Starred restaurant and spirits: spotlight on the Relais Châteaux La Chapelle Saint Martin


For a spirits brand like Melifera to be able to count a Michelin-starred chef like Gilles Dudognon, owner of the Relais Châteaux La Chapelle Saint Martin in Nieul, among its first supporters is an opportunity that we appreciate every day.

Let us tell you why we are so proud to have them by our side and what has bound us together over the years.


©La Chapelle Saint Martin

A Relais Châteaux, a Michelin-starred restaurant and much more besides

It would be wrong to reduce La Chapelle Saint Martin to a Relais Châteaux with a Michelin-starred restaurant, even if that is where our spirits are to be found.

Nestling in the heart of the Limousin region, La Chapelle is at once a hotel of distinguished, racy luxury that never goes out of fashion, a green lung with its 40 hectares of parkland, an art gallery that chooses each element of its decoration with passion and commitment, a well-established cultural tourist attraction, and the abundant vegetable garden of its Jardin extraordinaire…

This establishment, linked to our family history, has been dear to us for many years, and we love every aspect of it.

Its chef, Gilles Dudognon, as well as being the creator of this cuisine that pays homage to tradition while adding his own creative touch, is the soul of the restaurant. Always on the move, always looking for new ideas, he often reinvents the Chapelle, as he did in 2020 when, taking advantage of new economic constraints, he created “the dining hives”, veritable islands of gastronomy on the edge of his pond.


©La Chapelle Saint Martin

A meeting at the Michelin-starred Relais Châteaux restaurant

Between the chef of the Michelin-starred restaurant at La Chapelle Saint Martin and the creator of Melifera, it’s much more than a story of spirits and Relais Châteaux.

It’s above all a story about people, a story of encounters, just as we like them at Melifera.

Gilles Dudognon and Christophe Amigorena are two of those men who are united by a silent pact.

They may not be made of exactly the same wood, but something binds them.

An authenticity, no doubt, like that found in our chef’s cuisine. At the Michelin-starred restaurant de la Chapelle, Chef Dudognon is keen to showcase traditional produce, cooking and reinventing recipes from his native Limousin.

His attachment to the terroir echoes Christophe’s desire to respect the area where Melifera was born, the island of Oléron.

This attachment to the land is also evident in the choice of suppliers and the partnerships they establish locally.

Christophe, in Oléron, chose to work with local farmers to plant the first immortelle plants as soon as the brand was created. Since then, every decision made by Jardin Melifera has been guided by this desire to work with local players.

Chef Dudognon, too, chooses his suppliers carefully, with an emphasis on local partnerships.

There’s another thing that undoubtedly links the two men: a commitment, a passion, a need to do things from the heart and to be enterprising. By striving for beauty and maintaining high standards.

Christophe, in creating this brand of French Gin from scratch and dreaming it up as beautiful, sophisticated and demanding, was driven by these ideas.

It’s also what motivated Gilles when, keen to bring new ideas and creativity to his establishment, he designed the Jardin extraordinaire, a superb Eiffel structure next to the Chapel, to house a new cuisine based on the property’s luxuriant vegetable garden.


©La Chapelle Saint Martin

A Michelin-starred restaurant with a special link to nature.

La Chapelle Saint Martin and its Michelin-starred restaurant are set in the magnificent grounds of the Relais Châteaux. The 40-hectare rural landscape is dotted with century-old trees, impressive redwoods, conifers, beeches and other oaks, opening onto the estate’s pond.

You only have to spend a few moments here to understand and feel the visceral link with nature.

A few years ago, chef Dudognon decided to set up an apiary on the estate, as part of his commitment to naturalness. Some 500,000 beehives (whose honey is used in the dishes of the Michelin-starred restaurant) are active there.


©La Chapelle Saint Martin

Melifera and La Chapelle Saint Martin have once again joined forces for a worthy cause, as the protection of the Black Bee is in Melifera’s DNA. From the very choice of its name (Apis Mellifera Mellifera, which means black bee) and the collaboration with the Black Bee Conservatory in Oléron, the spirits brand has been taking concrete action. A new Black Bee apiary was set up this summer in the Melifera Garden.

What’s more, both the Michelin-starred restaurant and the spirits brand are increasingly using the word ‘garden’.

Since last year, La Chapelle Saint Martin has been home to ‘Le Jardin Extraordinaire’, a generous vegetable garden at the heart of the estate offering an alternative cuisine to the Michelin-starred restaurant, based on vegetables grown in the garden… from the vegetable garden to the plate.

This approach echoes the Melifera Garden of the spirits brand, which in addition to the immortelle plants essential to the recipe of our organic Gin, welcomes other botanicals that contribute to the biodiversity of the site and enrich our current and future recipes.

These gardens, with their different functions, share the same values of short circuits, being rooted in the land, and controlling supplies.

How Melifera found her place in a Michelin-starred restaurant and a Relais Châteaux

The Relais Châteaux bar boasts a superb selection of spirits, with chef Dudognon and his partner Aude highlighting our Charentais Gin.

Before enjoying your meal in the Michelin-starred restaurant, La Chapelle offers a cocktail menu featuring cognacs from La Chapelle’s partner producers alongside bottles carefully selected by the chef.

Ask for a Melifera cocktail, the bee’s knees or the Gin to perfect, let yourself be guided by the perfect pairing with La Chapelle honey, and enjoy this exceptional place… at the bar in the cosy lounge or on the terrace overlooking the park.


©La Chapelle Saint Martin

As well as the bar, the chef did us the immense honour of integrating our range of spirits into his kitchen.

His son Henri, who works in the kitchen and to whom his father passes on his talent and know-how, surprised us one day by cooking a complete menu at Melifera.

From tomato consommé with Melifera, to poached oysters with caviar and Melifera, to roast leeks with salt, vinaigrette, Gilardeau oysters and Melifera, the dishes that evening were each more delicious than the last.

We can only imagine what a treat it was for your taste buds and what a pleasure it was for us to discover these food-spirit combinations with our Gin.

The talent of chefs lies essentially in their ability to sublimate ingredients, and it’s an understatement to say that with Gilles and Henri’s cooking, Melifera is magnified, blending deliciously with the foods that accompany it.

Finally, you’ll always find the lime and Melifera soufflé on the menu of this Michelin-starred restaurant, a marvellous combination of sweetness, lightness and character. The touch of immortelle in our distilled gin is an ode to the surrounding nature.

High standards, elegance, commitment, local roots and authenticity are just some of the reasons why we are so proud to see Melifera at La Chapelle Saint Martin.


©La Chapelle Saint Martin

©2024 MELIFERA| Site by Magineo

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?