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"Green Venice" in France for Upcoming Visit-Any Suggestions as to Other Sights/Restaurants?

"Green Venice" in France for Upcoming Visit-Any Suggestions as to Other Sights/Restaurants?

Jun 7th, 2007, 03:10 AM
  #1  
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"Green Venice" in France for Upcoming Visit-Any Suggestions as to Other Sights/Restaurants?

We are traveling to France in early July and will base ourselves for three nights in Mirambeau. We will have a rental car.

High on the list of places to see is the Marais Poitevin ("Green Venice") and environs.

Also intrigued by the possibility of LaRochelle; somewhat less so about Ile de Re...is it "just another" seaside place or something special?

Have also heard some good things about the coastal area west of Bordeaux.

We eventually will be driving from Mirambeau down to Pau and will explore the Pyrenees National Park area from there.

Finally, will spend two nights in a B+B near Agen owned by some friends of ours before heading back to Paris and on to Copenhagen for a Baltic cruise.

We want the France portion to be as relaxed as possible. Nothing is absolutely compelling at this point.

We are not "foodies" but appreciate interesting places to eat...there's some sort of "old mill" in there somewhere I've lost track of but haven't given up; wine is not a major issue for us.

Any thoughts/suggestions about places to see and places to eat would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance.
Dukey is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 03:18 AM
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I did not have time to explore as you will, but I did spend two days and nights in La Rochelle last week and will be happy to give you any information you might seek. We, too, debated about visiting Ile de Re and in the end decided against it; time and again I was told it was better to spend the time in La Rochelle; I heard this even from friends who returned from a recent three-day visit to the island.

I adored La Rochelle and will write a brief report on my stay there (and points to the southeast) soon; if you want specific infirmation on hotels (we stayed at St. Jean d'Acre) or restaurants (Bar Andre is fantastic and not expensive) let me know.

In La Rochelle you will find many shops selling the famous salt from ile de Re; you can also buy this in the supermarket. (Just in case you want to add some heft to your bags; I had to add this for the benefit of Kerouac...) Even if you are not so much interested in wine, you should sample the pineau de Charantes of the area. The food in the Charantes is excellent; lighter than in the SW with emphasis on seafood and the beef and lamb of the region and influenced by the region's long contact with England and the rest of continental Europe and the New World through the trade in salt and Cognac.

And of course, there is Cognac...that town is ab out an hour or so from La Rochelle (we took the train to Saintes and taxied from there) and we spent two nights there, but from what you say that will not be in your plans this trip....your general intinerary sounds intriguing and fascinating to me..

I will stop now so I have something to say in my little trip report..

ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 03:41 AM
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Ekscrunchy,

thank you VERY mcuh for your response.

Coming from you I think perhaps we should include Cognac in this...we are very flexible and don't mind driving to places which are worthwhile.

I would be particularly interested in any restaurant recommendations both in La Rochelle and in Cognac.

Thanks again and looking forward to reading your report.
Dukey is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 04:09 AM
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Dukey, I will get to the report soon. But I have to tell you that I do not have any restaurant recommendations for Cognac because we stayed at the Martell chateau and ate our meals there... But I would be happy to get some recommendations from the people at Martell if you decide to go there.
The visit to the town of Cognac is all about visiting one of the Cognac houses for a tour and tasting. If you are not so interested in this you might want to pass it by.

The Martell people gave me the tip on Bar Andre in La Rochelle and it was truly terrific...picturesque, filled with French diners chowing down on huge plaeaux de fruits de mer, guys shucking oysters out front, etc...I will always associate that dinner with my visit to La Rochelle. Here is their website and you can click on some dishes to see photos; you must reserve for dinner; even on a Sunday in May (holiday weekend) the place was packed to the gills...


http://www.bar-andre.com/fr/index.htm

When we were in La Rochelle I picked up lots of brochures with information on the Charantes including photos and details on "green Venise." It looks fascinating; I only wish I had had more time to explore. Also look into the town of Saintes and the port of Royan...there might be some interest there..

ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 04:39 AM
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Thanks again for your help. I'll have to think about Cognac some more.

Bar Andre looks like a great place!
Dukey is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 09:54 AM
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Glad to help..and yes, you MUST put Bar Andre on your list if you love seafood.
ekscrunchy is offline  
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