Today I would like to tell you the story of my weekend in Chartres, a lovely town an hour train from Paris that is renown for its beautiful, spectacular gothic cathedral.

I will start by telling you about Claire, a smart and caring young woman who created a blog one year ago called Chartres sans gluten where she likes to share gluten free foods, recipes and finds but also anything she likes and treasures in Chartres from design, to art, from cooking class to special events.

I met Claire « virtually » thanks to the social media, we started to chit-chat from time to time and then it all came naturally between us, until the day I decided to go to Chartres and we finally met for « real ».

I spent two days in Chartres but they were enough for me to visit the breath taking cathedral I have so much been dreaming about, visit the lovely town and also, thanks to Claire who was my guide, try different restaurants with gluten free options on the menu.

chartres notre dame
chartres detail of the cathedral
chartres beautiful ancient buildings
chartres pink wall

I started with OC Seven: a take away restaurant that is open for lunch, and located a few blocks away from the cathedral; and yes, in Chartres, you measure everything, space + time, by this majestic Lady 😉

William and Ysabelle, the owners of OC Seven, propose dishes, salads and pasta that can be also gluten free. They cook everything fresh everyday, sometimes products come from local producers, sometimes they are organic and there is always room for one gluten free dessert!

At OC Seven, you can have the famous French « moelleux au chocolat ».

The day I went I opted for a “filet de rouget sur ratatouille » that is red fish cooked with chopped vegetables; it was very good. I also got a small salad and tried the chocolate dessert. I sat in front of the large windows that overlook a quite courtyard: such a peaceful way of having lunch.

chartres oc seven gluten free restaurant
chartres gluten free fondant au chocolat
chartres oc seven detail
chartres oc seven gluten free take away

The evening I met with Claire at her apartment and befriended with her lovely family; we had aperitivo and enjoyed some Italian gluten free foods she brought back from Italy during her holidays.

After we headed to Claire’s favourite crêpes restaurant in Chartres: La Picoterie.

Red is the colour here and, along with the tapestry on the wall, it makes this place warm and cheerful.

We had French galette that is a special crêpes made of 100% gluten free buckwheat flour. It is naturally gluten free and so good! Besides the menu at La Picoterie comes on iPad and for each dish that it is proposed, you can read all the allergens aside and be sure and safe about your choice. How great is that! I wish all the restaurants had one…

My choice was a vegetarian galette that was utterly delicious! Claire explained to me that at La Picoterie all the products are labelled « Terres d’Eures-et-Loir », that means that they are locally sourced and top quality; the buckwheat flours are from the Bruno Rocquain mill, they are milled on a stone where they process only buckwheat, so there is no risk of cross-contamination with gluten.

chartres la picoterie
chartres gluten free galette
chartres gluten free crepe
chartres gluten free galette with egg

I spent the day after visiting Chartres: from the old churches to the local shops and the Medieval buildings, this town has a charm of its own and most of all here Time seems to slow down for real and life itself gets a different shape, different colours and nuances.

La « ville basse », as they call it, that would be the town that is located down the hill where the cathedral stands, is picturesque to say the least. The old water mill, the small pointed roofs houses, the river, the stone bridges, the washing houses make you feel you are inside an old Flemish painting. I loved it so much!

With Claire, we started by visiting the Famers market in Chartres that displays local, seasonal fruits and vegetables. We both like markets very much and we took a real pleasure in sneaking a peak here and there.

After we made a stop at the coffee shop Les Rois Mages: coffee beans are selected with great care and roasted the moment you order coffee. I have to say that I did enjoy mine and if you are not a coffee person, then you can choose among a large selection of teas.

Claire likes it here, to her this place feel like a cuddle, it is warm and cosy and she loves bringing her friends to have a good time. Sometimes musicians show up to perform typical French music and, we were lucky to listen to them and we did enjoy it a lot.

After we took a walk and arrived at Les Voisines. This is Claire’s favourite design shop and I couldn’t agree more. The selection is sharp and original, there are also local designers that are exhibited from time to time.

If you need to buy gluten free foods, then Une Pincée celte might be the place for you. It is located very close to the cathedral and it has just started to have a gluten free aisle, you can finds cookies, sweets and pasta. More products will be coming up and both Claire and I, we couldn’t be happier. Make life easier for people like us who can’t eat gluten is why we started blogging in the first place and good news like this makes us sincerely happy.

For lunch we went to the restaurant, Le Pichet 3.

Actually I did notice this restaurant when I arrived in Chartres, the reason why is the beautiful Art Déco façade made of glass and ceramics; it was built for the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1900. It is a historical building today and inside, there is this lovely, colourful restaurant. Claire made me meet with Laura, the chef at Le Pichet 3, who cooks fresh, local and organic foods everyday with a special attention to gluten free. We had a vegetarian dish that was very good. There is also a gluten free dessert that is always available but that day, we decided to have dessert in another of Claire’s beloved places in Chartres…

chartres farmers' market
chartres vegetables at the market
chartres le pichet 3
chartres le pichet 3 the terrace
chartres le pichet 3 with gluten free options
chartres le pichet 3 with gluten free dishes
chartres le pichet 3 with gluten free food
chartres le pichet 3 detail

We headed more downtown to the pastry shop called La Chocolaterie that is specialised in chocolates and the renown French macarons; we took some and I fall in love with Mr Chocolate, how could I not?!!

As an alternative for gluten free dessert, Claire tells me that soon the pastry shop Maison Monarque will soon propose gluten free desserts on a regular basis. Considering the fact that the it is situated just opposite the cathedral, with a lovely tea room inside, it makes it the perfect stop after your visit or, if you did like myself and went up all the stairs to see the breathtaking view from the top, then it can be the perfect sweet reward!

Another local product that I did enjoy is the artisanal lemonade called  “La Baucerone“; it is produced by the Maison Savouré since…1888!

I took the train back to Paris in the evening and I left with a large smile on my face and a big, grateful thank you to Claire and to her family, for having been such a great companion in this gluten free escapade and a thoughtful friend. I did have a great time and hope to go back to Chartres soon.

I know I haven’t yet told you the « real » reason why I went to Chartres, well, if you are curious enough, the answer is in my post on Maison Ailleurs !

chartres landscape
chartres old churches
chartres river
chartres beautiful flowers
chartres gluten free macarons
chartres lemonade la beaucerone
I love chartres

OC Seven – cantine

29 Rue Sainte Même
28000 Chartres
Tel 02 36 67 61 63

La Picoterie – restaurant de crêpes

36 rue des Changes
28000 Chartres
Tel : 02 37 36 14 54

Le Pichet 3 – restaurant

19, rue du Cheval Blanc
28000 Chartres
Tel 02 37 36 14 54

La Chocolaterie – pâtisserie

2 Place du Cygne
28000 Chartres
Tel 02 37 21 86 92

La Maison Monarque – pâtisserie

49 Rue des Changes
28000 Chartres
Tel 02 34 40 04 00

Les Rois Mages – café

6 Rue des Changes
28000 Chartres
Tel 02 37 36 30 52

Les Voisines – boutique

11 Rue du Soleil d’Or
28000 Chartres

Une pincée celte – boutique

23 Rue des Changes
28000 Chartres
For all the restaurants mentioned in this article:
cappello_cuoco_conscritta2 cut


  • Avatar Valerie says:

    Chiara, cet article est fantastique. Je n’habiterais pas déjà Chartres je planifierais tout de suite un séjour découverte ! Vous avez capté tellement de l’esprit de Chartres en photos et le texte top. Claire et vous, superbe équipe.

    • Avatar bacididama says:

      Chère Valérie, ça me fait tellement plaisir de lire vos mots; ça me touche beaucoup! on est une belle équipe et j’espère vous revoir bientôt !!!

Leave a Reply