Each region of France has its own specialities and the Vendee is no exception.
The traditional gastronomy of the Vendee comes from its rural history, having been a region of small farms, with cattle, sheep, pigs, fowl and market gardening. The recent movement towards quality farming production is well underway in the Vendee and you will find many "Label-Rouge" products with guaranteed quality and traceability as well as local organic produce ("Bio").
One of the staple foods is the famous white beans, known as "Mogettes", which are served flavoured with garlic and accompanying generous slices of grilled local ham. You will find this on the menu in many traditional restaurants. The really traditional way is heaped onto slices of crusty bread, grilled on an open fire... (grillé de mogettes)
The "Label Rouge" chickens produced around Challans are renowned for their quality and well worth the little extra paid. Duck is a more recent adventure in the Vendee and you can now find excellent "magret", "confit" and duck patés.
The island of Noirmoutier has light sandy soil which produces excellent new potatoes, reputed to be some of the best in France..
There are several local cheeses to try including “Misotte”, and “Halbran”, along with some excellent goat’s cheeses similar to those of the Charente region.
The wine producers of the Vendee continue to work towards quality and the region is now credited with an AOC rating guaranteeing the grape varieties and methods used in the "Fief Vendeen" wines. The Vendee is best know for its refreshing rosé wines and its light white wines destined to accompany sea-food, but there are also some very good red wines to discover.
Spacious villa on the coast. 4 en-suite bedrooms, and its own heated pool. Cycling distance to town amenities and beaches. At Bretignolles sur Mer - surfer's paradise!
Bretignolles sur Mer
Sleeps : 8
Bedrooms : 4
Pool : Private, heated
Historic logis in the grounds of a chateau. Calm rural location, near to the wine area of Mareuil sur Lay. Sleeps up to 14, or reduced rates for smaller groups outside peak season.
Sleeps : 8-14
Bedrooms : 3-6
Pool : Private
A 5 day break on a relaxed cookery course, enjoying nightly feasts with your hosts, acclaimed chef Stuart Tattersall and Matthew Clark. On our bespoke 5 day gastronomic cookery course you will be wined and dined and learn a wide selection of French dishes.
Fontenay le Comte
From £1199 per person for 5 days
A charming restaurant on the outskirts of Luçon, direction La Roche sur Yon. An attractive glazed conservatory for cooler days and a pretty garden ideal for warm summer evenings.
Impecable french cuisine using fresh seasonal produce. There is always something to surprise you - a novel combination of ingredients, a hint of an exotic spice, or a delicate presentation.
The menu changes every two months, to reflect the best that each season has to offer, and there is always a daily "Chef's Inspiration" depending on what was good at the local market. Lunchtime menus at €14.40, evening menus from €22.20 to €41.00. Childrens menu from €11.70.
See their website.
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