France - - BON APPÉTIT -

If you pre­fer some­thing a lit­tle more laid-back than gourmet, La Forge des Halles is a quirky café and shop in cen­tral Chambéry which serves sea­sonal soups and sal­ads against a back­drop of art work pro­duced by a co-op­er­a­tive. As the name sug­gests, the build­ing was ini­tially a forge and is now run with a pas­sion for re­cy­cling – all of the artists cre­ate their pieces from re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als and it hosts reg­u­lar work­shops too. The mis­match of chairs, ta­bles, plates and cups which the food is served on are all vin­tage and even the menu is pre­sented in an old chil­dren’s book.

The kitchen cre­ates each day’s lunch menu depend­ing on what comes back from Chambéry mar­ket, which in­spires the freshly-pre­pared en­trée, tarte and dessert du jour. It’s sus­tain­able, healthy food, served with heart.

On Satur­days, La Forge des Halles serves a pop­u­lar brunch which be­gins with a creamy fro­mage blanc, gra­nola and or­ange juice. This is fol­lowed by a large plate filled with fresh green salad with homemade French dress­ing, ham or salmon, nutty couscous, pesto hum­mus, boiled egg halves and bread baked with veg­eta­bles. Make sure to leave room for a slice of di­vine choco­late brownie too.

The can­teen of­fers a wide se­lec­tion of teas or try a glass of the lo­cal Rosé de Mon­deuse served with grapes in the bot­tom of the glass or a Brasserie du Mont Blanc beer. You might just end up find­ing a one-of-a-kind piece of art or jew­ellery in be­tween cour­ses too. Open every day, ex­cept Mon­day and Sun­day, for lunch only. Brunch on Satur­day is served from 11am to 1.30pm and costs €15. 19 Rue Boni­vard, 73000, Chambéry Tel: (Fr) 4 79 68 48 38 laforgedeshalles.com

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