St Jean d’Angely property guide
St Jean d’Angely, a pretty town of 6,000 people dominated in the past by its abbey, is a mediaeval market town only a short drive from the Atlantic coast, between La Rochelle and Angouleme, and also on the ancient pilgrim route to Compostela. It is located in Charente Maritime (Poitou-Charentesregion). The area receives more hours of sunshine than anywhere in France except Provence, yet you escape both the scorching heat of the south as well as its more extreme prices. The area is perfect for those who like to drive or cycle with its forests, marshes, vineyards and tiny villages as well as beautiful chateaus to visit and tall lighthouses where the literally hundreds of steps upward will be rewarded by amazing views.
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There are quiet, sandy beaches an hour away, as well as all the usual activities of a town this size. The area is known for its pottery studios and there are also classes for the more artistically inclined. For our family the zoo at La Palmere is a must or just a horse back or bike ride through the woods for a picnic. ‘Atlantis’ is a huge swimming complex with several pools and a huge ( and scary for some) slide. There is also mini-golf and a skate park for the younger element. From Saintes you can take cruises up the river. A local water polo team ranks high in French leagues.
Food and Drink
There are wine (and brandy) tastings – try pineau, which is a combination of brandy and local wine. Sea food is prominent, oysters, mussels and langoustines along with lamb from the salt marshes. Melons are grown here in large numbers.
For gourmets the Moulin de la Baine in Chaniers, which actually straddles the river Charente, is not to be missed, especially their Délice de l’Océan, although there are lots of other restaurants, and they are child friendly.
Restaurant Le Bruant, 76, rue Nationale, 17250 Saint-Porchaire, Tel no 05 46 94 65 36, 14€
Le Scorlion, 5 Rue Abbaye, 17400 St Jean d’Angely, Tel no: 5 46 32 52 61, 12€
The tourist office, situated at 8 rue de Grosse Horloge will be able to advise you about other available accommodation in and around the town. Do try to visit out of the summer high season, as this will give you a better idea of what life is like when this isn’t just a holiday.
Sextant properties will be able to put you in touch with a local bi-lingual agent who can even help you to rent a property while you fully explore the area. They will be able to arrange to accompany you on viewings. So enjoy your hunt for your perfect place in St Jean d’Angely.