Play petanque among the vines and under the 100-year-old arches of an aqueduct, learn to recognize wild plants for cooking, fill your basket with vegetables grown on the banks of the Seine… So many experiences await you if you come to discover Saint Germain Boucles Seine, the countryside only 20 minutes from Paris!
Did you know? Authentic flavors
Recipes you savor every day were invented in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The Bearnaise sauce, for example, which dates back to 1837, was not invented in Bearn but in Saint Germain by the cook of the hotel restaurant Le Pavillon Henri IV. Puffed apples, the Saint Germain soup or the famous Paris-Brest created at Maisons-Laffitte, are among the oldest recipes. Today the tradition continues and we can count on the creative spirit of our pastry masters and chefs to offer you new dishes with evocative names: the Maurice Denis, the Saint-Germain, the Debussy… A visit to the city center of Saint Germain en Laye and its numerous food shops will satisfy the most discriminating taste buds!
Land of plenty
Since the Middle Ages, the land of Saint Germain Boucles de Seine has been cultivated, with vines and fruit growing on the hillsides and market gardens covering the banks of the Seine. For years, the vegetables grown in Croissy-sur-Seine supplied the stalls of the Halles Parisiennes, providing the “pot au feu” vegetables like carrots, emblematic of the city. Today this culture is still very present; the fields of lettuce in Montesson are set against the backdrop of the towers of La Défense, the vegetables produced in Carrières-sur-Seine or Mesnil-le-Roi are cooked by the greatest Parisian chefs. You can also find them in our markets, mazes of scents and colors, which have nothing to envy to the markets of Provence.
Among our “local productions”, you certainly know the button mushroom, cultivated in the underground quarries. In Carrières-sur-Seine, mushroom cultivation has been replaced by the work of sculptors but the quarries still exist and can be visited… by appointment! Less well known than the mushroom is the lemon balm, whose lemony scent is often mistaken for lemon grass. It is also in Carrières-sur-Seine where one of the oldest medicinal traditions in France (1611) is perpetuated. The Boyer family manufactures L’eau de mélisse des Carmes Boyer; the manufacturing plant can also be visited by appointment.
Return to the roots
If you wish to learn more about the use of plants, the association Le temps des savoir-faire offers thematic outings in the forest of Marly. Learn to recognize wild plants and learn how to cook them, make a basket, discover the virtues of clay or taste forgotten flavors. There are so many ideas for outings to share for a return to the roots with family or friends!
Enjoy Saint Germain Boucle de Seine by staying in one of our charming establishments. Two hotels located in the heart of the Saint Germain forest welcome you for a 100% relaxing escape: the Relais & Châteaux Cazaudehore and the very special Maison du Val hotel.
For weekend getaways with your family, here are two addresses to try: Les deux portes in Louveciennes and La Canopée in Mareil-Marly. And for romance-seeking couples, let yourself be tempted by a night in a guest room at Clos Tellier in Mareil-Marly.
Lead photo credit : Countryside (C) Shutterstock