Cépages: Restaurant Review

Cépages wine - Villages Nature Paris

On the Lakeside Promenade at Villages Nature Paris sits a cluster of a few restaurants. From my reading and research, a lot of excitement and hype seems to surround the Cépages Wine Bar and Restaurant. Luckily, as part of the InsidEars Hotels and Resorts Discovery Weekend, I was given the chance to take a look around Villages Nature and the chance to try a meal inside this restaurant.

From the outset, Cépages is a distinctly French affair playing loud live performances of French music outside as you approach. But this is no traditional old bistro, Cépages is distinctly modern in both look, food and sounds.

Cépages at Villages Nature

Design with a modern French flair

Cépages, as previously mentioned is very modern in outlook, this suits the Lakeside Promenade down to the ground; everything here is about the large glass fronts allowing for enjoyable vistas over the main lake. The airy modern feel means that you never really feel like your fellow diners are on top of you.

The wine cellar at Cépages, Villages Nature

For those wanting a private dining experience, there is the private wine cellar area. This closes off to be protected from the rest of the restaurant and offers intimate group dining away from the crowds.

Food that prioritises shared experiences

Food at Cépages is a very traditional affair. Most dishes are inspired by classic French cuisine with plenty in the way of sharing dishes.

For starter, I opted for the Butternut soup. The dish was plenty big enough for a starter portion and had a very rich and creamy taste. I was unsure about having the seeds inside the soup dish, I ended up eating around them and leaving them. This was slightly annoying as it obviously caused avoidable food waste; whilst the seeds are good from a presentational perspective, I think practically it does not work so well. However, the taste was very good and overall I still enjoyed the dish.

For my main course I opted for the Bœuf Bourgignon which was served on top of a bed of Tagliatelle  pasta. Mains are presented in sharing hot pot dishes which you are able to share amongst your table; the concept works really well and encourages a shared dining experience – as a quirk of this restaurant, I think this is a great idea and adds something quite fun into the mix.

Taste wise, this dish was sublime. The beef was delightfully tender, the vegetables and potatoes were slow cooked until soft and the sauce flavouring was rich.

Bœuf Bourgignon at Cépages - Villages Nature
Desert, for me, was the Pomme façon tatin (Apple in the tatin style). Having expected the presentation of this to have been more like a tart, this was a bit of a surprise. The apple, in a caramelised sauce on a bed of ice cream, pastry and crumble tasted delightful. As a picture, it looks a bit messy; but don’t let the photo deceive you, the taste of the warm, soft apple really does work well. It’s not a tart, but it is good.

Obviously, in a wine bar you’d expect to have a range of wines on offer. Cépages is no different, as part of the tour we had a red wine – selected by the restaurant – to try (unfortunately I did not manage to catch the name I’m afraid); the wine was light and packed a good taste. I would be confident in saying that Cépages would be able to guide you to the right wine for your meal and for that wine to be of a good quality.

Cépages wine - Villages Nature Paris

Final thoughts

Cépages is a restaurant to try if you are passing through Villages Nature. Its location, close to all the central facilities of the resort, means that even if you are just passing through for a day that this is a viable option for a meal.

Inside you will have an enjoyable meal in a sleek modern environment which mixes modern French life with its traditional past. I look forward to one day returning and trying even more dishes.

Villages Nature: A new direction for Disneyland Paris?

A Cabin at the Villages Nature project

As the blurb on the Villages Nature website details:

The seed of the idea for Villages Nature was planted in the early 2000s. Two major players in the French and European tourism industry, who had never worked together on such a large project, came together around a unique vision. Over the decades since then, Euro Disney S.C.A. and Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs have worked hand-in-hand with the community to develop this project, involving the public authorities at every level as well as the citizens of the host region.

The question that should be posed is why? Why would Euro Disney SCA join in with such a project? The first point to dismiss is that this is not simply another Disneyland Paris hotel. In fact, this is not a Disneyland Paris hotel project in any way. Villages Nature sits on the periphery of the resort. This is an investment by the Disneyland Paris operating company, an investment that is due to open in 2017. However, this is an exciting development and one that should excite you.

The Lake at Villages Nature
The Lake at Villages Nature

Villages Nature and Disneyland Paris

So what will be the link? Villages Nature will be located next door to the Davy Crockett ranch hotel just south of the A4 motorway from the Disney theme parks. There will be no Disney presence on the site and so it will not be much of a Disney product. Guests to the Villages Nature will be able to buy theme park tickets and take a day off the site if they so wish. So the link is slight, but it is an important development to Disney fans as it adds another revenue stream into the company.

An Eco Tourism resort

Villages Nature is a new style of resort, the focus is on being green. The project extends the scope of the East Parisian tourist zone and diversifies it. Euro Disney SCA have already committed their business to become increasingly environmentally friendly, this development permits the company to further extend this goal and become the European leader in this regard.

One of the core aims of the development is to preserve its natural environment and even to some extent enhance it, the idea is to allow nature and man-made environments to cohabit in a sustainable fashion. It is in effect a revolution in the way tourist destinations are created, and who better to initiate this than two of the biggest players in tourism: Euro Disney and Center Parcs.

A Cabin at the Villages Nature project
A Cabin at the Villages Nature project

Where does this align Euro Disney?

This development is a realignment of the Euro Disney company.  It also presents a unique opportunity to diversify its offering a gain an extra revenue stream from those who perhaps are unlikely to visit an amusement park. The development, whilst sitting on its own will also draw audiences to Disneyland Paris. If Villages Nature guests can be tempted to spend a day in Disneyland Paris during their stay, it can only be a good thing.

Euro Disney SCA have been a catalyst for investment in the previously deprived east Parisian basin. The Disneyland Paris theme park development has permitted a thriving town to grow on its doorstep and has transformed the area. Euro Disney are once again at it with Villages Nature is revolutionising tourism and especially green tourism.

Villages Nature can only be a good thing for Disneyland Paris fans. New money seeping into the company will improve the all around performance of Euro Disney as well as providing a new destination for European families. This is one to certainly keep an eye on.