When in the summer of 2020 Dave the builder and his wife Louise excitedly showed me round the old butcher’s shop they’d just bought with plans to turn it into a bar, restaurant and brocante, I smiled politely while inwardly wondering if it was a vision too far. I’m fully prepared to eat my reservations now in 2022 having finally returned to France and gotten an opportunity to see just how far they’d come with their ambitions.
We booked a table for Sunday lunch and headed off in the beautiful Spring sunshine to Thiat, a small town near La Dorat in the Limousin. The bar consists of three small rooms, the main bar, the restaurant and cinema room and the brocante room, there’s also a small outside area which I’m sure is great in the summer. It’s impossible to escape the word ‘eclectic’ ringing in your head from the moment you step into the bar.
The main bar, cute and cosy, with just a few tables and armchairs and the bar, which I know is in the old cold room of the butchers, feels like sitting in someone’s front room. Full of brocante that creates an ever changing diorama as every piece is on sale, you like that vase, buy it, take it home! It’s nicely done though, such an eclectic mix of items that sit well and attract your attention, is that a sporran over there?
Overall though, it’s Louise’s bouncy nature that makes you feel at home, chatting on while she goes around taking orders and making everyone feel comfortable. So, we had a drink and then it was to order, a smallish menu but an interesting one, a mix of English and French food. I went for the smoked trout starter, chicken tarragon main and red fruits crumble while hubby had faggots to start, roast pork main and cheesecake for pudding.
All fabulous, gargantuan portions and clearly cooked with interest and passion. I really loved the smoked trout, much gentler than smoked salmon and a hugely generous portion, the chicken tarragon was flavourful and the red fruits crumble was a great finish, served in old dishes it is was almost a shame to tuck in. Hubby really enjoyed the salad that accompanied the faggots, loved the roast pork dinner and enjoyed the cheesecake immensely.
A poke around the brocante next door revealed gorgeous chandeliers sitting above a collection of tables with various bits of brocante all for sale.
Dave and Louise have done brilliantly, they’ve certainly created their vision, a great, cosy and welcoming bar, lovely food and a friendly atmosphere. The last mention must go to the one piece of brocante that isn’t on sale, the forbidding bull’s head that dominates the space in the main bar. This was from the original butcher’s shop and gives the bar it’s name, La Tete du Taureau.
La Tete du Taureau
For opening times and location see the website at La Tete du Taureau
Rita Fennell – Gallery Tart