We’ve been aware of this rural restaurant-with-rooms on the borders of Champagne and Lorraine in the attractive Argonne region for many years, but have only recently seen it for ourselves after an enthusiastic reader exhorted us to do so. It’s a calm, quiet place (Relais du Silence), well cared for by its owners, chef Paul Aguesse and his wife Roselyne. Paul’s contemporary food is the thing here, served in an elegant-rustic dining room with beamed ceiling, old dresser and picture windows with panoramic views over the valley, lovely at sunset. The bedrooms, though, feel dowdy by comparison; best are the newer ones. Visitors report that the owners are perhaps over-keen for guests to eat in the dining room; that the ambience is unpretentious and genuine; and that the sauna at the end of the garden is less than pleasent.