Les Jardins St Laurent is a small hotel in the centre of Parthenay. The hotel has 14 themed bedrooms, 2 restaurants and a terrace with swimming pool.
Ambiance – 8
The hotel is located down a side street in a residential area not far from the station and town centre. Parking is on the street and is free. The restaurant area is split on two levels, with the toilets on the lower level.
The night we visited it was fairly quiet with all the diners seated in the lower part, which has windows looking out over the hotel’s swimming pool. The decor has a slight African theme to it, although this is understated so it doesn’t feel cluttered or as if you are seated in a theme park. The tables are spaced reasonably apart so there is plenty of elbow room and the chairs are comfortable.
Food/Wine Selection – 6
There are 2 set price menus – 17 or 24 euros – as well as a full a la carte menu. There didn’t seem to be a vegetarian option on either the set menus or the a la carte. The food on offer seems to be typically french with a fresh twist.
Each of the set price menus (3 or 4 courses) has a reasonable choice for starters – ranging from foi gras, roasted gizzards to goats cheese salads. The main courses range from a choice of fresh fish to locally sourced meat dishes. For the 24 euro menu there is also a plate of pre-selected cheeses. Finally, there is a good selection of deserts ranging from chocolate mousse to a small plate of 5 or 6 delicacies (little cakes).
There was a very limited wine list.
Food Presentation – 7
After ordering our meal we were given an amuser bouche while we waited for our starters. This was a tasty smoked salmon mousse presented in a small shot type glass. The starters were of a good size and very tasty. Of the main meals – the meat was cooked to perfection although the fish was a little cool and could have been a little hotter. The cheese plate was pre-selected with a choice of goat, soft and blue cheeses. The deserts were of a good size and tasty.
Staff – 5
We were greeted by a member of staff who did initially try to seat us alone on the upper section. This was quickly rectified and we were seated in the lower area with the other diners.
At the beginning of the meal the waiter seemed stand-offish but mellowed as the evening progressed. He was a little under attentive – we had to request a carafe of water during the meal. At the end of the evening we had to wait around for our bill, while other tables were still being attended to.
Price – 7
Our meal came to just under 60 euros. This was a 17 and a 24 euro meal with one aperatif and one bottle of red wine. We enjoyed our dinner and will take our family and friends for a meal in the future. Overall, good value for money.
Overall Score – 33/50