For the last forty years, Christine and Michel Guérard have spread the word of 'well-being' across each square millimetre of their estate Eugénie Les Bains, a small village in Landes known worldwide for the virtues of its springs.
Wearing a white apron, he walks with a lively step towards his guests who are giving off a sigh of happiness upon finishing their clementine soufflé. One would think that the chef had just celebrated his fiftieth birthday. In reality, Michel Guérard has already commemorated more than eighty years of life. With a sincere smile for each of them, he shakes the hands of his guests for whom he shares the same tenderness that he gives to his recipes. The regulars are full of praise. The new arrivals cannot believe that the meal they have just enjoyed is so low in calories. Can pleasure and satiety be compatible with slimming down and health? Michel Guérard has been convinced of it for more than four decades!
Well before the importance of a healthy diet came to be praised, the Guérards were innovators by offering an haute couture slimming cuisine on their menu. Mushroom parmentier, soft-boiled eggs covered in herbs, duck with aged wine, a floating island of coffee or french toast with vanilla-infused apples... It is hard to hold back from giving off an ecstatic "mmmh" at meal time. But at Près d'Eugénie, those who do not wish to taste Michel Guérard 's grand slimming cuisine may also enjoy the experiences of his three-star restaurant, his braised suckling pig at the inn of La Ferme aux Grives, or his delicious tarts with coffee at Mère Poule & Cie, which has recently opened at the estate's entrance.
It is impossible to leave this village in Landes without making an appointment at La Ferme Thermale, the spa that Christine Guérard designed twenty years ago. It is nothing like the soulless massage centres duplicated all over the world. At La Ferme Thermale, there is the impression of being invited into a family home. The fire crackles in every room, all of the massage and treatment booths have a view of the garden... As for sulphurous water of the hot springs, it weaves its thread through each treatment. The absolute must do is the mud bath concocted by Michel Guérard, who succeeded in purifying this unique recipe. The blend of kaolin and thermal water is so singular that the body finds itself in a state of complete weightlessness upon contact. It thereby allows each joint in the body to relax. The sensation is incredible. It is a genuine cocoon of softness in which all can be forgotten.
One weekend at Près d'Eugénie is all that is needed to regain the desire to take care of oneself. It is a kindness that nourishes for a long time.