My Travel Blog

The Epicurean Delight of Epinal

We continued up the Canal du Vosges.  There is a small canal off the Vosges that ends at the city of Epinal. It is rather shallow, and if the canal system is low on water, like it was this year, the VNF closes it. Fortunately we have a car. We moored not far from Epinal, and drove. Peaches cooperated and took us to the old city center. We arrived just in time for lunch, and thus began our search for a suitable eatery. When looking for food we have found Trip Advisor to be our most reliable source.

The closest restaurant with the highest rating was Atelier Nicholas Grandclaude. When we first walked up to the restaurant we weren’t sure what to make of it.  It was a small storefront, and inside there were just eight tables. We decided to give it a try. After all it did get 4.9 stars out of five. The waiter brought us the menu, which didn’t make a lot of sense. Mostly the only thing you could order was the menu of the day with three, four or five courses. It was lunch, and the prices were not exactly cheap, so we both ordered the three-course meal. Wow, was it amazing. We’ve been fortunate this season and had some pretty amazing meals. I have to say, in my humble opinion; Atelier Nicholas Grandclaude was the best. The imagination that went into the creation of their gourmet dishes blew me away. How does someone come up with combining all those unique ingredients, and then preparing them so beautifully?

The crab and shrimp salad starter.

Lisa’s fish main course.

My beef main course.


I’m not much of a city person as I’ve discovered that exploring cities mostly means window shopping, and sometimes even real shopping. While walking to the restaurant I noticed a ruin on top of a hill that overlooked the city. After our amazing lunch I suggested we check it out.  It was just a short drive to the Parc du Chateau. I believe Le Chateau d’Epinal was built in the 13th century, and then updated in the 14th and 15th centuries. I say I believe because the signs were all in French, and they didn’t make a lot of sense, well at least not to me.

The remnants of Chateau d’Epinal over looks the city.

Chateau d’Epinal.

Not all canal barges are as luxurious as Rabelo.

It was pretty hot that day. The temperature was probably in the low 90’s. We were a bit surprised when we came across three guys in the park dressed as cartoon characters. We have no idea what they were doing, but I would hate to wear those heavy costumes on such a hot day. While walking around the Parc du Chateau we found an electrified fence surrounding a cow pasture. I didn’t test it to see if it actually worked, as that duty is reserved for our friend Marty. The next time Marty joins us on Rabelo we will have to take him to Epinal to test the electric fence. The last fence he tested for us was live, or should I say rather shocking.

I can’t imagine how hot it was with those costumes on.

I’m saving this electric fence for my friend Marty.

We’re starting to get fall colors.

– Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– 
Chuck Palmer Adventure novels


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.