17 Jan 08
Spending three days in Valence means the rally has lost some of the party environment experienced in Monaco, but the city does boast some fine restaurants and bars to enjoy. For food, Le Bistrot des Clercs, www.michelchabran.fr was a popular choice with drivers and teams in 2007. At about 20 euros for dinner it's reasonably priced too, but it gets very busy, so be sure to book a table in advance. There are plenty of other restaurants along the Grand Rue, and a good selection of bars in the old part of the town.
If you're up in the mountains, you're most likely to be huddled around a barbeque, singing songs with a thousand Gigi Galli fans and drinking a beer or two. If it's sophisticated food and wine you're after, you're probably in the wrong place.
If you're Monaco-based, however, you'll be spoilt for choice for food and drink. Just make sure you check the bar prices before you order a large round, as they can vary wildly. The famous Jimmy'z is great for splashing out, but Zebra Square, www.zebrasquare.com on top of the Grimaldi Forum and the bar at the Columbus are cheaper and far trendier. Stars'n'Bars, www.starsnbars.com on the harbourfront is a massive, American-style eating and drinking complex which has always been popular - especially with the drivers on the Sunday evening as they chill out. The Monaco tourism website, www.visitmonaco.com is well worth a look.