Food and Drink in Vendée and Charente Maritime

Two predominant elements of Vendée and the Charente Maritime are pastures and the coast, both of which are reflected in the local cuisine. 

Rule number one: butter is the starting point for everything – but not just any old butter. Only salted butter made from locally harvested salt will make the grade, and it’s not just the locals who say so – it’s also used by many Michelin-starred restaurants. 

Appellation d'origine contrôlée certification ensures that only the very best meat, seafood and fish are used. Meat dishes are often prepared as a stew to lock in the delicious juices and ensure it is tender, while seafood is so fresh it can be eaten raw. Indeed, St Gilles sardines are the nec plus ultra of the tinned fish world and said to improve with age, just like wine – they even have vintage years! If you prefer your fish to be cooked, then try some cotriade, the local version of Marseille’s bouillabaisse. Potatoes are another local delicacy especially the bonotte variety which grow in the dunes, which gives it an inimitable mildly salty flavour. 

Typically local dishes to try include préfou, a hot bread wrap eaten with an aperitif, and anything made with the local white beans, known as mojettes. 

As you explore the region, you’ll notice stretches of vineyards set between marshes and forests. The wines here span a palette of velvety reds, sweet rosés and crisp whites and are named after the villages they are grown in. Fiefs Vendéens, Mareuil or Pineau des Charentes are all named after their home turf. And what better way to finish a truly local meal than with a dram of cognac prepared on site? It’s delicious on its own but also features on cocktail menus in the region too. 

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  • Krugen

    Krugen

    Seafront villa. Seaside atmosphere and area characterise this seafront property. Whether it is through the living room's picture windows, from the guestrooms or even the terrace on the garden side, you will always see the ocean. The spacious kitchen

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  • Le Domaine du Moulin

    Le Domaine du Moulin

    Character refined manor, with sea view. From its promontory in the middle of an area of two hectares, the Domaine du Moulin overlooks this legendary coast where earth and sea are melting into each other. The interior, of a refined and grand beauty, airs elegance and harmony

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  • Greens and Golf

    Greens and Golf

    Charming villa with heated pool. With its back to the hill, Greens and Golf offers a magnificent view of the peaceful Pays d'Auge countryside which combines "bocage" and pastureland for as far as the eye can see. Renovated in the style of Normandy timbered houses, this superbly

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  • La Villa sur l Ocean

    La Villa sur l Ocean

    "La Villa sur l'Ocean" is situated in an outstanding location in the moorlands of Brittany on a headland near the ocean and the beaches, just a stone's throw from a charming little village. A stay here offers an opportunity to discover the many facets of this constantly changing marine environment, including vast sandy beaches when...

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  • Sweet Normandy

    Sweet Normandy

    This elegant villa in Normandy is packed with French style and charm. Set amid forests and meadows with long sandy beaches close by, it’s the perfect place to unwind and recharge. Stay in and relax with friends in a cosy atmosphere or head out for fresh air and uplifting coastal walks.

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