I reckoned that if I stayed overnight somewhere cheaper, I’d be able to eat at Barattero. Those of us who have read and re-read Elizabeth David until the pages fall from their binding would all hope to eat at the Hôtel du Midi in Lamastre some day.
But as I drew up outside another hotel, something told me to drive on. And so I found myself, with the car parked in the Place Seignobos, walking in through the glass doors at Barattero. I explained that I was alone and should like the cheapest possible room because I had arrived to eat. A cheerful bespectacled young man carried my luggage upstairs to a room at the back of the hotel. And, after settling in, I arranged at what time I’d like to dine, and set off to investigate Lamastre.