May 1, 2005
In the 17th century, pilgrim on their way to Santiago de Compostela, in Spain, used to stay overnight at a farmhouse in Ahetze, France. These days, more Parisian than pilgrims are drawn to the idyllic Basque-countryside setting of La Ferme Ostalapia, now an inn with a restaurant on a leafy terrace (ostalapia means "under the leaves" in Basque). About a mile and a half off Highway A63 between St.-Jean-de-Luz and Biarritz, this rustic outpost with views of La Rhune mountain in as favorite lunch or dinner detour from those more cosmopolitan seaside towns. On any given Saturday afternoon, families with young children, well-dressed weekenders and friends of chef-owner Christian Duplaissy drop by to sample such regional cuisine as fresh foie gras, mussels a la plancha and veal stew with espelette peppers. Before lounging on the terrace with a glass of the house sangria, made from local red wine, guests can choose from among the sunglasses and straw hats thoughtfully laid out on a table for protection from the bright sunshine. Five traditional rooms above the restaurant with equally stunning views are available should an afternoon sojourn turn into a stopover.
Rooms from $86 to $198