ANGELA BIRD'S

 

The
Vendée 

 

 

WHAT TO EAT IN THE VENDÉE,
AND WHERE TO EAT IT

This page has become too long for its own good,
so I have reluctantly had to split it into 6 sections–one for
each of the areas covered in my book.

So don’t forget to look at the areas adjoining the
ones you are interested in.
The perfect eaterie might be just over the “ border” !

Below are links direct to each section. 
Or stay on this page and spool down for a bit of general information
on the area’s specialities

 

1.
CHALLANS, ST-GILLES-CROIX-DE-VIE AND THE ISLANDS

2.
LA ROCHE, LES SABLES AND THE BAS-BOCAGE

3.
LUÇON, LA TRANCHE AND THE MARAIS POITEVIN

4.
FONTENAY, POUZAUGES AND THE HAUT-BOCAGE

5.
LES HERBIERS, CHOLET AND PUY-DU-FOU

6.
NANTES, ST-NAZAIRE AND LOIRE-ATLANTIQUE

 

FOOD SPECIALITIES

As everywhere in France, the Vendée has its
culinary specialities. In this seaside area you would expect to find fish
and shellfish
- and you
certainly won't be disappointed. Sardines and sea-bass, lobsters
and langoustines, mussels, scallops, crabs, cockles, skate, tuna, sole
and mackerel turn up in abundance in fish markets and restaurants.

The staple food, found on menus everywhere
in the Vendée - where it is often served with local
gammon - is the small white haricot bean traditionally simmered slowly for hours
and known as the "mogette". It is grown particularly around
Les Brouzils and
Le Poiré-sur-Vie.


Poultry farming is
big, particularly around Challans. The nearby marshes were
famous for duck-rearing, and the town can still
boast of being the "duck capital" of France.
Poultry-raising now includes the "poulet noir",
a free-range, black-feathered chicken (its meat being of such renown that the birds are now on sale in Selfridge's Food Hall!).

 

To put you in the mood, here is a piece I wrote
on gastronomy in the Vendée for
“Food and Travel” magazine (June 2008 issue).
It is a big file (11 megabytes) – with
lots of beautiful images by Vendée-based photographer Roger Stowell - so be patient as it may take a few minutes to download... 

 

 

 

 

RESTAURANTS


2010
Three chefs in the Vendée are holding on to their Michelin stars.

If you want to sample their output, here they are:
(Weekday lunchtime menus often have a good-value option)

Area 1.
Alexandre Couillon, La Marine, L’Herbaudière, Noirmoutier island.
 Area 2.  Raphael Rolland, Le Cayola, Le Château-d’Olonne.
Area 5.  Thierry Drapeau, Logis de la Chabotterie, St-Sulpice-le-Verdon.


Unless I've marked these establishments as wildly cheap, or fiendishly expensive,
you can take it that they're in a medium price range - say about 20 euros per head.
However, as French office workers expect to eat out well and cheaply at
midday, you'll often find exceptionally good-value lunches (around 15 euros) on offer from
Monday to Friday - even in the most expensive restaurant.

Some of these establishments we haven't revisited for some time, so no
guarantees, but if you're devoid of ideas then these are probably still worth trying.
Nobody said our tastes were going to be the same as yours though. I disclaim all
responsibility - so don't sue me if your meal wasn't up to expectations...

If you're prepared to share any of your own discoveries,
do mail me a short piece and I'll give you due credit on the page !



Here is a link to Les Toques Vendéennes - a group of 20 mostly long-established eating
establishments that have joined forces to market themselves
through a booklet that you can pick up in participating restaurants and tourist offices.

 

And here are the links to the different sections, again:


 

1.
CHALLANS, ST-GILLES-CROIX-DE-VIE AND THE ISLANDS

2.
LA ROCHE, LES SABLES AND THE BAS-BOCAGE

3.
LUÇON, LA TRANCHE AND THE MARAIS POITEVIN

4.
FONTENAY, POUZAUGES AND THE HAUT-BOCAGE

5.
LES HERBIERS, CHOLET AND PUY-DU-FOU

6.
NANTES, ST-NAZAIRE AND LOIRE-ATLANTIQUE

 



 

 

| index page |
| activities | beaches | calendar | cottage rental |
|guidebook | guidebook update | history |
| introduction to the vendee | links | markets |
|
practical info | property-owners' pages | restaurants | themed pages | wines |

| mail webmaster by returning to the bottom of the index page |