From 1 July 2009 the French Government has lowered VAT (or TVA in France) on Restaurant meals from 19.6% to 5.5% in a bid to stimulate a sluggish market, which should result in some noticeable savings for diners.

gindreauThis is welcome as a good meal out in France can be a real treat – and often very much better value than most UK eateries.

However, beware that VAT is not reduced on wine, which remains at 19.6% – higher than the UK (currently 15%) but without the UK’s punitive excise duty rates.

Of many favourite restaurants in France, there is one in the Lot département which remains a cherished memory for me – Le Gindreau at St Medard-Catus (46, Lot, Midi-Pyrenees) – a glorious meal of local specialities, good wine, excellent service and a table on the terrace with views over the quiet local countryside – and 3 hours for lunch!

Within easy travelling distance of Cahors and with an impressive list of Cahors and other wines.

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