For gourmets and bon vivants a trip through Drome would be a real treat. The department in Southeastern France named after the eponymous river, is best known for its lush sceneries, national parks and fragrant lavender fields. Equally famous are the fine things that the region has to offer. It might surprise you, but Drome has quite a reputation for good wine and good food, abundant farmers’ markets and star-crowned restaurants, it offers first-class regional products and eco-friendly beauty products. Yet another famed specialty is the supreme nougat of Montelimar considered to be a French national treasure.
Throughout the year, the region hosts multiple farmers’ markets offering locally grown fruits and vegetables, excellent wines and artisanal cheeses. One of the most sumptuous markets is the Marche de producteur that takes place every first and third Saturday of the month at the village of Barbieres: here you will find foodtrucks, rotisseries and stalls with street food. You will find regional delicacies at the Sunday market in the Bouchet village. In winter, head to La Chapelle en Vercours for the famous Thursday markets that offer exceptional cheeses! You will find more information about Drome’s specialities here : https://www.ladrometourisme.com/decouvrez-la-drome/saveurs-et-senteurs/les-marches-reguliers/
The local specialities
The local specialties include goat cheese and croquets de Suisse, fragrant olives and black truffles, also known here as black diamonds. Do not miss an opportunity to stock up on the exceptional truffle and olive oil, and do try all the various kinds of nougat that the region has to offer. The unrivalled nougat capital of France is Montelimar where you can witness how the famous dessert is created; whereas the destination for olives is Nyons where tourists can see how olives are collected, sorted and transformed into fragrant olive oil.
In Drome, vineyards occupy about 20 000 hectares, while 15 percent of the local wine is bio. Before dinner, arrange an aperitif at one of the many local wineries. Drome produces world-famous Cote du Rhone wines, as well as the light and elegant Grignan les Adhemar wines. At Chtillon en Diois you can try the regional cremants.
Should you crave an elevated gastronomic experience, Drome still won’t disappoint you: the region features a stellar selection of restaurants steered by renowned chefs. One of our favorites is Le Claire de la Plume in Grignon. Headed by Julien Alano the restaurant seeks to elevate the local gourmet traditions. The decor is effortlessly elegant with a glass terrace surrounded by a lush Mediterranean garden. In Crest, make sure to check out Le Kleber that gives the local cuisine a modern twist. In Valence, head to Pic where chef Anne-Sophie Pic, still the only French female chef to have been awarded three Michelin stars, continues to create simple yet impeccable culinary masterpieces.
Known for its vast lavender fields, Drome also offers tours to lavender distilleries and spa experiences. Drome remains one of the main producers of lavender oil in France. Head to Montbrun-les-Bains to discover the healing secrets of the fragrant plants, and make sure to book an appointment at one of the local saunas.