Local Shops, Restaurants and Night-life

Supermarkets/Shops

  • There is a substantial supermarket to the left as you exit the house – Carrefour – it has everything (including replacement gas bottles if you need them and petrol/diesel for your car)
  • There is a parade of smaller shops just before the supermarket which are really excellent (especially the fruit and vegetable shop – Au Pistou; but also try the Poissonniere and the Boucherie); we highly recommend you buy your bread (and pastries) from Ribeirou the specialist bakers just a little further down the road beyond the supermarket on the right-hand side near a roundabout (and opposite a car-wash centre) – the bread and cakes here are simply fabulous!
  • There is an excellent pharmacist to the right as you exit the house just by the roundabout.

Specialist Stores – Delicatessan, Fashion, Furniture, Gifts

  • As usual in French towns, all the main supermarket/garden-centre shops are built on the peripheral roads around the town; I am not a big fan of this trend as it is slowly sucking some of the vibrancy from the town centre. However, the quality of the shops and the entire shopping experience is not diminished by this trend.
  • You will find lots of good sports shops, food stores, delicatessens, garden centres, supermarkets, etc., especially to the south of Montelimar just off the N7 set around the roundabout near the very large Carrefour /McDonalds. Here’s a selection of my favorites..
    • Toutengros – Delicatessan, wines, specialist foods – excellent
    • Grand Frais – Specialist (Waitrose-style) supermarket with a wonderful selection of fresh vegetables, fruits, cheeses and meats – better than Carrefour!
    • Maisons du Monde – Next door to Grand Frais; excellent shopping for households goods, furniture, presents and bits ‘n pieces
    • KARE – not far from the above, this is an upmarket, comptemporary household furniture, lighting, a decorations (I bought the football table here!)
    • Rez de Chaussee – Behind KARE; this is a great shop for items of furniture, kitcherware and gifts
    • Deco d’Home – opposite Rez, this has a wide selection of similar goods
    • The Cotton Club – (located behind McDonalds) Upmarket ladies-wear – highly recommended (apparently!) – there are a number of excellent clothes shops near to The Cotton Club
    • Tam-Tam – (near to McDonalds opposite the large Carrefour) – more great ladies fashionwear
  • Don’t be put off by the “industrial estate” look of these areas – the shops and the shopping experience really are quite good – and there is ample free car-parking!
  • Montelimar itself has some lovely boutiques (for the ladies) – try The Cotton Club (in the Market Square) or Megustin, (near the very large Carrefour to the south of Montelimar on the N7) , or Galene for example
  • There are also some good antique shops and I don’t know any town anywhere with more hairdressers and opticians!
  • Montelimar has a market on Wednesdays and Saturdays (the latter is best) – the food is fabulous and the smell of rotisserie chicken will drive you crazy. Don’t miss it!

Restaurants

  • Montelimar has a range of restaurants – too many to list here. You’ll find some contact details in the notebook and business cards on the hall table…
  • My favorites include Restaurant Saint Mart (its near the main tourist office, where the old military barracks was; excellent food, good prices and a lovely outdoor seating area); Le Gourmand (in the main square, high quality, authentic, medium to high price); Le Café de Bonheur (in the centre: Place du Temple; low-cost, really good quality, excellent food); Espace Deborah (in the centre, mainly a lunchtime place; stylish but good!); La Bourse is a very safe bet for good quality food at reasonable prices- it is extremely popular with the locals (always a good sign) – it is just opposite the Irish Pub (The Bodhran) near one of the main roundabouts in town)
  • For lunch do not miss the Bar du Commerce near the main public buildings (The Marie) in the centre of Montelimar. Wonderful value, excellent food and all terribly French! A relatively new option is Bank Restaurant near Les Alles – good food at reasonable prices.
  • A short drive away:
    • Malataverne – Le Domaine de Colombier (Top food and top prices)
    • Saint-Marcel-les-Sauzet:  Restaurant Le Prieure (excellent food)
    • Marsanne: Restaurant L’Atelier (Beautiful location and good food)
    • Mirmande: Restaurant Margot (Lovely restaurant in a gorgeous village)
    • Cliousclat: La Treille Muscate (Excellent food; very near Mirmande)
    • Le Poet Laval: Beautiful restaurant in Hotel in village
    • Grignan: Large selection of restaurants but try “Le Clair de la Plume” top class for lunch, dinner or just a coffee
    • Chantemerle les Grignan: “La Source” – Excellent 4 course lunch: 24Euros!
    • Saou: L’oiseau sur sa Branche (A  recent discovery but one I keep revisiting!)
    • Montboucher sur Jabron: Auberge de la Tour – Lovely little restaurant there opposite the church; wonderful self-service starters, followed by good solid French main-course …
    • Domaine de la Valdaine – The golf club has an excellent restaurant – it is expensive but in fairness to them the food (and wine) is excellent

Nightlife

  • Apparently La Hacienda is the place to be … a night-club frequented by the local singles (I guess)
  • There are lots of bars in the town itself – The Bodhran (an Irish Bar – they’re everywhere these days) cannot be missed as it sits right on one of the main roundabouts; also La Taverne Bar in the main square – it is excellent.
  • A recent discovery is the growth of specialist bars in and around Montelimar. I recommend trying Le Garage (115, Avenue Jean Jaures)
  • I also love the micro-brewery La Fabrique bar at 206 Route de Marseille opposite Jardiland. Also recommended is the Red Barrel (196bis Route de Marseille). I highly recommend visiting both but strongly suggest having a nominated driver with you because the (wonderful) beers are very strong and it is just a little too far to walk home!
  • There is also a number of bars/pubs along Les Alles (the main road running alongside the town) – probably more for the younger crowd…
  • There is an excellent small cinema (Le Templars) in the centre of Montelimar (Place du Temple) which regularly shows English-speaking movies. Check it out…!