I’m not sure quite when I saw the sign to Toi et Moi languishing in a hedge on the road to Abbey Dore, but it intrigued me enough to Google it when I got home.  Hmm, a French restaurant with a French Chef, in a remote location 2.5 miles across border into England and with views across Golden Valley. Sounds interesting, eh?

Then I promptly forgot all about it until @L0mbard0 reminded me of it again last March.

And so it got added to our ever increasing list of places to go at first opportunity.  This week that opportunity knocked when my dear sister in law, J, decided to come visit and we were looking for somewhere to go for lunch whilst exploring the Hereford area.

We booked an early lunch, planning to move on Hereford later but as the day turned out to be wet, windy and cold we never made it past the wood burner in Toi Et Moi. Our day in the city turned into a very long, leisurely lunch!

On arrival the first view of Toi et Moi is from the rear and its wood clad appearance made me wonder if I was about to lunch in a barn conversion.  The front and interior tell a different story, this is a new, purpose built restaurant with commanding views over Golden Valley.

Corpulent Capers: Golden Valley: The view from Toi et Moi.

Golden Valley: The view from Toi et Moi.

On entering, to the right is a shop area run by English florist, Dawn who also teaches flower arranging classes, in the premises, on the days when husband, Cédric isn’t serving food.

To the left is the restaurant area, a nice open space with plenty of light even on a dull day like today. With only 6 tables available you’d better make a reservation.

Corpulent Capers: Inside Toi et Moi

Inside Toi et Moi

The semi open kitchen allows Cédric a view of the dining room and the landscape whilst the diners get to see just enough of what’s going on in the kitchen.

Corpulent Capers: The kitchen at Toi et Moi is partially visible, but chef has a good view of the dining room.

The kitchen at Toi et Moi is partially visible, but chef has a good view of the dining room.

As we arrive Cédric is just lighting the fire and we settle down on a few comfy sofas to warm up and read the menu, which is written on a heart shaped chalk board atop an easel.

Corpulent Capers: Chef Cédric Lherbier lights the fire for us.

Chef Cédric Lherbier lights the fire for us.

Today’s menu has 4 starters and 3 mains.  “Always 1 meat, 1 fish and 1 vegetarian”, says Cédric. Lunch is £25 for two courses or £30 for three. Cheese maybe taken as an extra course for £7.  Dinner is £40 for 3 courses.

Whilst we warm up in front of the fire a plate of simple but tasty amuse bouche arrives.

Corpulent Capers: Toi et Moi Amuse Bouche

Amuse Bouche

I’m not going to write an in depth discussion of every dish as the pictures speak for themselves.  Suffice to say that it was all delicious and tasted even better than it looks.  Cédric is a master at extracting every drop of flavour from whatever he is cooking. Every dish you see below packed a punch in terms of taste. Stocks and sauces are the foundations of great cooking they say and there is no doubt that Toi et Moi has a chef that is in full agreement.

Entrée

Corpulent Capers: Pithivier au faisant et figues - Pheasant and fig paté in puff pastry.

Pithivier au faisant et figues – Pheasant and fig paté in puff pastry.

Corpulent Capers: Raviole de ricotta et Truffles, coulis Topinambour - Truffle and ricotta ravioli with Jerusalem Artichoke coulis.

Raviole de ricotta et Truffles, coulis Topinambour – Truffle and ricotta ravioli with Jerusalem Artichoke coulis.

Corpulent Capers: Velouté de potimarons - Garden pumpkin soup with pan fried squid and chorizzo

Velouté de potimarons – Garden pumpkin soup with pan fried squid and chorizzo

Plats

Corpulent Capers: Poisson du jour - Fish of the day - Monkfish

Poisson du jour – Fish of the day – Monkfish

Corpulent Capers: Duo d'agneau - Mailes Butchers lamb duo with green lentils

Duo d’agneau – Mailes Butchers lamb duo with green lentils

Dessert

As we had by now abandoned all plans of visiting Hereford we decided to slip in a cheeky cheese course before dessert proper!

Corpulent Capers: Plateau Fromage - Cheese Plate - 2 local (Neal's Yard) and 3 French cheeses.

Plateau Fromage – Cheese Plate – 2 local (Neal’s Yard) and 3 French cheeses.

Corpulent Capers: Marquise au chocolat - Chocolate Marquise with coffee mascapone cream and coffee ice cream

Marquise au chocolat – Chocolate Marquise with coffee mascapone cream and coffee ice cream

Corpulent Capers: Pain Perdu de Mamie Irène - Cédric's grandmother's French toast speciality with honey caramel and ice cream

Pain Perdu de Mamie Irène – Cédric’s grandmother’s French toast speciality with honey caramel and ice cream

Toi et Moi is now officially Corpulent Capers favourite new place.  The staff are friendly, efficient and welcoming. The space has a lovely atmosphere and great views, even on rainy days. Chef Cédric Lherbier, is happy to chat and answer questions about his food and himself.

He is also a genuinely nice chap. Case in point. My sister in law decided that lunch would be her belated birthday present to me. As we were getting ready to leave and she was paying, she turned to me, smiled and said “Happy Birthday!” “What!” exclaimed Cédric. “Why did you not tell me it was your birthday?  Sit, sit!”  A minute later he had produced a plate and a piping bag of chocolate sauce, sat beside me he wrote a “Joyeux Anniversaire” chocolate message and topped it with a truffle and candle. A lovely touch when he could simply have said Happy Birthday and let us walk out the door.

Corpulent Capers:  Joyeux Anniversaire

“Joyeux Anniversaire”

In summary:

Toi et Moi – Je l’adore!

Toi et Moi is open for Lunch from Thursday to Saturday:
 12 - 2.30 (last orders 1.30)
And for Dinners from Thursday to Saturday:
 7.00 - 11.00 (last orders 9.00)

Toi Et Moi, Abbey Dore, Herefordshire. HR2 0JJ.
Tel: 01981 240 244

Toi Et Moi on Urbanspoon