Our historic ville a vivre (village of life) in France
Our village in the south west of France, with its 5000 residents, definitely lived up to its billboard slogan of being a village of life on our first visit over Christmas. There were plenty of things for us to do including visiting the lake with the kids, taking in a show at the modern cinema/theatre complex, shopping at the biweekly markets in the main square, swimming and going down the waterslide at the indoor aquatic centre, buying a painting from a local artist at January’s monthly art gallery exhibition and frequenting many great restaurants, bars and boulangeries as well as McDonalds in the next town. At one restaurant we were referred to by David’s bar buddies, we had their recommended racquelette which was a ½ a large cheese wheel placed under a grill on the table from which you poured delicious melted cheese onto your plate to then dip the potatoes, meats and breads provided into – an incredibly enjoyable meal. Also good was the duck pizza and pomme crepes at the pizzeria/creperie handily located just across the square from us.
We also took in many of the village’s historic sites including both 12th century churches, the castle/rampart ruins up the hill from centre ville overlooking the local countryside and the narrow alleyways – one placed criminals on show in stocks up to the early 1800’s. The nearby places we went outside of our village were the coastal resort town of Les Sables d’Olonne and the city of Nantes. We didn’t get to the Puy de Fou theme park or to La Rochelle or Bordeaux – maybe next time!