our lunch we knew we might be here some time.
Table D’Arthur is fine dining at its best and still at a reasonable price. We had a 3 course meal for €64 for the two of us which seemed a great deal for such well thought out, creative and delicious food.
Having no phone signal in the underground dining room, Google Translate was out of the question. We managed to get by with our introductory French and some help from our friendly waiter and certainly weren’t disappointed with our choices.
I had a mouth watering Viccisois de moule with a towering ile flottante, I’ve always been against the idea of cold soup, but this was delicious and I didn’t want it to end. They say the French to the best food and the more meals we had in Charleville the more we agreed with this statement.
Table D’Arthur puts as much thought into its wine as it does its food. Being in a cellar we were surrounded by bottles of all sizes hidden in every nook and cranny. We were brought different wines to match each course by our knowledgeable waiter.
For our main I had a trio of poultry dishes on a plate, that included duck croquettes and two different chicken dishes. All three were exquisite and I didn’t want them to end. Olly had a mouthwatering piece of smoked sirloin .
- Jen’s Favourite Dish: Déclinaison de volaille (Trio of poultry, not sure on exact translation)
- Olly’s Favourite Dish: Contrefilet fumé de Charolais (smoked sirloin)
La Papillote is voted one of the best restaurants in Charleville on Trip Advisor and I can see why. A modern decor the restaurant didn’t have the same atmosphere as the other two restaurants, but with delightfully comfy chairs and impeccable cleanliness it looked like a perfect spot for a relaxing dinner.
The French are all about the food and open kitchens seem to be a common theme, I love watching the chefs at work, seeing the flames for a flambe or the smoke rising from various pots and pans. It wasn’t until half way through the meal that we realised this kitchen was actually separated by a large glass window, but you could barely notice the difference from an open kitchen. Proving the impeccable cleanliness!
We had a 4 course set menu, with three options for starters, main and dessert. It also included an amuse bouche of boar (the mascot of the Ardennes) and we were greeted with some delicious curried mussels on arrival at the restaurant.
My favourite course had to be dessert, a mouthwatering orange chocolate fondant with an orange marmalade and sorbet, I didn’t want to share it! It’s ok though as Olly was happy with his cheese course, which included the cheese trolley being wheeled over and him being able to choose as many as he wanted from the wide selection.
- Jen’s Favourite Dish: Fondant tout chocolat grand cru (Chocolate Fondant
- Olly’s Favourite Dish: Plateau de fromages divers et variés de nos régions (cheese selection from the region)
Le Bistrot des Chineurs
We had been hoping to try out Le Bistrot des Chineurs while we were there but unfortunately it was closed. We are told it is a lovely little restaurant that also sells clothes and furniture alongside home cooked grub! Hopefully we can try this next time!
Boulangerie du Mont-Olympe
If you’re just looking for a snack or a few things for a picnic then head to Boulangerie du Mont-Olympe for some of Charlevilles specialities. A ‘Galette à suc’ is a great place to start.
Read more about where to find the best takeaway food and markets in Charleville and Sedan.
The Best Places to eat in Sedan
After a couple of days of filling our bellies with the best food in Charleville it was time to move onto Sedan, the beautiful neighbouring town, complete with its own incredible medieval castle!
Hotel Chateau Fort Sedan – Restaurant Midi au Chȃteau
We were lucky enough to stay in Sedan’s Hotel Chȃteau Fort… Yes a hotel inside the castle! We arrived and checked into our room and then headed straight down to their relaxed restaurant bar.
The menu included a mixture of sandwiches and salads alongside more traditional hot dishes and daily specials. Having spent our morning eating more of Charleville’s local baked goods we thought it was best we took a break from the three or four course meals and had a small tapas starter of tapenades and bread followed by a Confit Duck for me and a very French beef Tartare with chips for Olly.
I didn’t think Beef Tartare was for me but having tried a bit of Olly’s I really enjoyed it and would definitely order it myself in the future.
The restaurant was very relaxed in the entrance hall of the hotel and we headed down again before dinner for a Chocolate Chaud and chill!
The restaurants in Hotel Chateau Fort Sedan were the first places where the menu had been translated into English, suggesting they get a lot more British tourists. Though it made choosing dinner easy, I missed the challenge in deciphering the menu and slight excitement to see what really came out when our meals arrived.
- Jen’s Favourite Dish: Beef Tartare (food thief ;))
- Olly’s Favourite Dish: Beef Tartare
Hotel Chȃteau Fort Sedan – Restaurant La Principauté
There’s something extra special about getting dressed and walking down for dinner in a hotel, so I was excited to put my glittery top and heels on knowing we didn’t have far to walk.
The restaurant was situated in another corner of the giant castle and I loved walking through the curtains and into the grand room, complete with giant chandeliers and candelabras in the windows that looked exactly like Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast. I felt a bit like Belle from Beauty and the Beast walking through the incredible castle… let’s not tell Olly that makes him the beast though! 😉
There were two menus, one that was included as part of our bed, breakfast and dinner deal or a more extensive menu that was an additional cost. It depends how you book as to which menu would make most sense. We had a deal which included the set menu, breakfast and our room, though if you book your hotel room on its own it won’t make as much difference which menu you choose.
I went a little off piste with my choices as I couldn’t contain my excitement at a fillet steak followed by an assiette of desserts. You can’t go to France and not have at least one chocolate fondant dessert and one Dessert Assiette! This assiette didn’t disappoint and felt like I got four desserts for the price of one!
- Jen’s Favourite Dish: Assiette of Desserts
- Olly’s Favourite Dish: Red snapper starter
Restaurant Le Saint Michel
Our time in Charleville whizzed by and before we knew it, it was time for our final meal, this time at a traditional cosy French restaurant Le Saint Michel. The restaurant was full of locals and clearly a popular weekend lunch spot.
Sitting across the road from the towering castle walls the restaurant hotel had a large reception/entrance hall and a friendly man greeted us and showed us to our table.
A little old lady hobbled past us, giving us a friendly smile on her way to find the lavatory while a child ran the opposite way as their pudding had arrived. The waitress whizzed past and plonked some menus on our table before whizzing away again.
We chose from a simple 3 course menu for €16… what a bargain! They are really into their pre starter nibbles in France and there isn’t any restaurant we’ve been to where we haven’t received something to nibble on before our starters arrive. Here we were given some radishes, salamis and tapenade covered bread. A tasty start!
The meal included soup, salamis, steak and for my main a ‘not quite so French’ spaghetti bolognese. I just fancied a bit of pasta! It was tasty home cooked grub, with a Nanna’s cooking kind of feel to it.
For home cooked grub in a family friendly restaurant this is the place to go. I imagine in the winter when the big central fire is going it is a really cosy place to visit.
So have I tempted you by the food in Charleville and Sedan, my mouth has been watering writing this post remembering all the delicious meals and I am desperate to return to Sel et Poivre and Table d’Arthur, my two favourite restaurants from the trip.